"WaiWai is dead"

WaiWai RIP

On June 21, the Mainichi Daily News was forced to discontinue its infamous WaiWai column after attracting criticism for “being too vulgar and debauching Japan by sending around the world information that could be misunderstood,” according to the news site’s apology.

It also mentions that an “online news site reported on these developments and made inquiries to the Mainichi Newspapers about them.” Although it remains unclear exactly which news site it is referring to, it is thought to be 2Channel, a Japanese Internet forum which is one of the largest in the world.

There is a huge amount of criticism leveled at the Mainichi WaiWai, stating that certain stories (such as ‘More mums going down, to ensure grades go up’) breeds racism against Japanese women and promotes a hentai opinion of Japan.

The forum called for the community to take action by:

1. Letting the Japanese population know about WaiWai by posting it on 2Channel and other blogs

2. Phoning, emailing and using inquiry forms to protest against WaiWai to the Mainichi Shimbun and their sponsors

3. Asking for other media to pick up on stories regarding the Mainichi’s current situation

A French blog, La Riviere Aux Canards, attributes its closure to the nationalists, calling the newspaper “The Bainichi Shimbun—the newspaper that sells Japan.” There is also a Japanese blog called Itai News (literally translated as ‘Painful News’) that criticizes WaiWai for its unpatriotic views and seedy views it projects to the outside world.

According to the Mainichi apology, the head of the Digital Media Division, which is responsible for the operation of the Mainichi.jp website as well as the Mainichi English site, will be “severely punished,” along with the manager and the editor involved in the stories.

In a panic, Mainichi are also trying to withdraw all problematic articles from their archives, as well as asking search engines to prevent WaiWai stories from being displayed.

However, here are a few that are still remaining:

More mums going down, to ensure grades go up:


Bestiality restaurant hams it up:


Just between us girls -- the secret slang splurted in the ejaculation industry:


For a further detailed explanation about the termination from the Mainichi site, visit:

English: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/


2Channel (Japanese):


La Riviere Aux Canards blog (French):


Itai News (Japanese):



Other posts by Anna:


The Japanese mass media is absolutely great. Japanese people should be proud of their media. Alas, some people are saying foreigners aren't entitled to look. And now there's one less place where they can. That's a shame.

Maybe J@pan.Inc should restart WaiWai on its site. With the links you've put in, Ms. Kitanaka, you're already doing a great job of spreading the goodies around!

Dear Ms Kitanaka, do you really read French?

Thomas (the author of La Rivière Aux Canards, one of the blogs you quote in your post) is not "attributing" the nationalists anything (actually, his post is one of the most impartial articles on the issue I've read so far; I provide this rough translation from French to English [none of them is my native tongue, so I apologize if there are small mistakes] of one of the paragraphs), he's simply quoting what he found on the net about the issue:

FRENCH: "Complément à 2channel, le blog Hitai News, un des blog les plus lus au Japon selon Technorati Japan. Ce blog revient sur la fermeture de WaiWai, avec ses commentaires anonymes où se mêlent comme toujours, des nationalistes, au mauvais sens du terme et des internautes chevronnés. J'ai pu y trouver l'image ci-dessous, un fake d'une publicité du journal Mainichi. Le slogan est sans équivoque: «On n'a pas besoin d'un journal qui insulte la mère patrie» (si vous avez une meilleure traduction pour 母国, faites-moi signe). Et le logo du journal n'est plus Mainichi Shinbun (毎日新聞) mais BaiNichi Shinbun (売日新聞) qui devient «Le journal qui vend le Japon»."

ENGLISH: "Besides 2channel, [there is] the blog Hitai (sic) News, one of the most read blogs in Japan according to Technorati Japan. This blog deals with WaiWai's closure, with its usual anonymous comments mixing nationalists, in the worst sense of the word, and the savvy internet users. I managed to find the picture below, a fake of a Mainichi Newspaper's ad. The slogan is unequivocal: "We don't need a newspaper which insults the motherland" (if you have a better translation for 母国, let me know). And the newspaper's logo doesn't read Mainichi Shimbun (毎日新聞) but BaiNichi Shimbun (売日新聞), which would become "The newspaper which sells Japan.""


