Hiroyuki Nishimura

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Hiroyuki Nishimura
西村 博之
Nishimura in 2005
Born (1976-11-16) 16 November 1976 (age 47)
Other nameshiroyuki (ひろゆき)
Occupation(s)Webmaster, author
Known forFounding 2channel, owning 4chan since 2015

Hiroyuki Nishimura (西村 博之, Nishimura Hiroyuki, born 16 November 1976) is a Japanese internet entrepreneur best known for being the founder of the most accessed Japanese message board, 2channel,[1] and current administrator of 4chan.[2][3] He is also a self-help author and TV personality.[4]: PT38  He is often known by his given name, hiroyuki (ひろゆき),[5][2] which he uses, rendered intentionally in lowercase,[note 1] both as a pen name[biblio 1][6] and as a username.[7][8]

Until February 2013, he was a director of, and advisor to, Niwango, best known for its video-sharing service Nico Nico Douga.[9]

Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan, formally announced on 21 September 2015, that he had sold the website to Nishimura.[10] Nishimura's tenure as administrator of 4chan has been described by former moderators as letting a moderator known as RapeApe, who strongly dissuaded banning users for racism and bigotry, have full control of the site, while simultaneously firing left-wing moderators.[11] After a dispute with 2channel's hosting provider, Nishimura no longer administrates 2channel, but instead operates a competitor to it, 2ch.sc.[12]


Nishimura was born in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, but raised in Tokyo.[biblio 2][note 2] He founded Tokyo Access LP in 1998.[biblio 3][note 3] In May 1999, he opened 2channel while he was studying at the University of Central Arkansas.[13] In June 2001, he founded Irregulars and Partners KK with Ichirō Yamamoto, which was involved in 2channel's management,[14] but later left.[15]

He graduated with a degree in literature from Chuo University in 2000.[biblio 2][note 2]

In January 2007, Nishimura was an advisor to Skip-Up KK,[16] CEO of Tokyo Plus KK,[17] co-founder of Future Search Brazil (未来検索ブラジル) KK,[18] and a director of Niwango, the company that launched Nico Nico Douga.[19] He left his role at Niwango in February 2013.[9]


Nishimura in 2011

During 2008, 2ch generated an annual revenue upwards of ¥100 million for Nishimura.[20] The site was also run by 300 "volunteer administrators" who received 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."[20]

In August 2013, an accidental leak placed the credit card details of thousands of 2channel users into the public domain,[21] 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) which specialize in summarizing 2channel threads, which were taking away site traffic.[22]

On 19 February 2014, Jim Watkins, as chairman of N.T. Technology, Inc., 2channel's domain registrar, seized 2channel's domain.[22] He took full control over the website, relieved Nishimura of all power, and assumed the role of website administrator.[22] Watkins claimed that Nishimura had failed to pay him money owed which led to the seizure as a way to cover Nishimura's debts,[23] while Nishimura claimed that he had in fact paid everything owed and that the domain transfer was an illegal domain hijacking.[12][24] In response, Nishimura created his own clone of 2channel at 2ch.sc [ja],[12] scraping the contents of the entire 2channel website and updating 2ch.sc as new posts appeared on 2ch.net. In a Q&A session on 4chan shortly after becoming the site's owner, Nishimura claimed that 2channel was stolen by Watkins.[8]

In October 2017, Watkins renamed 2channel to 5channel and transferred it to Loki Technology Inc. to avoid legal complications.[25][26][27]


On 21 September 2015, he bought the website 4chan from Christopher Poole.[10][2] The amount paid has not been disclosed, but The New York Times has reported that the sale was made possible with funds provided by three Japanese investors.[28][3]

Users on 4chan refer to him commonly as 'hiro' but also by the ethnic slur "gook moot", or the nickname "Jackie 4chan", "Hiroshima Nagasaki," or simply "hiroshimoot".[29]


As defendant[edit]

Nishimura has lost a number of libel lawsuits which have led to him being assessed a considerable amount in penalties.[30][31] In 2008, he told Wired he has no intention of paying, saying, "If the verdict mandates deleting things, I'll do it," but, "I just haven't complied with demands to pay money. Would a cell phone carrier feel responsible when somebody receives a threatening phone call?"[20]

As plaintiff[edit]

Nishimura has filed a number of lawsuits against Jim Watkins in connection with his allegation that 2channel was illegally seized. He has attempted to repossess the domain both through WIPO's Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy[32] and through the Japanese court system.[33] Through the Japan Patent Office, Nishimura owns the trademark "2channel",[34] though the WIPO refused to intervene on his behalf on account of that, suggesting the parties go to court instead as it was not, in its view, a case of "cybersquatting" but rather a "business dispute".[32]

Personal life[edit]

Nishimura is married. As of May 2019, he lives in Paris, to which he moved in 2015.[17]


