Japanese Wikipedia on Burning Pro


The Japanese-language Wikipedia is a very helpful online resource — especially for those looking for information about celebrities and Japanese popular culture. The management companies tightly control most information in the mainstream media on these topics, so Wikipedia writers appear to be excitedly writing entries about issues normally “taboo” elsewhere in society.

Take, for example, the entry about one of Japan’s most powerful talento production companies, Burning Production. There is a very short section of basic descriptive information, and then it jumps into the following story:

At daybreak May 9th, 2001, an incident occurred involving bullets being shot into the window glass of Burning Production’s office. An anonymous report was called in to the Akasaka police that “in the early morning, there was sound of a gunshot in the mansion occupied by Burning Pro.” An officer from that station investigated the scene and found two bullets each were shot into two rooms. Later that day, the office staff — who should have noticed the incident — did not notify the police.

On October 8th, bullets were again shot into the window glass, and the police’s 4th investigative section investigated the relation, opening up an investigation into whether or not there had been trouble with parties related to organized crime. After an inspection of the crime scene, officers learned that “the 38-caliber revolver bullets had adequate faculty to kill or wound.”

For the most part, this story was not reported in the newspapers or mass media. In May 29th, 2005, the Tokyo National Tax Agency accused the firm of failing to report 1.1 billion yen in taxes.

And then the entry nonchalantly lists the names of Burning’s famous talent as if this kind of activity was normal for Japan’s entertainment world. For those unfamiliar with Japan’s amazingly low crime rates, gunshots are rare, and their occurrence generally makes the evening news. You would think that (gunshots) + (Japan’s most powerful entertainment agency) = (a big story) but apparently not.

Burning should probably work a lot harder to clean up this Wikipedia article. From the way it’s written now, it almost reads as if they were affiliated with organized crime!

W. David MARX (Marxy)
August 21, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

6 Responses

  1. Carl Says:

    I tend to find Japanese wiki articles to be mostly long list of dry facts… “Here’s every album someone did: …” But a lot of that is caused by my near illiteracy. :/

  2. dave Says:

    “it almost reads as if they were affiliated with organized crime!”
    perish the thought

  3. Chris_B Says:

    A talent agency connected with organized crime? Next thing you know we’ll be hearing that Rikidozan was actually North Korean or something like that.

  4. marxy Says:

    I’m not sure if you saw it, but Wada Akiko came out as being Korean recently. A good deal of celebrities and athletes in Japan are secretly Korean, and I’ll know this Korea Boom is the real deal when everyone starts disclosing…

  5. Jrim Says:

    I’ll know this Korea Boom is the real deal when everyone starts disclosing…

    I thought said boom was on the way out. Am I missing something…?

  6. BJN Says:

    Moog died. Also they’re remaking “Yakuza.” Can’t wait to read tomorrow.