?

Log in

death_note

Newsflash: Death Note Merchandise Outlawed in China

« previous entry | next entry »
Jan. 30th, 2005 | 05:28 am
posted by: sub_divided in death_note

In this post, choka linked to an article about sociologists in the Chinese city of Shenyang and their reactions to imitation Death Notes. Specifically, the sociologists thought they were a very, very bad idea, and that they ought to be banned.

Actually, they are. From all the schools in Shenyang.

In case that site updates and the news gets pushed off the front page, here's the article:

1-29-05---- Shi No Note Controversy In China
Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba's Shi No Note (Death Note) manga has been a big hit and point of controversy with schoolchildren in China recently. An actual ban on items related to the work has been implemented in Shenyang City schools where it's been considered threatening. Some students had purchased Shi No Note stationary with the header "The Person's Name Written Here Will Die In 40 Seconds." Students were reportedly writing the names of hated teachers on the slips of paper. The local press mentioned "The note is a poison that creates a wicked mind".

***

Emphasis on the last line is mine. I'd just like to point out how incredibly appropriate it is, considering the in-manga parallels. Are the sociologists right? Is it unhealthy to use fan merchandise to mentally kill people you don't like? Also, do the schools have a right to ban merchandise for this reason?

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {24}

Shelia

(no subject)

from: asuki
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 10:48 am (UTC)
Link

Also, does the city have a right to ban merchandise for this reason?

The Chinese Government is terribly supressive, so I'm not surprised they banned the sell of these Death Notes. If they don't like it, they bad it. It's as simple as that. Then again, the Death Notes were being sold in local stationary stores.

To some extent, the note will definitely be alluring. Though if I ever got a Death Note (and I would like one! Merchandise. <3) I wouldn't write in it. (because I'm an anal like that) Shenyang is not a big city, so incidents as such would create a bit of an uproar. Personally, I think if such things were sold in Shanghai, Guangzhou and other big cities in China, (I'm excluding HongKong) and they are being sold, (my friend was just in Shanghai a few days ago and was about to buy it for me.) it wouldn't be as big a problem.

It's ambiguous, this whole issue of whether or not a Death Note has the power to corrupt. I think there's a bit of evil inside everyone, it just depends if that nature is revealed. I think the authors did take into account something like this might happen, fandom or not. Then again, are we to ban people buying Naruto ninja gear, toy swords and all that? Granted, none of them are quite 'serious' as a Death Note might be, but let's face it, merchandise (especially illegal ones) are shady. :D

Reply | Thread

Venky

(no subject)

from: erulisse
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 11:10 am (UTC)
Link

Their concern is that the death notes are poisoning the minds of the people, but then again, does it mean that without these death notes, "poisonous thoughts" will not exist? This is merely one channel through which people vent their hate and frustration.

I think it's fine just as long as people know that this is purely fiction and nothing more, but then again, just as there are sensible fans, there are also the deluded ones, and it is against those that the authorities are being careful.

I mean, hey, some schools here (Singapore) have even banned the Harry Potter series (last I heard) because of its witchcraft content. Imagine the uproar death notes are going to cause if they ever made it here. ^_~

Reply | Thread

Kalika Maxwell

(no subject)

from: kalikamaxwell
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
Link

Eh? I don't see a problem with it. If anything, it encourage passive hate. Write down the name of the person you hate and wait for them to drop. Might take a few years, but it'll happen, I promise! Everything else in anime, books and movies promotes violence that's way more dangerous. Book versus gun, I know what I'd rather be attacked with. Nobody freaks out when kids aims toy guns at each other and go 'boom, you're dead' or jab each other with sticks supposed to be swords, so, what's so bad with this?

I just know I want a Death Note. I always carry a notebook around to write down ideas and plot stories, this would be the top of coolness. *starts watching ebay* Be niiice.

Reply | Thread

Corina B.

(no subject)

from: neko_no_baka
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 09:27 pm (UTC)
Link

dude, K-chan, when did you start reading DN?