If you continue reading, there's even a criticism on the way J-Cast makes its headlines (they believe Japan speaks Japanese and the rest of the world necessarily reads English, which isn't true). The closing of the article is great, even though I personally think the WaiWai column should be moved to an entirely separate website, just for the reputation of a serious media outlet as Mainichi Shimbun (I'd like, for example, that the Japanese op-ed pieces to be translated into English instead, just like Asahi, Nikkei or Yomiuri do).

"Reste que si l'on est bien éduqué au média, avec un sens critique, les infos de WaiWai, c'était pour rire, seulement pour rire. Mais le sens critique semble se perdre."

"But if you're well-educated in [dealing with] the media, with a critical sense, the information in WaiWai was to laugh, only to laugh. But it seems the critical sense tends to [become] lost".

Julián Ortega Martínez

"Thomas (the author of La Rivière Aux Canards, one of the blogs you quote in your post) is not "attributing" the nationalists anything"

Well, I think he is, if indirectly attributing it to nationalists, according to your translation:

'The slogan is unequivocal: "We don't need a newspaper which insults the motherland" '

What is funny to me is that at the end Thomas says:

Je voulais juste revenir sur ce titre en faisant remarquer que le reste du monde (hors Japon), ne parlait pas forcément anglais. Ce titre le suggère, c'est classique: au Japon, on parle japonais. Ailleurs, on parle anglais.

"I just want to go back to the slogan here by remarking that the rest of the world (outside of Japan), doesn't necessarily speak English. This slogan is a classic: in Japan people speak Japanese, outside of Japan people speak English."

That sounds like a classic French comment.

But a good blog and a great debate!

Louise, I'm not French and I agree with Thomas. Spanish, for example, is an international language, and has more native speakers (in more than 20 countries) than English. Most of this WaiWai texts are virtually unknown in the Spanish-speaking world except for some translations (some of them mistranslations) in blogs with relatively low "ratings" in most cases.

About the attribution thing, I'd prefer Thomas to clarify it. But still I maintain that Thomas is not attributing the closure of WaiWai to the nationalists, despite of their efforts with their fake ads included. I concede they may be ONE of the causes.

Now I wonder how the Mainichi will "severely punish the head of the Digital Media Division, which is responsible for overseeing the site, the manager responsible for the corner and the editor involved with the stories"...

Julián Ortega Martínez

Seemingly "severe punishment to the head of the Digital Media Division" will be a PROMOTION to CEO.
It's not demotion but PROMOTION!!
It'll be officially announced today.
Hope you understand what does it mean and why Wai Wai is only in English site but not in Japanese main site.

* MDN staff writer in charge of the column: 3 months of "disciplinary leave"
* MDN Managing Editor Hiroshi Takahashi: "stripped of his title for 2 months"
* Mainichi Shimbun Digital Media Division General Manager Akihiko Isono -at the time Deputy General Manager of the Digital Media Division-: "stripped of his title for 1 month"
* Mainichi Shimbun Director and Digital Media Division Executive Supervisor Atsushi Hasegawa -at the time General Manager of the Digital Media Division-: "return 20% of his directors compensation for 1 month"
* Mainichi Shimbun Director and Digital Media Division President Yutaka Asahina -at the time Managing Director and Digital Media Division Executive Supervisor-: "return 10% of his directors compensation for 1 month"


Julián Ortega Martínez

But Hasegawa and Asahina got promoted on June 25.

Could not find in English site but here is a link for Japanese site


I have to agree!
This all subject sounds like yet another fishy way to get promotion, specially for the pointing on how to "take action":
1. Letting the Japanese population know about WaiWai by posting it on 2Channel and other blogs
2. Phoning, emailing and using inquiry forms to protest against WaiWai to the Mainichi Shimbun and their sponsors
3. Asking for other media to pick up on stories regarding the Mainichi’s current situation

They are basically asking to talk about it everywhere you can, which is just publicity, it will probably be bad publicity, but you know what is said: "There is no bad publicity" :S

I'd ignore a publication that is not something I like. That is the worst thing you can do.