  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (29 June 2007). 2ちゃんねるはなぜ潰れないのか: 巨大掲示板管理人のインターネット裏入門 [Why 2channel can't be crushed: an introduction to the internet from the administrator of the large textboard]. Tokyo: 扶桑社 [Fusōsha KK]. ISBN 978-4-594-05388-8. OCLC 675467798.
  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (29 May 2009). 僕が2ちゃんねるを捨てた理由 [Why I left 2channel]. Tokyo: 扶桑社 [Fusōsha KK]. ISBN 978-4-594-05952-1. OCLC 395003142.
  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (12 October 2018). 論破力 [How to win arguments] (in Japanese). Osaka: 朝日新聞出版 (Asahi Shimbun Publications KK). ISBN 978-4-02-273791-5. OCLC 1061209057.
  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (21 February 2019). このままだと、日本に未来はないよね。 [If things remain as they are, Japan has no future.] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Yōsensha KK [洋泉社]. ISBN 978-4-8003-1649-3. OCLC 1088409566.
  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (6 March 2019). お金の話 [Discourses on money] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Kōyōkan KK [興陽館]. ISBN 978-4-87723-237-5. OCLC 1089128536.
  • hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (6 April 2019). 自分は自分、バカはバカ。他人に振り回されない一人勝ちメンタル術 [You are yourself, stupid people are themselves. Avoid undue influence, a winner-takes-all technique] (in Japanese). Tokyo: SB Creative. ISBN 978-4-7973-9860-1. OCLC 1102790704.


  1. ^ hiroyuki [ひろゆき] (5 March 2020). 1%の努力 [1% Effort] (in Japanese). Tōkyō: 株式会社ダイヤモンド社 [DIAMOND Inc., KK]. ISBN 978-4-478-10849-9. OCLC 1143724998.
  2. ^ a b Nishimura, Hiroyuki; Tamogami, Toshio (19 November 2010). オンナは苦手。 [I'm not good with women.] (in Japanese). Tōkyō: 株式会社李白社 [Rihakusha KK]. ISBN 978-4-89451-926-8. OCLC 686619658.
  3. ^ Makino, Kazuo; Nishimura, Hiroyuki (3 July 2006). 2ちゃんねるで学ぶ著作権 [An in-depth study of 2channel] (in Japanese). Tōkyō: ASCII Media Works. ISBN 4-7561-4770-4. OCLC 675004538.



  1. ^ Or in hiragana, in Japanese.
  2. ^ a b From the "about the author" section of the description of the book on Rakuten: 1976年神奈川県相模原市生まれ。2000年中央大学文学部卒業。[Born in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture in 1976. Graduated with a degree in literature from Chuo University in 2000.]
  3. ^ From the "about the author" section of the description of the book on Amazon.co.jp: 1998年、中央大学在学中に合資会社東京アクセスを設立。[In 1998, while enrolled at Chuo University, he established the limited partnership Tokyo Access.]