**nods** but I agree. passive. Everyone hates once in a while, so why not let them have a release that doesn't actually hurt anyone.

and if I had a REAL deathnote, I'd probably go after corrupt political leaders, not to name anyone...
but I wrote Death Note on my school sketchbook, so that I tell people, "if you don't want to see nekkid people, don't go into the death note." I'm amused by their reactions.
but an official deathnote notebook... **waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant** just cause, it'll be neat!! actually, I'd want a couple, I doodle in my notes ^.^

I'm not sure whether schools should ban them. Like, I can understand banning cell phones and other gadgets, but a notebook? personally, that would be like banning a spider-man notebook because it has violence on the front! banning it doesn't mean that it ceases to exist.

but as long as it doesn't disrupt the learning, I don't think that schools have the right.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Diost

(no subject)

from: death_iost
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
Link

Is it unhealthy to use fan merchandise to mentally kill people you don't like? Also, do the schools have a right to ban merchandise for this reason?
I'd say it's more unhealty to mentally kill than to actually kill. If someone is silly enough to write a person's name down they don't like, it's better than the person going and pysically hurting the hated person. It's better writing down a name in a book than throwing homemade ninja stars at someone. >>;
I belive it's unnecessary for the school's to ban it just for that reason. People get angry, it's a fact, and when people get angry at other people, sometimes they just want to hurt them. What better to vent out anger than to just write their name down? No harm done at all.

Reply | Thread

Fiammatta

(no subject)

from: fusakugyoku
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
Link

I too admit that I'd LOVE to have a DN of my own, but I must say that it was REALLY STUPID for the company that produces these to make them...I mean, you don't have to be a psychic to know that there would be controversy over fake DNs...and I'm sure that at least one person will be killed because of them.

DNs really AREN'T like toy shuriken or little kid's games...DNs are much more psychological and really could quotequote "poison minds" of impressionable or deranged fans. Yes, you're channeling your angry feelings, but in this case, you're turning it into "I want this person to die," which would strengthen rather than inhibit them. That is not a good thing.

I mean, the point of Death Note is that the DN is BAD...if you go around SELLING them, that kinda destroys the message...Mixed messages+impressionable kids=not good thing.

Stupid commercialists...sure, DNs will sell, but they're just as likely to be banned and result in a death.

*pauses*

Reply | Thread

the_pixelized

(no subject)

from: the_pixelized
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
Link

I lolled.

Reply | Thread

please just take these photos from my hands

(no subject)

from: fiendery
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
Link

I have to say that I also think it's not exactly a good idea. Even IF it's "better" than going and physically harming someone, it still breeds the malicious sentiment. It doesn't alleviate anything--it aggravates it. Writing a person's name down in a Death Note, wishing for that death, won't satisfy anything and more than likely, will make the bitterness worse. And in the end, that's not a better situation.

True, physical action is less desirable than this, to a certain extent. But it's a detriment to the person's mental health (in some cases, anyway). Writing the name down won't fix anything. Yes, I know, I'm thinking of the most ideal situation, and it's certainly not the likely one, but this isn't any better than a fistfight. It just worsens the anger that gets a person to write the name down in the first place.

Uh...I DID just wake up, so the thought process and diction here are probably TOTALLY screwed up. Terribly sorry!

Reply | Thread

Zeda

(no subject)

from: zeda_chan
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 08:28 pm (UTC)
Link

I agree with SO many of the commenters here already: Even if the kids writing on that DN stationary are serious and really want the people whose names they're writing down to die, I think that writing it down and waiting for it is MUCH better than going after them physically. If those kids mean it seriously and they're genuinely messed-up in the head, it's a LOT better that they use the 'Death Note' method to dispence their justice rather than the 'Naruto' method, or elsewise. The Death Note way of killing folks is a LOT more passive: no shooting or stabbing or kicking involved. It reminds me of this girl in my Middle School who had serious mental issues: she thought she was telekinetic and whenever she got mad at a teacher or classmate, she would sit there and squint her eyes at them or objects near them and fume until she got over it. WAY better than if she thought she was a ninja, for example, and threw things at the teacher... or tried to stab and slash them with makeshift swords.