I am quite surprised that my blog arroused this "debate" here !
Thanks Julian for the translation.
I don't attribute WaiWai's closure to the japanese nationalists but it's certainly one of the reason.
Many japanese internet users were offended by waiwai's content, but I wanted to point the fact that many of them could read the same "articles" in some japanese newspaper. The problem for them was that waiwai let know the "world" (at least, the english reading world) about the worst (and the false) of Japan, and it was not that some journalistes wrote them for Japanese readers.

I believe WaiWai's stated purpose was not necessarily tabloid, but to show examples of interesting stories appearing in Japanese magazines. Some of its stories were respectable human-interest stories. Others were risque. But it's pretty clear that most of the critics of the chat page seem to be engaging in sweeping accusations, which suggests they are making commentary based on hearsay, without having ever read the stories themselves.

There is an incredibly thin buffer between the number of native speakers of English, and of Spanish, relatively. Furthermore, including those who speak it as a second language, English surpasses Spanish heavily (Over 100 million more speakers). English is also the most widely spoken language in terms of number of countries.

But the reason Japanese speakers generally attribute English as the second most important language outside their own relates directly to one thing: English's influence in Japan and its usefulness in the business sector.

A MASSIVE percentage of Japanese is loan words. Massive. They get most commonly used words from foreign countries, including China. Many Japanese words that have been used in Japan for hundreds of years are actually Chinese.

But regardless, go to Japan and you will see signs in English more than any other non-Japanese language. Given this and the fact that if you could pick any one language, English is by far the most useful for business as it is the most widely spoken, why would they pick another language to publish in if they can choose two? Most American newspapers choose not to publish in two languages for a reason-- it is inconvenient and your local news sites will pick up whatever stories big enough to be of interest. Do not make the assumption that people should waste resources translating into your language. As an American, I abhor the traditional attitude that everyone should speak English wherever I go. It is not anyone's job to speak my language. If I want to understand them, I can go ahead and take a course. I speak Japanese, German, and Spanish. And I'm 18. It did not take me an absurd amount of time to reach competency. I'm not even majoring in a language-related field.

I think it is key to understand that they do not really believe the rest of the world speaks English, but the majority of the distant countries and their target readership does, even if as a second language. There are 480 million speakers of English worldwide, second only to Chinese. It is spoken in over 40 countries, whereas Chinese is spoken in only 11. That is an optimal readership distribution. I would never give up my competency in English for any other language, and if I only got to keep one, I would immediately choose English without a second thought. And English is not even my first language. Spanish is.

On the matter of languages, I am not sure that English is as widespread or useful as people claim. I would like to argue the case for Esperanto as the international language. It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states.

Take a look at www.esperanto.net

Esperanto works! I've used it in speech and writing in a dozen countries over recent years.

Do you know how many constructed languages (meaning those fabricated by humans intentionally as a secondary mode of communication) are widely used?

Zero. It is not a natural human development and no majority will ever desire to take the time to learn a language without a cultural background or use. Esperanto is a failed language for many of the same reasons smaller languages died out: there is no practical use and the man-hours invested in learning it only convey the ability to communicate with an incredibly small group of people.

English is, numerically, the second most widely spoken language behind Chinese, with 480 million speakers worldwide. Thusly, it is in fact the most useful because it is spoken in far more countries (over 40) than Chinese (which is only spoken in about 11) and carries much more usefulness in the business sphere. Look at the English-speaking countries, and you will see (even if it is spoken as a second language there) that no other language comes close to being as universal. Sorry.

All (ones sad to see WaiWai and go and those not),

As a long time reader of the Mainichi Site and WaiWai, I'm really sorry to see it go.

It's really sad that a few NEETs or dare I say extremists, whipping up nationalistic views, have spoiled what was a little window into Japanese Weeklies for us who don't have the reading skills. I think the whole episode is actually a worse testimony to some segments in Japan.

