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A Popular Japanese Cosmetic Surgeon Is Called Out for Admiring Nazism

Takasu Pikotaro Pineapple Pen

A commercial for Takasu Clinic, featuring Takasu Katsuya (left) and Japanese viral entertainment sensation Pikotaro (right). So far, the YouTube upload of the TV commercial has been viewed more than 1.2 million times. Screencap from official Takasu Clinic YouTube channel. NOTE: Since this article was published, Takasu Clinic has removed the video from YouTube.

A prominent Japanese cosmetic surgeon has earned the condemnation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a US-based Jewish human rights organization, after a blogger translated a series of his pro-Nazi tweets into English.

Dr. Takasu Katsuya has apparently been tweeting his admiration for the Nazis in Japanese since at least 2015. Despite this, he remains a popular, if controversial media presence in Japan, regularly appearing on prime television programs and wildly popular commercials for his business.

Reportedly a billionaire, Takasu, 72, has gained renown in Japan and throughout the world for his innovative approach to cosmetic surgery.  After opening his first cosmetic surgery practice in 1976, he steadily grew a chain of clinics across Japan, while introducing liposuction to the country and patenting new techniques such as pubic hair transplants and armpit gland treatments. Takasu is a member of several prominent Japanese medical associations, as well as the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

Takasu is also known for making outrageous statements, as well as for his public feuds. In late August 2017, Takasu's decision to take Onishi Kensuke, a member of Japan's opposition Democratic Party, to court for defamation made headlines.

Takasu admired the Nazis and denied the Holocaust in past tweets.

However, when Estonia-based blogger Kino Toshiki, a member of Japan-based Counter-Racist Action Collective (C.R.A.C.), decided to translate some of Takasu's tweets about Nazism into English, Japanese media started to examine Takasu more closely, especially after the Simon Wiesenthal Center stated that Takasu's Twitter posts “violate all norms of decency and reveal a person who is a racist antisemite and outright lover of Nazism.”

On his blog, Kino Toshiki gathered and, with help from translator and activist Katsumi Takahiro, translated some of Takasu's tweets from October 2015. In them, Takasu expresses admiration for Nazism. He also denies that the Nanjing Massacre, committed by Japanese troops against Chinese civilians and disarmed combatants, and the murder of Jewish people and others at Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II had occurred:

There is no doubt that the Jews were persecuted. But we only know it from hearsay and all of it is based on information from the Allies. Aren't we acting the same as the Chinese people who believe in the Nanjing Massacre? I only want to know the truth.

I think both the Nanjing and Auschwitz are fabrications.

That particular string of statements was triggered by an initial tweet of his in which he credited a Professor Kuroki with showing him “how great Nazism was” (ナチスの偉大さ):

Reunited with Hon. Prof. Kuroki who taught me how great Nazism was when I was studying at the Kiel University in Germany. I’m so glad for having received his encouragement just now!

Kuroki Yoshikatasu works as a surgeon specializing in hip replacements at Zama General Hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture, west of Tokyo, and sits as a board member on a number of national medical committees in Japan. According to his CV, Kuroki at one time headed the department of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Kiel, in Germany. As one Japanese Internet commenter remarked, Kuroki does not appear to have any specialist knowledge of history.

Takasu praised the ‘remarkable progress’ of Nazi medicine.

At the time, many questioned Takasu's statements about Nazism and the war, sparking a Twitter debate that would last for several weeks in October 2015. For example, when asked, “I wonder how Dr. Takasu thinks about the fact that 200,000 people who were regarded as physically or mentally disabled were massacred by so-called ‘German medicine’ under the Nazi regime?”

Takasu responded:

I think it is Allied propaganda. In the massive air raid on Tokyo [during the war], far many more people were massacred in one single night. I wonder how you people think about that.

Takasu also used Twitter to repeatedly express his admiration for Nazi science and medicine, including making the following statement:

Until we [Japan] were defeated in the Greater East Asia War, Japan's medicine followed German-style medicine. There was a remarkable progress in German medicine under the Nazi regime. So what is so wrong about being delighted to reunite with Hon. Prof. Kuroki who taught me this?!

His tweets fail to mention that medical science under the Nazis was known for its heinous experiments on concentration camp prisoners who were killed or left permanently disfigured in the process.