  1. ^ "Nielsen Online (Japan) reports on November, 2008 internet usage". Nielsen Online (in Japanese). 24 December 2008. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Adelstein, Jake (26 September 2015). "Will 4Chan's Shady New Owner Weaponize It?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b Dooley, Ben; Ueno, Hisako (18 December 2022). "In the U.S., His Site Has Been Linked to Massacres. In Japan, He's a Star". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  4. ^ Beran, Dale (30 July 2019). It Came from Something Awful: How a Toxic Troll Army Accidentally Memed Donald Trump into Office. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-250-21947-3.
  5. ^ Katayama, Lisa. "Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura, the Bad Boy of the Japanese Internet." Wired. 19 May 2008. Link Archived 3 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 31 January 2009.
  6. ^ Nishimura, Hiroyuki (27 February 2020). "YouTubeは13歳以下だと登録NG。子供をネットの危険から守るには?" [YouTube shouldn't be used by kids under 13—why it is necessary to protect children from the dangers of the internet.]. Nikkan SPA! (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 11 April 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  7. ^ Nishimura, Hiroyuki (13 June 2000). "民主党・菅直人氏より2ちゃんねるへの通知" [Notice sent to 2channel from Democratic Party's Naoto Kan]. 2channel (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 27 January 2003. Retrieved 28 May 2020 – via Infoseek Japan: 2channel Log.
  8. ^ a b Nishimura, Hiroyuki (22 September 2015). "ANSWERS THREAD - Q&A Session with Hiroyuki Nishimura". 4chan (archived by desuarchive.org). Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Hiroyuki Nishimura Resigns as Director at Niconico's Niwango". Anime News Network (in Japanese). 18 February 2013. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  10. ^ a b Lauren Orsini (21 September 2015). "How The 4chan Sale Returns The Controversial Forum To Its Anime Roots". Forbes. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  11. ^ Arthur, Rob (2 November 2020). "The Man Who Helped Turn 4chan Into the Internet's Racist Engine". Motherboard. Vice Media. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2020.
  12. ^ a b c "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" [Currently, 2ch is in a state of "illegal takeover" — Hiroyuki (?) announces the opening of the new site "2ch.sc"]. ITmedia (in Japanese). 1 April 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  13. ^ Matsutani, Minoru (6 April 2010). "2channel's success rests on anonymity". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 9 April 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  14. ^ "株式会社イレギュラーズアンドパートナーズ代表取締役社長 山本一郎さん(切込隊長)" [Ichiro Yamamoto, President and CEO of Irregulars & Partners Co., Ltd.]. Next Influencers (in Japanese). 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  15. ^ "会社概要" [Company profile]. Irregulars and Partners KK [株式会社イレギュラーズアンドパートナーズ]. Archived from the original on 7 April 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  16. ^ "会社概要" [Company profile] (in Japanese). Skipup Corporation [株式会社スキップアップ]. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. 顧問: 西村 博之 [Advisor: Hiroyuki Nishimura]
  17. ^ a b Ishiguro, Atsushi (13 May 2019). "ひろゆき氏の旅のおすすめ3か国!そして女なら、男ならの海外事情。" [Hiroyuki's three recommended countries to visit! Also, the circumstances of expatriates, both men and women]. TABIZINE (interview) (in Japanese). On Air KK [株式会社オンエア]. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  18. ^ "会社概要" [Company profile]. Razil.jp (in Japanese). Future Search Brazil KK. Retrieved 25 June 2020. 役員等:代表取締役社長 竹中直純;取締役 西村博之 [Officers: Naozumi Takenaka, President and Representative Director; Hiroyuki Nishimura, Director]
  19. ^ "Niwango Company Info" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  20. ^ a b c "Meet Hiroyuki Nishimura, the Bad Boy of the Japanese Internet". Wired. 19 May 2008. Archived from the original on 25 May 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
  21. ^ "Accidental leak IDs over 30,000 'anonymous' 2channel users". The Japan Times. 17 September 2013. Archived from the original on 17 January 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  22. ^ a b c Akimoto, Akky (20 March 2014). "Who holds the deeds to gossip bulletin board 2channel?". The Japan Times Online. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  23. ^ Watkins, Jim (19 February 2014). "Let's talk with Jim-san. Part21". BBSPink. Archived from the original on 8 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2020. The previous management was not able to generate enough income to pay the bills for the expenses of running 2ch.
  24. ^ Nishimura, Hiroyuki (1 April 2014). "昨今の2ちゃんねるの現状に関して。" [Regarding the current status of 2channel]. 2ch.sc (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  25. ^ Office of the Solicitor General v. James Arthur Watkins in re: Petition for Naturalization, R-PSG-18-03091-SP, Petition by James Arthur Watkins (Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 166) ("[James Arthur Watkins] married Liziel O. Watkins ("Liziel"), of legal age and a Filipina, on 20 November 2001. [...] He is currently the Chairman of Race Queen Inc., Emerald Pedistal Properties Inc., and Loki Technology Incorporated.").Text—via The Manila Times.
  26. ^ "5ちゃんねる掲示板へようこそ" [Welcome to 5channel]. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017. 権利関係に関する無用な紛争を生じさせず「・・・」掲示板の名称を新たに「5ちゃんねる」へと変更しました。[The name of the textboard has been changed to 5channel to help avoid future unnecessary disputes regarding our rights to operate it.]
  27. ^ Cicalese, Louis (14 February 2019). "Biography of Hiroyuki Nishimura: The Father of 2channel". 256 Kilobytes. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  28. ^ Isaac, Mike (21 September 2015). "4chan Message Board Sold to Founder of 2Channel, a Japanese Web Culture Pioneer". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  29. ^ Orsini, Lauren (3 September 2015). "'Welcome To 4chan, B***h': Site's Users Greet Their New Overlord". Forbes. Archived from the original on 6 February 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  30. ^ Shibui, Tetsuya (26 August 2008). "2channel founder says don't blame him for criminals' posts". Shūkan Gendai. Retrieved 20 May 2020 – via Japan Today.
  31. ^ "2ちゃんねる管理人に賠償命令 掲示板での中傷放置" [2channel admin ordered to pay compensation; textboard neglected duty to delete libel]. Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). 20 January 2006. Archived from the original on 3 February 2006. Retrieved 23 May 2020. 判決によると、同掲示板に04年3~12月、有道さんが人種差別主義者であるかのような中傷などが12件掲載されたが、管理人は有道さんの削除要請に応じなかった。 [In total, twelve slanderous messages were posted calling Arudou a white supremacist between March and December 2004. The admin ignored his request they be deleted.]
  32. ^ a b Gabriela Kennedy; et al. (28 July 2016). "WIPO Domain Name Decision: D2016-1025 (2ch.net)". World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved 17 May 2020. The Panel finds it prudent to note that the Policy is intended to handle cases of cybersquatting. Any potential business dispute between the Parties may be more appropriately addressed through court proceedings rather than through the Policy.
  33. ^ In re: Race Queen Inc., 平成29年(ワ)第3428号 (Tokyo District Court) ("被告は,平成16年から平成29年9月30日まで,継続して本件電子掲示板を管理・運営し [From 2004 to at least September 30, 2017, the defendants operated the textboard.]").Text
  34. ^ In re trademark registration T5843569, 無効2017-890013 (Invalidity case 2017-890013) (Japan Patent Office 26 July 2019) ("本件電子掲示板の事業が請求人(レースクイーン社)に適法に譲渡されたことを示す証拠はない [There is no evidence that the electronic BBS business was legally transferred to the plaintiff (Race Queen Inc).]").

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