I can't say I'm a Japanese expert, but I have spent many trips exploring Japan's traditional sites, some of the less well known ones, and exploring some of the everyday areas of Japan's cities. I have many close Japanese friends in Japan and abroad, so I feel I've had my share of opportunities to delve into some of the hidden (not so hidden) sides of Japan with friends and by myself. Including some of these funny articles. As a well rounded/travelled person I feel we the readers are in the best position to judge what these articles are and who they are written for... They are really written for the Japanese male, who loves this kind of titillation, so what is wrong with us foreigners learning about this... We know these stories are sensationalized, just like in our own countries. Hey we live in a free and open world, these people need to worry what kind of country they really live in.

I love Japan and it's people, but yes I do have some strong views about some of the close minded people there. This story sadly just cements them in my mind. I'm just glad I know there are some really great people there as well, but unfortunately history tells us it's the close minded ones that do the most damage.

So it's a shame the Mainichi has pulled this segment and not had the guts to stand up to these people, are they going to stop publishing all their local papers who run these stories?... Are the foreigners eyes too sensitive to this...

How dare you to say it was funny. WaiWai article was NOT funny considering the damage it has done. The articles were untrue and NOT credible, and it was disgrace to Japan and Japanese culture. Some foreigners writing "female in your country is prostitute" is absolutely not funny, especially when it is not true. Every single article I have read were simply horrible.

And you consider WaiWai a window to Japan? You have never been to Japan.

....but hostessing IS now the 10th most popular job for a young Japanese woman. Japan has a huge, ubiquitous sex industry.
I know you don't want to admit it, I know you re trying to ignore it and live your life respectfully, but its an integral part of Japanese culture. Even Geisha were a form of expensive, high class prostitutes for one or two wealthy clients. Again, people (usually western apologists) have tried to say they aren't, its a beautiful example of Japan's unqique culture, blah blah. But thats just the TATEMAE to save Japan's face to the world.

The honne of course, is that go to any train station and walk around abit and you ll find some sleaze, be it a telephone club or a pink salon, while the koban (police box) turn a blind eye. Also, "sex" in Japan is only defined legally as penetration, so "everything but" style services flourish and are even not considered to be "sex" per se.

Its just that it is shameful for Japanese to be shown up by a foreigner, thats all. Shame at being exposed, not "guilt" for perpetuating the third class status of women and so reducing their abilities to make a living that they are forced into working in some kind of sukebe business to feed their kid.

The reason why you feel they are close minded, is because you don't understand their language. Language contains culture, custom, religion and lots of other important elements.
There are some open minded people who dare to spent time to learn Japanese. Ask them if Japanese are really close minded or not.
On the other hand there are real close minded people who just came to girl-hunting and not interested in any other things. Yeah, those people really liked Waiwai.

This is like "The New York Times" or "The Washington Post" has been introducing tabloid's stories written by Japanese to tell as if those were true stories for 9 years without knowing amerincans.

What if 55% of American women will have sex with men when the day they first met. How do you feel?

Well, for Japanese, not so funny. They should feel that Mainich wants to have fun for despising Japanese and to create some kind of image about Japanese women. Plus, Mainich probably thinks that they were not wrong because they just translated topics from the Japanese tabloid magazines and those 2ch's right wings sarted to threat them so that they stopped to upload those. Moreover, they told Japanese 2ch users who are most likely typical Japanese that they have prepared to sue them if they threat their employees on 2ch. Most of the users on 2ch have understood that Mainich never ever thought that they did anything wrong. that's about it basically, but there are so many stuff you have to know about this stuff. I give you one Japanese word "Han Nichi". That's the key to understand what has been going on between Mainich and 2ch users.

"What if 55% of American women will have sex with men when the day they first met. How do you feel?"

I would feel happy and optimistic. Possibly, I might consider going to the US for a short holiday.

