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Yoshinori Kobayashi (Penname: 小林 よしのり, Real name: 小林 善範; Kobayashi Yoshinori, born August 31, 1953 in Fukuoka) is a bestselling Japanese author and manga artist. The author of over two hundred books and manga, Kobayashi is most famous for his controversial political commentary manga Gōmanism Sengen (ゴーマニズム宣言, roughly translated as "My Arrogant Declaration" or "Haughtiness Manifesto"). He is a founder and editor-in-chief of the political magazine Wascism (わしズム, My Own Principle) (the name consists of the Japanese singular pronoun washi and the root "-ism") and often appears on Japanese political debate programs such as Asamade Namaterebi (朝まで生テレビ, Live Until The Morning).
Kobayashi's nickname, "Yoshirin" (よしりん), and his staff team's name, Yoshirin Productions (Yoshirin Kikaku, よしりん企画), are derived from the first two syllables of Kobayashi's given name and the On reading of its kanji 林).
There is "Sagadaigaku-gakusei-jitikai-ren" as a group that he influences.
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A student of French literature from Fukuoka University, Kobayashi published his first manga, Tōdai Itchokusen (東大一直線, Beeline to Tokyo U), in 1976 in Weekly Shōnen Jump while still in school. Another of his early series, Obocchama-kun (おぼっちゃまくん, Little Princeling), a satire about a haughty rich boy in the heyday of Japan's bubble economy, won the 1989 Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga and was also adapted into an anime and video games for the Famicom and PC Engine.
Yoshinori Kobayashi has become one of the most prominent conservative authors and commentators of Japan's younger generations, both at home and abroad, especially in the wake of his long-running Gōmanism Sengen manga series, first published in 1992. In Gomanism, Kobayashi portrays himself as an intentionally arrogant, controversial, and extreme character, somewhat akin to Stephen Colbert. The intent of the manga is to provoke discussion in Japan's apolitical society. In actual dialogues, though, Kobayashi is much more nuanced. For example, while he takes up the Japanese history textbook controversies with the position that Japan should be allowed to write its own textbook, when talking with Susumu Nishibe, he acknowledged that the actual textbook produced by right-wing groups whitewashes history in pursuit of ideology.
Among Kobayashi's more recent opinions are that Japan should assist Taiwan independence from China, foreign opinion should not be considered by Japanese politicians in domestic issues such as visits to Yasukuni Shrine and textbook revisions, terrorist attacks such as those on September 11th will continue in America as long as foreign policy is controlled by neoconservatives, and Japan should not support the ongoing Iraq War.
In response to harsh criticism of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, an attempt was made on his life by cult members (Kobayashi addressed the incident in later issues of Gomanism).
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Although On Taiwan has been translated into Traditional Chinese and was released to great controversy in Taiwan (ISBN 957-801-279-9), there are no further translations planned for any of Kobayashi's works. Among his published works are:
- Tōdai Itchokusen (東大一直線, Beeline to Tokyo U) (1976)
- Obocchama-kun (おぼっちゃまくん, Little Princeling) (1986)
- Gōmanism Sengen (ゴーマニズム宣言), vol 1-9
- Gōmanism Sengen Extra 1 (ゴーマニズム宣言EXTRA 1) ISBN 4-344-00659-3
- Gō-Gai! (ゴー外!, Gōmanism Supplement/Side Story) ISBN 4-7762-0188-7
- Gōmanism Sengen Sabetsu Ron Special (ゴーマニズム宣言差別論スペシャル, On Discrimination) (1995) ISBN 4-7592-6031-5
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen (新・ゴーマニズム宣言) vol 1-14
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Datsu Seigi Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 脱正義論, On Escaping Correctness) (1996) ISBN 4-87728-128-2
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Sensō Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 戦争論, On War) (1998), volumes 1-3 (Vol 1: ISBN 4-87728-243-2, Vol 2: ISBN 4-344-00131-1, Vol 3: ISBN 4-344-00356-X)
- Sabetsu Ron Special - Gōmanism Sengen (差別論スペシャル―ゴーマニズム宣言) (1998) ISBN 4-87728-622-5
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - "Ko to Ōyake" Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL ｢個と公｣論, On the "Individual" and the "Public") (2000) ISBN 4-87728-955-0
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Taiwan Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 台湾論, On Taiwan) (2000) ISBN 4-09-389051-X
- Gōmanism Sengen Special - Yoshirin Senki (ゴーマニズム宣言スペシャル よしりん戦記, Record of the Yoshirin War) (2003) ISBN 4-09-389054-4
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Okinawa Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 沖縄論, On Okinawa) (2005) ISBN 4-09-389055-2
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Yasukuni Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 靖國論, On Yasukuni) (2005) ISBN 4-344-01023-X
- Shin Gōmanism Sengen Special - Chōsen-teki Heiwa Ron (新・ゴーマニズム宣言SPECIAL 挑戦的平和論, A Defiant Discussion On Peace), vol 1-2
- Honjitsu no Zatsudan (本日の雑談, Today's Chat)
- ^ "小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- ^ Kobayashi Yoshinori and Susumu Nishibe. Honjitsu no Zatsudan 4. Asuka Shinsha, 2004. p. 105.
External links 
- Howard F. French: Japan's Resurgent Far Right Tinkers With History, New York Times, 25 March 2001.
- Drawing up battle lines, The Standard, 11 August 2005.
- Revisionist manga by Kobayashi Yoshinori, Japan File.
- Rebecca Clifford: Cleansing History, Cleansing Japan: Kobayashi Yoshinori’s Analects of War and Japan’s Revisionist Revival, Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies.
- Mark Winchester: Everything you know about Ainu is wrong: Kobayashi Yoshinori’s excursion into Ainu historiography, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 22, No 1, 30 May 2011.