Reply | Thread

a limited function

(no subject)

from: lacunarity
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
Link

Sigh...once again, people mistake symptoms for causes. Instead of trying to determine why a person behaves a certain way, they just outlaw that kind of behavior. Nothing is solved--they'll just look for another outlet. But so long as that particular symptom disappears, everything is just fine.

Counceling, encouraging positive outlets, even understanding that there is a big difference between thought and action would all help these kids. Violent fantasies are perfectly natural, and as much a part of our psyche as sexual fantasies. So long as people control themselves and don't act on these fantasies, they're okay.

The DN is just a part of this. It's no more malicious than saying "drop dead" to a person. Sure, these kind of insults/threats hurt, but most people don't believe someone will actually drop dead just by saying those words (or writing their name in a notebook). The book is harmless.

I'm not sure of the age range here, but do any of you remember the reaction towards the Colombine shootings? The kids responsible for it were called the "Trenchcoat Mafia," a bunch of picked-on highschoolers who liked wearing black trenchcoats. One of the things that came out of these shootings? Banning of trenchcoats in some schools. Because, obviously, if it weren't for the trenchcoats, none of this would have happened.

Underlying causes. Look deep. The DN does not cause anyone to be mean, violent, or murderous. It's just a notebook. It's fiction.

And now I shall step off my soapbox. Thank you.

Reply | Thread

Corina B.

(no subject)

from: neko_no_baka
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 09:37 pm (UTC)
Link

**claps**

well said!!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Pi

(no subject)

from: lukita
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
Link

Nice, and you said it ten times better than how I would have put it.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Zeda

(no subject)

from: zeda_chan
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:26 am (UTC)
Link

WONDERFULLY well-spoken! I think that SO many adults have that sort of system: punish people for the symptoms and not for the crime. A person who has sexual fantasies isn't going to rape people, even if their sexual fantasies involve non-con sex. Some people are into kink with consenting fellow adults, and that sort of intercourse isn't outlawed (that I know of) for 'breeding rapists'.

Yes, I remember the Trenchcoat Mafia... I was in Middle School at the time, I believe. They wouldn't let kids wear trenchcoats even in the winter time, preferring to make them freeze. They would force kids to tuck in their shirts, even if they were overshirts of rough material: some kids came home with rubbed-raw skin as such. And for what? People should ALWAYS seek to share the truth of reality with kids, not 'shield' them from it and ban things that promote 'symptoms'... -_-; If a person is going to be a rapist or a murderer, it's not because of the videogame they played or the book they read.

Reply | Parent | Thread

lyn

(no subject)

from: miyu
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 08:56 pm (UTC)
Link

haha totally agree XD
the book is harmless :O and i don't think it'll turn people into evil raitos unless the book actually DID kill people >_>; you could just as easily make your own death note o_o; its a book to write names on... quite harmless >_>

Reply | Thread

ringo kurosaki

(no subject)

from: ringononohara
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 10:24 pm (UTC)
Link

heh... China has a ton of other more pressing issues to be taken care of, i'd say the DN shouldn't even be on their to-do list... o.O'' how about worrying about all the poisonous food their companies are making which totally affects not only children's health, but everyone's health?!

i too would like a DN.. xD i think it's a good outlet of hate and anger that we all have... and like some already said, it's a way better method than physically letting out our anger...

besides, people just need to notice the difference between manga and reality for DN to be nothing more than a good outlet of emotions... and it's easy in this case since our death notes wouldn't be coming with ryuuku or rem... xD

Reply | Thread

Pi

(no subject)

from: lukita
date: Jan. 30th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)
Link

Hey, everyone needs a little hair and glass in their diet, I'm sure of it. Sometimes I'm embrassed for the Chinese government, they don't seem to have the whole logic thing worked out yet.