# "Panty sellers roll in the cash by rolling off their soiled skimpies in disabled toilets", Mainichi Daily News, October 23, 2007. Connell, Ryann.
# "Pin-up girls Yinling of Joytoy, Yoko Kamon have intimates bared after MPD file leak", Mainichi Shimbun, June 22, 2007. Connell, Ryann.
# "Porno actor Chocoball Mukai to bite into world of professional wrestling", Mainichi Shimbun, December 28, 2005. Connell, Ryann.
# "Porno queen's mysterious death -- murder or suicide?", mainichi-msn.co.jp, July 11, 2005. Connell, Ryann.
# "Present-hunting parents say domo arigato, Mr. Airboto", Mainichi Shimbun, December 19, 2007. Connell, Ryann.
# "Preserve Japan's tacky shag shacks as World Heritage sites, says love hotel aficionado", Mainichi Shimbun, August 31, 2007. Connell, Ryann.
# "Razor Ramon slices along Japan's cutting edge." Mainichi Daily News, January 22, 2007, Connell, Ryann.
# "Sexy Kano sisters flash the flesh but men denied a peek", Mainichi Daily News, 5 April 2006. Connell, Ryann.
# "Sexy thespian Tomoko Yamaguchi uses booby trap to snare audience for TV show", Mainichi Shimbun, January 11, 2008. Connell, Ryann.

The Japanese mass media, especially quality papers, have emphasized the negative sides of the internet for long time. They have warned that people have to be careful in giving infromations through the internet because such informations tend to be easily exaggerated, intendedly distorted and spread among billions of unspecified people in the world out of control.

The Japanese Media have also condemned sexial harrasments and child pornography on the web. If they find such articles written about a particular person or district in Japan on the Japanese web site, they will accuse the writer.

Mainichi Shinbun is associated with the anti-child pornography movement. I am disgusted that they themselves scatterd these articles over the world.

Is anyone protesting the stores being published in Japanese?

Oh heavens no... of course not... The problem is not what Japanese people say! It's what foreigners think!!

Good lord...

Looks like No stores are protested.
but sponsors of mainichi are protested.

According to 2ch , some of them removed their ads.
I don't know the way to find out which one is removed, because its slot might already be filled with other ads.

Is anyone paying the protesters to be there?

I love Japan very much but could not help but cringe when I heard of Mainichi's cowardly actions. What happened to the famed samurai spirit???????? Surrendering to a bunch of right wing otaku???????

It seems a lot of 2chers suffer from a collective "small man syndrome" or inferiority complex. They are overly concerned with what "gaijin" think of them and their culture.

"The gaijin ar laughing at we Japanese!!!!!!!! My god...........we are pure.....innocent........everything is perfect in this country........we must show the world that Japan is the sweetest happiest place on earth..........like disneyland"

Waiwai was so over the top it was absolutely hilarious. It was a brilliant piss take that obviously flew right over the head of those folk at 2ch. Maybe the humour was not obvious to non-native English speakers.

Waiwai will never die. It will return. More ridiculously brilliant than ever. Mark my words!

p.s. my favourite story was the McDonalds sex romp. Pure genius!!!!!

Stippy.com is calling out to the gaijin community for any waiwai articles that you may have. Please submit them (with the original published date on mainichi site) here:

Stippy is trying desperately to let the waiwai good times live on... Please help them so we can go back over our beloved waiwai forever.

Fight the good fight Stippy!!!!!!

Instead of posting old WaiWai items from the archives that are just going to get its writer in more trouble, why don't you go out, buy a couple of sleazy japanese weeklies, and try your hand at summarizing the stories? There's plenty of new stuff, and now that more people are alerted to it, there's a business opportunity for someone!

Mainichi newspaper has also been forcing the companies with forums that they can put pressure on to delete all posts by members that have anything at all to do with waiwai. The posts go back even 3 years. this does not seem in the spirit of free speech. free speech which allowed Mainichi to grow as a newspaper. I am surprised this website still has anything about waiwai.

Once they're finished with Waiwai, they can move on to The Comedy Channel's half-hour summary of quirky game shows "Sushi TV" - a TV program with much much wider reach than Waiwai.

So some of you should explan the "humour obvious to native English speakers" to OAS,
they did not seem to get it.
Official International Organization referred to the article as "TRUTH".
Now some heads should role for sure.


Indeed, what Mainichi is doing now is destruction of evidence, or violation of free speech! Mainichi requests Japanese major forums to delete copies of waiwai articles and most messages about the issue, and now curiously 2channeler is struggling to collect all of the past waiwai articles.

... that foreigners believe these tabloid stories?

Or maybe it's that the protesters believe them?

