|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Heard about the guy who had a sex-change after his girlfriend said she's a lesbian 2006,8,22
Cyzo September By Ryann Connell
Japan is smitten, Cyzo (September) says, by the story of a man who underwent the samurai chop, so to speak, just because his girlfriend started to swing in the opposite direction.
"Harukarin Blog," the hot bestseller, tells the supposedly true story of Harukarin Nakagawa, a 23-year-old who claims to have undergone a sex change operation that made him a woman because his girlfriend of several years decided she was a lesbian and would prefer he was female.
"Harukarin Blog" is comprised mainly of excerpts taken from Nakagawa's blog entries detailing her transformation from man to woman and has sold steadily since it hit bookstore shelves in May.
"Our love was truly a matter of life or death. I truly believe I can overcome any fate to be with the woman I love so much," Cyzo quotes Harukarin saying in the preface to her story.
But, though "Harukarin Blog" has attracted a fairly large fan base, it's also been slammed by Japan's online community, which says the story is too good to be true.
"The whole story of a guy's girlfriend of five years telling him she's a lesbian and asking him to become a woman is just ridiculous," one online critic says.
Nakagawa claims in the blog that breasts started to bud soon after starting the female hormone injections, a point that fueled another "Harukarin Blog" naysayer's opposition.
"It's medically impossible to develop a bust as fast as the writer claims," the skeptic said.
"Densha Otoko (Train Man)," another blog turned into a bestselling book, movie and TV series, was a huge talking point a couple of years ago. But, like "Harukarin Blog," also came under claims that it was made up even though its publishers said its tale of a geek winning the heart of a pretty woman by following the advice of a supportive online community was a true story.
Outcry has forced the publishers of "Harukarin Blog," Ameba Books, to change its original title of "Seitenkan Dokyumentari Blog (Sex Change Documentary Blog," as well as prompting the addition of a disclaimer saying that it is a "novelization of the blog with additions, revisions and creations added."
Ameba Books, however, insists that "Harukarin Blog" is above board.
"Personally, I'm still of the belief that this is a work of non-fiction," Ameba's Kenichi Yamakawa tells Cyzo.
"I've heard Harukarin having phone conversations with our editors on numerous occasions. However, because there's no way we can confirm what's been written in the blog actually happened, the company made the decision to refer to the book as a 'creative work.' "
But Yamakawa adds that all arguments about the book's accuracy are irrelevant, just as similar doubts about the veracity of "Densha Otoko" did little to stunt its phenomenal success.
"I don't really think it matters diddly squat whether the book's factual or it's creative," Yamakawa tells Cyzo.
"What's most important is that it's a high quality piece of modern literature."
(By Ryann Connell)