Introducing Sugiyama

さて、すぎやまこういちの問題性は既に英語圏の人にはばれているのだった。東京オリンピック開会式を伝えるDaily Beastの、Jake Adelstein*2 and Chihiro Kai “A Notoriously Hateful Japanese Composer’s Music Just Opened the Tokyo Olympics” *3はすぎやまのことを次のように紹介している;

At tonight’s opener, the organizers used the music of Koichi Sugiyama, a notoriously homophobic and ultranationalist Japanese composer—despite warnings that it might go over very badly.

Sugiyama is a composer best known for his music created for The Dragon Quest game series, but he’s also well-known for his extremist views. He has worked with LGBTQ-bashers like the Liberal Democratic politician Mio Sugita. He’s denied the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese troops in the late 1930s. He has stated that the Korean women who were working as sex slaves to the Japanese empire were actually happy-go-lucky prostitutes. He’s a misogynist who does not believe in the equality of the sexes, and a homophobe who doesn’t believe children should be taught about homosexuality or that LGBTQ people should receive government support as “they don’t produce children.”

He’s also hosted a show on an arch-conservative television network in which he and Sugita shared laughs about the plights of racial and ethnic minorities. Sugita has also ridiculed journalist Shiori Ito, who was allegedly raped by a biographer of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Sugiyama keeps strange company.

Many would argue that you can separate the artist from their art, but in Games that are supposed to celebrate diversity, what sane person would use the music of someone who vocally opposes it? Certainly, his remarks about Japan’s well-documented war crimes are not sowing harmony.