More of Takasu's translated Twitter posts have been translated by Kino Toshiki, and can be read here.

Takasu's popularity remains largely unchanged, despite his opinions.

In an email interview with Global Voices, Kino said he chose to highlight the Japanese cosmetic surgeon's online posts because Takasu “repeatedly makes these kinds of statements, such as justifying Japan's invasion of Asia, admiring kamikaze pilots, making hate speech against Korean people, and so on. I just picked up some of his most extreme statements this time.”

Takasu's personal opinions don't seem to have affected his popularity in Japan much. In his blog post, Kino notes:

Despite his numerous “revisionist” statements, the cosmetic surgeon who openly praises Nazi scientists has rarely been criticized by the Japanese media, most probably because he is one of the most influential sponsors of TV broadcasters in Japan.

Japan's Counter Racist Action Collective (C.R.A.C.), of which Kino is a member, also notes that Takasu, as the head of an extremely profitable network of cosmetics clinics in Japan, is an influential television sponsor, highlighting a recent and highly popular television advertisement for the clinics featuring entertainer Pikotaro, whose Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen Song became a viral hit in late 2016:

NOTE: Since this article was published, Takasu Clinic has removed the video from YouTube.

Takasu’s American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery membership ‘should be canceled immediately,’ the Simon Wiesenthal Center says.

After Kino published English translations Takasu's tweets on August 19, he says an anonymous Japanese netizen notified the influential Simon Wiesenthal Center, which works in part to confront antisemitism.

By August 22, Kino published a news release the Simon Wiesenthal Center had sent to news outlets around the world, urging the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery to take action against Takasu. The letter concludes by saying:

The last thing our world needs today is the embrace of Nazi ideology, under whose banner physicians carried out unspeakable crimes in the name of ‘progress.’ Takasu’s continued membership in the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery should be canceled immediately.

There has been no official statement yet on the Simon Wiesenthal Center website, and no response from either the American Academy or Takasu, but the Jerusalem Post reported on the Wiesenthal Center‘s censure of Takasu on August 23, as well as in a number of Japanese online media outlets.

This is not the first time prominent Japanese media and business people have expressed fondness for the Nazi regime or been implicated in anti-Semitism. Earlier in 2017, APA Group was forced to apologize after an in-house publication left in guest rooms in Coast Hotels, the Japanese company's Canadian subsidiary, equated “international finance capital” with “Jewish capital.”

In November 2016, a Japanese pop group caused international outrage after its members dressed up in what looked like Nazi uniforms for a Halloween concert. And in 2002, a high-level civil servant was also criticized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for referring to “money-grubbing ghoulish Jews” while discussing social and economic issues.

Twitter users criticize Takasu using the #NaziClinic hashtag.

As for Takasu, even though he has made no mention of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's news release, he seems to have been caught off guard by Kino's blog post.

He took particular offense to the Twitter hashtag “Nazi clinic” (ナチスクリニック) or “nachisu” clinic, a play on the words “Takasu Clinic,” which sprung up in response. In a tweet on August 24, 2017, Takasu complained:

Take my eyes [off Twitter] for a moment, and a ton of falsehoods are made about me.

┐(‘~`;)┌

If you don't crush them right away, these little bastards will immediately start spreading falsehoods. It's too much of a pain in the ass to track down these good-for-nothing hard-to-find and hard-to-crush little parasites, but I will never forgive whatever crumb-bum launched this “Nazi Clinic” attack on me.

For the time being, Takasu, by all accounts, remains unapologetic about his statements, despite the overwhelming evidence of the Nazis’ atrocities, and despite criticism of his remarks both in Japan, and, increasingly, abroad.

English translations of tweets in this piece, except for the final two tweets, were provided by Kino Toshiki and Katsumi Takahiro. In some cases their English translations have been slightly edited for style.

This article has been updated to reflect that Kino Toshiki did not initially contact Simon Wiesenthal Center; instead, an anonymous Japanese netizen did.

28 comments

  • umbertosaba

    Of course he knowingly deliver his political messages. He is just in line with paranoiac revisioninst doctrine. he want to erase the undeniable tragédies in Germany, Poland, China, Korea, other Asian countries and Japan. He praised several times forced kamikaze suiciders.
    International adacemic societies should reconsider his membership. Every academics should be honest to the history and the ethical exigences derived from it.