Reply | Parent | Thread

strawberry miwako

(no subject)

from: geckochan
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 12:19 am (UTC)
Link

Wow, everyone's made such good points. I do agree that it's better than kids actually attacking people, and there's plenty of pretend violence of a more physical type prompted by hundreds of other series already. I *do* think it's unhealthy to go around writing down the names of everyone you wish dead, it definitely breeds and encourages negativity and hate, but naturally, people would be doing and thinking that sort of stuff anyway. Rather, I have a problem with the series being trivialized and marketed to kids in this way to begin with. Many other series are trivial to begin with, but Death Note, especially in its earlier chapters, really made you think and raised some good sociological questions, so marketing toy Deathnotes, glamourizing it and ignoring those questions, is concerning. But instead of parents/authorities/whoever standing around complaining, I wish they would instead use their time to teach kids to discuss and think about things, to treat things seriously, instead of thinking that because kids treat things frivolously, they shouldn't be exposed to those things at all...laying blame rather than realizing that if they want kids to be thoughtful and positive, they need to teach and model it, it's not gonna happen magically while they stand around and complain.
Wow, that was long. Just ignore me ^_^

Reply | Thread

Zeda

(no subject)

from: zeda_chan
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:33 am (UTC)
Link

Well, as to making Death Notes... I believe that the message "The Person's Name Written Here Will Die In 40 Seconds" was most probably part of the artwork designed and placed on the stationary that was being sold. So letters and stationary with DN illustrations on them does not really amount to 'toy Death Notes'...

Reply | Parent | Thread

strawberry miwako

(no subject)

from: geckochan
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:36 am (UTC)
Link

Well the Death Notes are pretty much magical stationary to begin with, so naturally all a toy death note would be would be stationary...

Reply | Parent | Thread

subdee

(no subject)

from: sub_divided
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:37 am (UTC)
Link

Ah, but they're selling the whole notebook, too. Real leather, very official-looking.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Fiammatta

(no subject)

from: fusakugyoku
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
Link

Note that it's not the government that's banning these. It's a few schools in Shenyang.

In other words, this is hardly an issue at all. It's like one school district in the country.

Reply | Thread

subdee

(no subject)

from: sub_divided
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:35 am (UTC)
Link

Oh, I know. That's why I asked whether it was right for schools to ban the items, not whether it was right for the government to outlaw them. I still think it's an interesting question, wider relevance notwithstanding.

(I really shouldn't have used the word "illegal," though. People are getting the wrong impression.)

For the record, here's what I think-

I agree with the psychologists: revenge fantasies are unhealthy. Or, at least, they can be, and it only takes one tragedy to overule a thousand harmless cases. I think the schools had every right to ban those notebooks.

If it had been a government ban, that would have been different--a violation of civil rights, not that this has ever particularly bothered the Chinese government before. Schools, on the other hand, are closed communities with a certain level of responsibility toward their students. Banning stationary is no more invasive than banning, say, noisy alarm watches--actually, it's less, as without a watch some students will not be able to tell the time. Lack of stationary isn't even an inconvience.

Reply | Parent | Thread

strawberry miwako

(no subject)

from: geckochan
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 04:38 am (UTC)
Link

I'd agree with that (although they'd probably just keep them at home, but I do also agree that such fantasies can be unhealthy)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Go Angel

hmmmm...

from: go_angel
date: Jan. 31st, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
Link

I'm not exactly sure if I'm for the ban, but I have to admit it'd kinda innerving to know there are fake death notes being made. Although it's less dangerous than having children attack each other as ninjis, it's not exactly a preferrable/healthy option either.

I guess it plays with superstition...writing down someone's name to wish them dead is a form of spell. If you think of it that way, it's easy to see why death note stationary might be creating paranoia, and why the chinese government would want them banned. I know for sure that I'd be seriously freaked if someone wrote my name in their death note, and I found out about it...

Despite saying that, I want one too. (they look awsome, I just wouldn't write in it...)

Reply | Thread