Manga | Japanese publisher East Press has released a manga adaptation of the Koran as part of its series devoted to classic or historical literature. “The Koran is the foundation of the daily life and ideology of people who believe in the teachings of Islam,” the publisher writes on its website. “The name Islam is often heard in the daily news, but because we Japanese aren’t usually familiar with it, a perverted image [of Islam] as abstemious or linked to terrorism is liable to persist. So what kind of teachings do [Muslims] actually believe in? What are they thinking about? To understand the modern international community and Islam, let’s try to experience the scriptures where all that is written down.” East Press has adapted 133 famous works, ranging from War and Peace to the Bible to Mein Kampf. [Anime News Network]
The Israeli ambassador to Japan was shocked to discover a manga adaptation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the shelf of a Tokyo bookstore, so much so that he arranged a meeting with publisher East Press to express his dismay.
Ynetnews reports that while the publisher apologized and said he didn’t realize the book would offend anyone — it was released in 2008 as part of a series of historical adaptations that included Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and Tolstoy’s War and Peace — he explained that Mein Kampf had already sold out.
And so Ambassador Nissim Ben-Shitrit came up with a solution that, in his view, would provide a bit of balance: three manga adaptations of Bible stories, illustrated by some of the Mein Kampf artists. The books are now available in Japanese and in English from East Press.