  • SAT

    It is fake news, because Mr. Takasu deny Nazism.
    He only want to know TRUTH and he recognize German medical tech at that time.
    He’s not racist, but I feel that there is the conspiracy that someone lead him to set just like racist up.

    • Thank you for your comment (I am the author). You said:

      >>I feel that there is the conspiracy that someone lead him to set just like racist up.

      Do you think someone else made Takasu’s pro-Nazi tweets?

      • SAT

        Thank you for your comment.

        Mr. Takasu was hated from Japanese traitors, because he tweets like right-wing.
        His tweet isn’t forged, but his tweets was introduced partially.

        Look this.
        https://twitter.com/katsuyatakasu/status/899743590091341824

        “I think excellent scientists who received the protection of the Nazis was worthy of respect. But Nazism of racial discrimination is the opposite of my Hakki Ichimoto ideology.”
        “Although the Third Empire and the Japan Empire differed each other’s ideology, there was a common enemy, so it was only a pair of hands.”
        “I just do synchronize what I care about the good points of the Nazis, but I don’t synchronize what I care about the bad points.”

        Japanese traitors criticize only about Nazis, and They never criticize Chinese suppression of human rights.
        Their purpose is clear.

        • He said in the tweets here that a) he admires Nazi medicine and b) he doesn’t believe Jews were killed at Auschwitz.

          You can’t qualify or explain statements like that.

          As for China, I report on Japan, not China. If you take a look at Global Voices, you will see many, many, many articles that are critical of the Chinese government’s suppression of human rights.

          So, your statement “They never criticize Chinese suppression of human rights” is not correct.

  • neutral japanese

    Members of the National Assembly named Arita Yoshifu have been appealed by Dr. Takasu for business disturbance and Dr. Takasu’s “German medicine developed in the Nazi era” in order to lower the evaluation of internationally renowned Dr. Takasu It is the truth that he is trying to let him attack by notifying the Simon Wiesenthal center that he is a “Nazi follower”.

    Dr. Takasu’s remarks are legal in Japan domestic law. Arita ‘s fellows are also known as “Shibaki tai” and are famous for causing a number of violent cases, and he himself is a former Japanese Communist Party.

    Sorry,i can understand Japanese language only,these sentence translated by google translate.

    • Thanks for your comment. I think the Google Translate version is understandable. If you would like me to translate your Japanese for you, I am happy to help.

      Anyway…

      Dr. Takasu’s remarks are legal in Japan. However, they are unsavory.

      Arita-san seems to have many supporters, yes. However, I believe the Communist Party is also legal in Japan.

      If Takasu makes pro-Nazi comments (please read the article above), then Takasu must expect to be criticized.

      The Nazis did many terrible things, including experimenting on human beings.

      Thank you once again for your comment, and thank you for reading this article.

  • umbertosaba

    Why conspiracy? His twitters are authentic. He has never alleged impersonation. Twitter SNS just gave him to express his political opinions. That’s all. Nobody can provide that evidence of his alleged denial of his pro-nazi political stance. THere is no controversy. What is to be considered is how to react to it.

    • SAT

      Look this.
      https://twitter.com/katsuyatakasu/status/899743590091341824

      “I think excellent scientists who received the protection of the Nazis was worthy of respect. But Nazism of racial discrimination is the opposite of my Hakki Ichimoto ideology.”
      “Although the Third Empire and the Japan Empire differed each other’s ideology, there was a common enemy, so it was only a pair of hands.”
      “I just do synchronize what I care about the good points of the Nazis, but I don’t synchronize what I care about the bad points.”

      Japanese law don’t prohibit to talk about Nazis, and his tweet only analyze the Nazis’s good point and bad point.

      By the way, I think Israel doing similarly thing to Nazis.
      But this my feeling is punished in EU, may be.

      USA’s and EU’s freedom of speech is suppressed for about Nazis’s everything.
      Their law allow only negative talking about Nazis.
      I don’t evaluate Nazis’s racial discrimination ever, but I feel this suppression by the law is crazy.

      • saimaru

        This part is a mistranslation by Communist Kino Toshiki and his friend(perhaps, intentionally).The correct translation is as follows: Reunited with Hon. Prof. Kuroki who taught me Nazi’s greatness(Kino and his friend misled by using the words “How” and “Nazism” ).

