- On Jan. 19, a video was released by ISIS, demanding $200 million from Japan for the lives of two Japanese hostages, the same sum that Japan pledged in humanitarian aid for the Middle East.
- The hostages, freelance journalist Kenji Goto and a private security contractor, Haruna Yukawa, were shown in the video, wearing orange jumpsuits.
The Japanese government responded, saying they wouldn't give in to terrorism.
However, Japanese Twitter took a different, but also defiant turn.
- The posts are photoshopped images, screen-grabbed from the video, mocking ISIS.
They look something like this:
- A number of people have expressed amazement at the posts, saying posters aren't taking the threat seriously.
- Is parody the right response? Tomoko Aomaya, a professor at The University of Queensland, writes in this paper that parody and satire in Japanese literature has grown.
"...Parody and pastiche have found a new home, so to speak, is the 'new literacy' of the last 20 years."
- Peter Payne, who owns an Internet store selling Japanese goods, describes the whole phenomenon this way on Twitter: "Basically the idea is to use humor to take the fear away from the situation."