Do they honestly think that foreigners believe the waiting time between pig slaughtered and roast pork dinner is an hour or two!? If they do, then the real issue here is their contempt for foreigners

If these protesters really want to control what foreigners say or think about them, perhaps they should be turning their disapproving gazes inward; because these WaiWai articles have got nothing on the "live-action" octopus and eel porn that's readily available from Japan, let alone the rape movies and under-aged "girl-idol" DVDs.

These articles may be tasteless or even plain stupid, but I feel confident that the majority who read them fully realized they are fantasy, those that didn't realize are to unintelligent to count.

And lets face it, Japan is not innocent of practicing fantastic ideas about foreign people and cultures. I know; I live here.

The reality is the only people actually hurt by these stories are those at Mainichi Shinbun and their reputation.

Perhaps the protesters have an interest there? Hmmm :/

WaiWai contained many true stories and more untrue ones, in rather straight translation and intentionally distorted translation, from popular tabloids and rarely seen sex magazines, IN THE SAME FORMAT. Each story contained, of course, sentences translated from Japanese tabloids and ones fabricated by the Mainichi writers. Can you distinguish them?

Why are Japanese so determined to put blinders over foreigners' eyes and prevent them from seeing aspects about this country that might be a little embarrassing? Even respectable magazines like Bungei Shunju have run stories about sex and low-lifes. Maybe the Mainichi won't be covering it any more, but it's going to be hard to cover it up. Same goes for ero-manga, Japanese adult videos and the maid cafes in Akihabara. It's all part of human sexuality. Japan is not Saudi Arabia; foreigners here have a "right to know." You're going to have to learn to live with it.

> Why are Japanese so determined to put blinders over foreigners' eyes

Not only foreigners, but also most of Japanese people (especially women) do not know and have never seen such magazines as Tokusatu Shinsengumi or Jitsuwa Knuckles.

By reading such magazines, foreigners may think that they have found information hidden by Japanese people. But in reality such magazines are not hidden, simply unpopular because of full of sex gossips and fabricated stories.

I believe WaiWai's stated purpose was not necessarily tabloid, but to show examples of interesting stories appearing in Japanese magazines. Some of its stories were respectable human-interest stories. Others were risque. But it's pretty clear that most of the critics of the page seem to be engaging in sweeping accusations, which suggests they are making commentary based on hearsay, without having ever read the stories themselves. As far as suggesting that certain publications are "unpopular," I don't know their circulation figures, but I do know that the sports tabloid newspapers and manga, including girls' manga, are full of sex. All I have to do is look at what the person sitting next to me on the train is reading!

I think some people already pointed it out, but Mainichi Shinbun is freak'n (or was suppose to be, at this point) NEWS PAPER. Not a magazine, or Sports Newpaper... it was suppose to be a decent, CNN type newspaper. If people think those kind of articles were in, let's say, New York Times, then wouldn't people think "wow, Americans sure must be horny." That is the type of reactions Japanese people were afraid of when they found this out. When foreign people thought normal Japanese newspaper were saying stuff about Japanese School girls going berserk horny in a fastfood restaurant, etc etc, Japanese people thought foreign people would think that all Japanese people were "hentai" and horny.
You say that those tabloid newpaper and manga is not unpopular in Japan. That might be so, I don't have any statistics to show you, but that is not the point at all. Those risque book/magazines exists in almost every country for sure. To think that that kind of risque articles were shown on a Japanese Newspaper site is what was horrible.

To think that that kind of risque articles were shown on a Japanese Newspaper site is what was horrible.
If the issue is really about these risque things showing up an inappropriate place, then why was the reason they were taken down not "these types of articles are not appropriate for the publication"? Where did this explanation about a bad image about Japan to the world come from? That seems a little bit out of left field, no? I'm certainly not an expert on the Japan, although I have studied Japanese culture, but I did not realize they were this preoccupied with their image. This whole thing seems completely bizarre to me.

Free legal advice

The problem with Waiwai is what it was on the Mainichi’s website. After hearing about the end of Waiwai, I’ve finally realized that Waiwai conditioned me to never take the Mainichi seriously- and I absolutely never go to it for real news, even in the Japanese version.