        • It’s not a mistranslation. I am a J>E translator, a native speaker of English, and a professional writer.

          “Hon. Prof. Kuroki who taught me Nazi’s greatness” is not correct English.

          Anyway, it means the same thing as “Hon. Prof. Kuroki who taught me how great Nazism was.”

          It is the same meaning, but Kino-san’s translation is correct English.

          (Your English is very good, though.)

          • saimaru

            Do you understand Japanese in detail?Obviously, Communist Kano-san’s translation is a mistranslation.

            Dr.Takasu tweeted “ナチスの偉大さ (the greatness of Nazi).” in Japanese.Dr.Takasu never tweeted “ナチズムの偉大さ (the greatness of Nazism).”
            “Nazi” and “Nazism” do not have the same meaning.

            ナチズム(Nazism) means Nazi’s political and social thought, Nationalism, narrow-minded nationalism and dictatorship so If Takasu tweeted “the Greatness of Nazism,” Dr.Takasu is regarded as a Hitler believer.
            but Dr.Takasu commented on Twitter as follows. “Excellent scientists protected from the Nazis are worthy of respect. However, racist Nazism is opposite to my hakkoichiu ideology. The Third Reich and Empire of Japan are at the opposite extreme of each other ideology, but because they had common enemies(was communism), they just joined hands.I just evaluate good points of Nazis but do not synchronize unacceptable parts of Nazis.
            高須克弥‏認証済みアカウント @katsuyatakasu ナチスの庇護を受けた優秀な科学者は尊敬に価する。しかし人種差別のナチズムは僕の八紘一宇のイデオロギーの対極である。 第三帝国と大日本帝国はお互いのイデオロギーが違うが共通の敵があったので手を組んだにすぎない。 僕はナチスの良いところを評価し気にくわないことには同調しないだけだ。 5:22 – 2017年8月22日

             
        • [responding to your last comment below]

          Yeah, I understand Japanese. You’re wrong; you don’t understand Nazism (which is why you think the translation is incorrect; you are incorrect).

          You said:

          >I just evaluate good points of Nazis

          There are no “good points of Nazis” or Nazism. (Nazis = Nazism)

          Why do you not understand that?

          Takasu praises Nazi medicine. The Nazis experimented on human beings.

          「海と毒薬」を読むべきでしょう。

  • a Jap, anti-nazi,anti-Hirohito

    Nangjing Genocide is truth. Because group of Jap’s veterans checked it.
    However, Jap’s totalitarians ignored it. Because its fact is extremely
    inconvenient for lunatic Nazi-Hirohito. What a coward person they are!

    Takasu’s tweets are nothing but nazi-praise. SAT and neutral japanese
    (←Look at the mirror, you idiot! You are not “neutral” but “Lunatic Hirohito”)
    are stupid. Because they can’t know themselves. But, Takasu is frantically to make
    an excuse for his tweets. His attitude is very ugly.
    Mad Jap-nazi like SAT and neutral japanese( ´,_ゝ`) must say to Takasu,
    “Fight uglier, and die ugliest”!

    • SAT

      You are just totalitarian.
      I’m nothing to you.

  • neutral japanese

    Although the Japanese Communist Party is legal indeed, it is subject to monitoring by the Public Security Police because it keeps the policies of “abolition of the Emperor”, “abolition of the SDF,” “armed revolution”. They often attack people whose opinions are conflicting. A former Communist member Arita ‘s fellow “Shibaki tai (also known as C.R.A.C)” is also subject to monitoring as it often causes violent cases. His name “Yoshifu” was also taken from “Joseph Stalin”. Besides, he also has suspicions closely with North Korea, attacking those who are critical of China and North Korea as “extreme right” and “discrimination”, and Dr. Takasu is also fighting with Arita in a court.

    Arita’s name rarely appears in the news because Japan’s mass communication has a lot of Communist Party members, but Arita is also using Arita returning from North Korea’s abductee for his own business.

