Hiroyuki Nishimura

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Hiroyuki Nishimura
Hiroyuki Nishimura in Sapporo, 2005
Born (1976-11-16) November 16, 1976 (age 39)
Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Nationality Japanese
Known for Founder of 2channel, owner of 4chan

Hiroyuki Nishimura (西村 博之 Nishimura Hiroyuki?, born November 16, 1976) is the founder and a former administrator of the most accessed Japanese message board site[1] 2channel. Until February 2013, he held a position of Director at Niwango Inc., known for its service Nico Nico Douga.[2]

In Japan, he is usually known by his given name, Hiroyuki.[3] Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan, formally announced on 21 September 2015 that he has sold the website to Nishimura.[4]


Nishimura was born in Sagamihara, Kanagawa but raised in Tokyo. He founded the company Tokyo Access in 1998 while he was at Chuo University. In May 1999, he opened 2channel while he was studying at the University of Central Arkansas. In June 2001, he founded Irregulars and Partners, Inc with Ichirō Yamamoto, but later left there.

As of January 2007, Nishimura is an advisor to Skip-Up KK, CEO of Tokyo Plus KK, Director of Mirai Kensaku Brazil (Future Search Brazil) Ltd., and also a Director of Niwango Inc., the company that launched Nico Nico Douga.[5]


Nishimura, Ichirō Yamamoto, and Yoshihiro "Yakin" Nakao, President of Zero Co.Ltd. were the early central management members of 2channel, but Ichirō Yamamoto left the group in 2002, and Nishimura resigned from his company.

Nakao is a server specialist, and has been managing most of the 2channel servers since the Neomugicha incident, a case in 2000 in which a 17-year-old posted messages threatening to hijack a bus, and then went on to kill one person in the hijacking. The event caused a huge wave of user access, and the old servers went down.

During 2008, 2ch generated an annual revenue upwards of ¥100 million for Nishimura.[6] The site was also run by 300 "volunteer administrators" who receive no pay. Nishimura justified this with the comment, "I don't think that's all that different from some dude who opens a convenience store in front of a train station. They can make a million yen a day."[6]

In August 2013, an accidental leak placed the credit card details of thousands of 2channel users into the public domain,[7] and this event resulted in a series of lawsuits against the website. Around the same time, the anti-matome movement took place throughout 2channel, a controversial community development involving users protesting against "matome blogs" (まとめブログ?) specialising in summarising 2channel threads, which were taking away site traffic. Later it was revealed that the website was suffering from financial setbacks,[8] and as a result, the chairman of N.T. Technologies (a key stakeholder of the website) and ex-US Army officer by the name of Jim Watkins assumed full control over 2channel, stripping Nishimura of all power.[9] In response, Nishimura created his own clone of 2channel at 2ch.sc,[10] and organised a series of distributed denial of service attacks against 2channel.[11] Following the debacle, many former 2channel users have migrated to other anonymous posting websites, or have completely abandoned anonymity altogether and have moved to websites such as Reddit (with subreddits such as /r/NewSokuR dedicated to the 2channel diaspora).[12][13]


On September 21, 2015 it was announced by 4chan founder Christopher Poole that Nishimura had purchased from him the ownership rights to his website, without disclosing the terms of the acquisition.[14][4][15]


Although Nishimura has lost some number of libel lawsuits with a considerable amount in penalties, he is quoted in some number of interviews that he has no intention of paying. "If the verdict mandates deleting things, I'll do it," he says. "I just haven't complied with demands to pay money. Would a cell phone carrier feel responsible when somebody receives a threatening phone call?"[6]


  1. ^ "Nielsen Online (Japan) reports on November, 2008 internet usage". Nielsen Online (in Japanese). 2008-12-24. 
  2. ^ "Hiroyuki Nishimura Resigns as Director at Niconico's Niwango". Anime News Network (in Japanese). 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  3. ^ Katayama, Lisa. "Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura, the Bad Boy of the Japanese Internet." Wired. May 19, 2008. 1. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Lauren Orsini (September 21, 2015). "How The 4chan Sale Returns The Controversial Forum To Its Anime Roots". Forbes. 
  5. ^ "Niwango Company Info" (in Japanese). 
  6. ^ a b c "Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura, the Bad Boy of the Japanese Internet". Wired. May 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  7. ^ "Accidental leak IDs over 30,000 ‘anonymous’ 2channel users". The Japan Times. September 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jim Watkins (February 19, 2014). "Let's talk with Jim-san. Part21". Anago.2ch.net. The previous management was not able to generate enough income to pay the bills for the expenses of running 2ch. Previously I allowed some autonomy to them. During that time my name has been slandered. The ability for 2ch to generate enough income to stay open was damaged. I hope that with proper management that 2ch can recover. 
  9. ^ "Who holds the deeds to gossip bulletin board 2channel?". The Japan Times. March 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "現2chは「違法な乗っ取り」状態──ひろゆき氏?が新サイト「2ch.sc」開設を予告". ITmedia ニュース (in Japanese). April 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "The 2channel Split Incident - A Tale of Data-mining, Censorship, and Betrayal". Anonymous Japan. 
  12. ^ "収益アップを図る「2ちゃんねる」からユーザーが離脱!? 海外掲示板「reddit」への移住は進むのか". サイゾー (in Japanese). March 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ "2ちゃん化した「Reddit」で住人が快挙!本日のトレンド入りし世界的に注目される". Twinavi.jp (in Japanese). March 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ Issac, Mike (September 21, 2015). "4chan Message Board Sold to Founder of 2Channel, a Japanese Web Culture Pioneer". The New York Times. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  15. ^ Doug Bolton (September 21, 2015). "Christopher 'Moot' Poole sells anarchic imageboard 4chan to 2channel owner Hiroyuki Nishimura". The Independent. 

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