Hi Blog. Thanks to Trans-Pacific Radio for letting me know: Fukumimi blog reports (citing Japan Probe) that Eichi Shuppan, publisher of the infamous GAIJIN HANZAI Magazine, has gone bankrupt. (And I don’t mean just morally bankrupt…)
Now, before anyone says we dood it, read the report from Fukumimi below. Not sure GAIJIN HANZAI magazine was entirely responsible (but the bath they took on it certainly didn’t help).
Then this begs the question: What was a publisher in such fragile condition trying to pull by taking on this high-risk (if they even saw it as that) controversial magazine? If it was merely trying to stir up debate, as the editor asserted throughout, then it should have had a bit more of a buffer cash flow in its safe. Naw. In the end, they were just trying to sell magazines through provocation, for they never expected it to be a flop (they obviously couldn’t afford one). No wonder they were on tenterhooks the whole time during this debate.
Okay, people are probably expecting me to crow a bit. Well… let’s just state the obvious: Darwin Awards for the publishing industry. Eichi Shuppan was just stupid. Glass houses and stones? Publishing houses and racist overtones? Reap and sow. Debito
Good Bye to Eichi Publishing April 5, 2007
Posted by fukumimi in Japan, Economy & Business. trackback
Good bye and good riddance to the publisher (link appears down) of racially inflammatory content.
Eichi Shuppan has closed its doors and is being liquidated. It had oustanding debts of JPY2.3B (about $20 million give or take).
I’m sure people like Debito and JapanProbe will be celebrating, although the failure of the business is unrelated to the recent fuss over racist publications, and is rather due to the fact that its parent company has closed its doors and Eichi was one of the subsidiaries which was already in trouble and could not stand on its own two feet. The publishing of smut had been transferred to a different company a long time ago (Eichi seems to have retained the sales rights in that reorganization, which was due to the company being busted on pornography charges), and that was the cash cow business anyway, although this line is no doubt also feeling the heat from internet sites (many of which apparently feature many scanned images from old magazines, including those of Eichi, so I’m told….)
Addendum: The news is courtesy of Teikoku DataBank via a Nikkei Telecon subscription (no link available to the actual data regarding Eichi, but see here for an article).
2 comments on “Gaijin Hanzai publisher Eichi Shuppan goes bankrupt”
RECEIVED THIS COMMENT FROM CYBERSPACE FROM SOMEBODY I KNOW IN THE KNOW. ANONYMIZED. DEBITO
Debito-san, Eichi Shuppan’s bankruptcy does not surprise me. These sort of “specialty” publishers are often started based on one or two entrepreneurial ideas that outlive their original demand, and the publishers are unable to diversify into anything else to sustain them. Dai-ichi Kikaku Shuppan, which probably publshed 3 dozen Jewish conspiracy books during its decade of existence, finally folded after milking the topic for all it was worth. Tokuma Shoten, the pioneer of such “Yudaya books,” was ruined by its late president’s grandiose ideas, as exemplified by the high-rise building erected near Shiodome. After old man Tokuma died his fiscal irresponsibility came to light and the company was taken over by its creditors. It still exists, but is now several hundred workers fewer, in a small, rented building in Hamamatsucho, and owned lock, stock and barrel by the Mitsui-Sumitomo Bank.
So Jews had nothing to do with the demise of either publisher, but certainly aren’t mourning their demise.
ANOTHER COMMENT, THIS TIME FROM MY FRIEND HARTLEY, SOMEONE ELSE IN THE KNOW. DEBITO
…Do you think their bankruptcy announcement supports or weakens the theory that some group of unknown investors was behind the publication of “Gaijin Hanzai File”? On the one hand, I suppose you could argue that it’s unlikely that an outside group of investors, as opposed to a keiretsu-related company, would pour money into the project if the had concerns about the financial health of the publisher. On the other hand, one might argue that it was precisely because Eichi was staring bankruptcy in the face that they became desperate and accepted the project, and the money, from some outside group.
Some other questions I’ve been pondering include:
1) Eichi, or at least a related company according to the blog you showed us, had published porno mags, many of which no doubt got ads from fuzoku-related businesses. And guess who the fuzoku business often turn to in order to ensure the places get operating permits with minimal hassle from the government? You guessed it: retired police officials.
2) One of the largest sources of legal income for the yakuza is the adult video business. They are heavily invested in all aspects, from recruiting the starlets and studs, to shooting and editing the films, to packaging and marketing them. Obviously, Eichi had connections to that world. Though I’m certain there was no direct involvement, one wonders if Eichi wasn’t repaying a favor, of sorts, to somebody who did have connections and, for ideological reasons, wanted this done.
3) Obviously, Eichi and its investors knew months ago that the end was probably near. If so, perhaps some accountant advised them that, for whatever legal reasons, they needed to lose a lot of money quickly in order to get a better deal in bankruptcy court. “Find a project and dump lots of cash into it before you declare yourself insolvent,” may have been the order from the accountants six months ago or so. This project may have been on the back burner but, for lack of advertising, never went anywhere until the order came down.
Just idle speculation at Mr. Donuts…