snowwhitejapan snowwhitejapan

Japanese Government protests Herald Tribune cartoon

Japan Probe is reporting that the Japanese Consulate in New York has officially complained to the International Herald Tribune after the newspaper printed the following comic:

“The consulate complained that it was “regrettable” to see such a comic, given the fact that the safety of Japanese food exports is being verified by customs officials in both Japan and America.”

  • The real travesty here, however, is of course, Comic Sans.

    • anon


      • Chris Sobieniak

        Nobody knows how to do great lettering like the pros.

      • NC

        I’m all like
        Fuck Comic Sans Sim
        Fuck Papyrus too
        I’m going to lay down straight
        with Helvetica Nue

  • Peter Wassink

    If the witch had been drawn like Yubaba it might have been a little bit funny.

  • Bran L

    This seems a bit silly to me.

    Maybe it’s just the way I’m reading the comic but I gather snow white is being convayed as the stupid one here, and the comic as a whole is pointing out that consumers are somewhat needlessly paranoid about buying japanese food products. The comic comes off as pro-japanese to me, I don’t think I’d be complaining about myself if I were form there. But that’s just my impression.

    • Paul N

      Context is everything – keep in mind the evil queen was trying to poison Snow White with the apple.

      I understand why the Japanese are upset, but hearing that government officials in two countries are saying everything’s cool doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

  • Jap

    Thank you for bringing me such joy with your cartoon news.
    Most peoples laughed at this news in Japan.
    everyone say that like “a well earned punishment”.

  • sam

    Funny! But I guess it does offend the Japanese.

  • jared

    The newspaper she’s holding may as well say “THAT’S THE JOKE”

  • I guess it is a tad careless in some regard to print this, given the situation but it’s obvious that it’s just a play on Snow White and a current world event. The cartoon probably would have been forgotten in a day or two and now it’s a media item.

  • Aimee

    Woah. I’m all for political non-correctness in humor, but even I think this comic is a jerk-ass move.

  • dr. truth

    That’s funny! I can see how they would get offended though.

  • The Gee

    A couple of things:

    The question being asked by SW contains the word “you” instead of just referring to the apple as “it.” I’m guessing that is intentional and that the question is directed at the witch. Is that what anyone else reads it as? She’s talking to the witch and not the apple?

    I’m not aware of concerns about food exports from Japan being a problem, though I could see other countries potentially being concerned. My knee jerk reaction was concern about not enough fresh foods being IMPORTED into Japan…. but…man, the cartoon could have been different, for sure.

    Surely, I’m stating the obvious by pointing out the IHT is owned by the NY Times but is in Europe (France, I think–and, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). So, it is coming from a different perspective.

  • tgentry

    I think the real crime is it’s just not that funny.

  • Target audience: still-bitter WWII vets. There are what, 5 of them left?

  • AaronSch

    That cartoon is far from offensive. It depends on your interpretation. For me, it simply highlights the irrational fears generated by the media since Japan suffered through multiple natural disasters.

    • Mike Russo

      This is exactly how I feel too.

  • T. Reynolds

    Japanese produce? Really? What about imported Chinese seafood? There’s some real poison.

  • David Breneman

    Have there been accusations of the Japanese dumping radioactive produce in other countries? If that was the case I could see the relevance of this cartoon, but otherwise it’s a punchline in search of a setup, and a rather tortured punchline at that. And considering the tens of thousands of people who have died in Japan (NONE from radiation, BTW) it is rather tasteless.

    But anyone who reads editorial cartoons on a regular basis knows that tastelessness and lack of humor are par for the course.

  • uncle wayne

    Oh, f’pete’s “sake` “!!! Of coursae, it’s funny. Get a grip, ya’ll….without humor we are all DEAD!!! Lighten the hell up!!

    • It might be harder to “lighten the hell up” if the area you live in was massacred with a nuclear meltdown that will infect it for years to come…? It ain’t spilt milk.

  • I’m more curious to know who drew that, so I can see what else he/she made.
    What? It’s a nicely drawn cartoon.

  • John Ford

    …and no one’s taken note that it’s damn well drawn. Who, pray tell is the artist??

  • Storm in a tea cup, although it does reflect the mood of the consumer, I have heard people saying they are dubious over eating fish after what has happened… remember when those deep thinkers rejected everything french (freedom fries anyone?) because the french wear hats or something…

    I make all my apples at home out of bread so this doesn’t really effect me

  • I thought it was using Snow White as a symbol to show how ignorant non-Japanese (“white”) people are about the situation is Japan. How is that offensive to the Japanese? This isn’t exactly “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.”

  • Joe Doaks

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted”]

  • Roland Denby

    It’s very funny. But you can’t go by me. I thought Gilbert Gottfried was funny too. (Questionable timing perhaps, but still funny.)

  • NC

    You have to admit though the Japanese government has done some shady things. When they realized that radiation was getting into the ocean, instead of finding ways to prevent they simply just raised the national standard for how much radiation is allowed into the water.

  • morgana

    It’s the job of the Japanese Consulate to complain about things like this, especially if it has anything to do with the reputation of their exports.
    So I’m not surprised at all, it’s regular business when in comes to foreign affairs. I would be surprised if they didn’t complain

  • Carina

    As someone currently living in Fukushima prefecture, I guess my reaction is to say that the comic comes across as being in somewhat poor taste and not really that funny overall, but it doesn’t seem offensive enough to warrant an official complaint from the consulate. The comic mostly just seems to be a reference to how paranoid people are lately, which is certainly true. The economic impact this accident will have on the area is very real and may last for years to come. The local Fukushima brand of milk now has a sign next to it at the store that says they are using milk from a different prefecture, but it’s STILL not selling very well. Many farmers in the area are worried about whether or not they will be able to sell their produce from now on. So, this is a very touchy subject in Japan right now. But, while the actual message behind this cartoon is somewhat ambiguous, it doesn’t seem too mean-spirited (to me at least). But the cartoonist did pick sort of a sensitive subject… like, surely some Americans would be offended if there were a recent school shooting in America and a foreign paper made a comic of a student holding a newspaper and crossing America off their list of possible places to do a study abroad. Just maybe not the best choice of topics to make light of…

  • “All the fonts we export to America are checked by inspectors in both countries to see if they can be used safely to write in English. To see such a comic regrettable at the least”

  • Shigeru

    This is an American low blow to us, Japanese.
    Well, I just take this as a cheap American cartoon, nothing more.