    Dr. Takasu has established a fund of 1 billion yen to support medical expenses for medical students of Tibetan refugees with his private property and in the case of Japanese disasters (East Japan great earthquake, Kumamoto earthquake etc), helicopters are manipulated on their own and assistance We also transport goods. Today, Dr. Takasu also conveyed technology to Korea in the orthopedic power. I also remit 10 million yen to the Taiwan earthquake the next day. He paid a salary to Nigeria’s football national team to be on the Olympic Games too.
    We also donate 10 million yen to medical doctors without border.
    He is a wonderful humanitarian and patriot and also joins Freemasonry.
    Arita hated him from the bottom of his heart, discriminated from him, picked up his remarks to become advantageous in litigation, and reported to Simon Weissent Center.

    Again, Dr. Takasu is only evaluating the medical science of the Nazi era, it is by no means a follower of the Nazis. He does not tolerate discrimination or massacre. It may be uncomfortable for you, but it should be distinguished.

    Benz and BMW also developed greatly in the Nazi era. Volkswagen is the product of Hitler’s national car concept. Dr. Porsche also cooperated in prototyping the Tiger tank. The brand Hugo Boss supplied uniforms of Weffen SS. Elevator, Escalator’s largest European company, ThyssenKrupp, used to make tanks and turrets of warships to contribute to the war in Nazis.
    These Nazi cooperating companies should condemn more if Dr. Takasu’s remarks do not cooperate at all with Nazi.

    Evaluation should be free, and even if evaluation is not allowed, it is with KGB of Stalin era. In fact, his remarks are not a problem in Japan, and at the moment only Arita and his friends are making noise about it. Or was not based on facts, was German medicine degenerated in the Nazi era, was it admired?

    You should not cooperate with Communists, although the world is more damaged by Communists than Nazis. And Arita should not cooperate with Dr. Takasu who is likely to lose the lawsuit.

    • Sorry, I don’t agree. If you say that you approve of Nazi medical techniques, you must also understand that the Nazis tested on human beings. Please research “Joseph Mengele.”

  • kiki

    Aug.24 takasu’s tweets,he didn’t write “little busterd” “little parasits”.
    He wrote that “シラミsirami”mean “lice” in english.
    I think so he is maybe racist.

    • Actually, I translated シラミ as “parasite”. I couldn’t use it twice. In English, we don’t call internet trolls “lice” or a single internet troll a “louse.” We call them trolls. A “louse”, in English, is a dishonest person. Shoko Asahara might be called a “louse.”

      Takasu did use the word シラミ. You might be interested to know that the Nazis called Jewish people and other victims “lice.” In the Rwandan genocide, the Tutsis, who were murdered, were also called “lice.”

      So, I gave Takasu the benefit of the doubt when I translated シラミ as “little bastards.”

  • jamawns

    This article is based on biased information, or fake news.
    Takasu admired the accomplishment of Natiz, not Natizm.
    Communist Kino mascarades as victim.

    Focus on the fact, not denying but accepting. Otherwise, ‘nobody believes nobody society’ will come.
    Holocaust should never never happen again as well as Victim pritention as a tool to destroy fundamental human right and carrer sholdn’t be allowed.

    Auschwitz didn’t have such a gas room, 6million of death toll was propaganda made by USSR and corrected 4 million to 1.5 million on Auchwitz monument stone, Ann’s diary was not necessarily written by Ann,
    However, in fact, other Concentration camps had perhaps gas room, holocaust such 1.5 millin had happened, Ann’s diary is worthwhile as story for humanism based on history.

  • SMER

    I’m Japanese. I want to apologize to you Because I have an obligation as a Japanese.
    Nazism and discrimination are widespread on the Internet of Japan
    People affected by that thought may have made you feel uncomfortable.
    They are not growing up to adults.
    I’m really sorry.

  • yukawa

    This is google translation

    He denies the ideology of the Nazis, please know only this.
    https://twitter.com/katsuyatakasu/status/899452871954939904

    Also
    He says “siramitubusi” is a Japanese word and the meaning is “Thorough search”.
    Translation is difficult.
    But I’m sorry if I made it unpleasant.

    • Thanks for the note about translation. I will reflect on that and will change if necessary.

      As for:

      >僕の学んだドイツ医学の素晴らしさを伝えてます。ナチスのイデオロギーは好きではありません。

      He didn’t say that, before, though. He identified “Nazis” specifically:

      >我が国の医学は大東亜戦争に負けるまではドイツ医学だった。ナチス政権下のドイツ医学の発展は目覚ましいものだった。

      In short, he changed his opinion when he became embarrassed this past week.

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