Back in January there was an event to announce the manga "Split Decision - Iwao Hakamada innocent of the original professional boxer", which is about former boxer Iwao Hakamada. The first issue, which is over 8 pages, was made available earlier today, for free, over the JPBA Website.
The hope is that it will reignite conversation of the "Hakamada Incident", especially with the younger generation and help put public pressure on the Japanese legal system, which still wants to pursue Hakamada in a retrial.
For now the manga is only available in Japanese, though the original event did suggest that a future English translation would be made available. For those incredibly interest in translating it now, we suggest using google translate on a mobile phone, it's clunky but it works, or wait for the international version to be made available.
For fans who can read Japanese we've included the link to issue 1 below, with the plan being to release one issue a month, on the 15th of every month for the next 6 moths. We suspect that the English version will be made available after the full manga has been made available in Japanese.
Issue 1 link (In Japanese)
Earlier today in Japan a press conference was held to announce a new Manga, titled "Split Decision - Iwao Hakamada innocent of the original professional boxer", which is about Iwao Hakamada and the long battle he has had against the Japanese legal system.
For those unaware Hakamada was a former fighter, who ran up a 16-11-2 (1) record between 1959 and 1961. He was arrested in 1966 for the murder of 4 people, and later found guilty of their murder. This resulted in him being sentenced to death, though the Minister of Justice refused to sign the death warrant and Hakamada would be held in solitary confinement for close to 50 years.
He was released in 2014, whilst in his 70's, pending a retrial, which is expected to come at some point in the future.
The artist of the manga was at today's press conference along with Hakamada's sister, and they revealed that the plan is for the manga to be released in 6 parts starting on February 15th, tracking the case from 1966 too present day. The hope is that it will increase the interest in the case from youngsters in Japan. They also intend to release it internationally, in various languages, to increase the international attention in Hakamada's situation and the pressure on the prosecution to drop the case.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
It's been a while since we last mentioned former Japanese boxer Iwao Hakamada (16-11-2, 1) but he's come to the attention of Japanese boxing circles again today with the JPBA releasing a video in support of the former Death Row in-mate, who still has a retrial hanging over his head.
The "Japanese Rubin Carter", as he has been referred to in some Western media, is expected to be retried for the murder of 4 people, more than 50 years ago. That's despite incredibly flimsy evidence which actually forced Mr Hakamada to spend much of his life behind bars, before being released on a few years ago.
Mr Hakamada, who holds the world record for longest time spent on death row, has long had the support of Japanese boxing, who helped him get his original conviction quashed, and they continue to push for him to be totally exonerated of all crimes. That was seen in the video they JPBA released, which features a number of notable faces from the world of Japanese boxing.
Whilst we understand fight fans around the world not being fully aware of the story of Hakamada it is regarded as being a giant human rights violation, and has seen Amnesty International run a massive campaign to get Hakamada his freedom. And they have done a number of really good pieces on the whole story, which are well worth a read for those wanting to understand why Hakamada's story is such a big one for boxing, and for justing.
For those interesting the recent video we have featured it below.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp, video courtesy of the JPBA)
Earlier this week it was reported that there was set to be a film released about former Japanese boxer Iwao Hakamada (16-11-2, 1), a man better known by human rights activists than boxing fans.
The 78 year old former fighter failed to really make a mark in the boxing world, despite his 29 fight career, but following his boxing he became a central figure in Japanese legal history as he was put on death row for the murder of 4 people. His sentence was the longest of any death row inmate and saw Amnesty international campaign on his behalf.
Over the last few years we've seen Hakamada released ahead of a retrial, with real doubt on his conviction. In many ways he has been the Japanese Rubin Carter, though has received much less attention despite his longer struggle for justice.
The film, which is to be released next February, is a documentary that looks at Hakamada's battle for justice and his release. And is also thought to question Japans use of the death sentence, something that has been criticised by the international community.
Last year we saw the release of former Japanese fighters Iwao Hakamada, following his prolong stay on death row for murder. Unfortunately for the "Japanese Rubin Carter" his release wasn't an acceptance of his innocence but a release ahead of a retrail.
Today saw the fight for Hakamada's innocence continue as support groups tried to convince the Japanese court system that a retrial wasn't the right thing to do, considering that the evidence was flimsy in the first place.
Among those offering support to Hakamada today were current WBA Light Flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi and former WBA Minimumweight and WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi who were both at a support event in Tokyo.
Yaegashi, who has regularly been at these events, stated the battle for Hakamada wasn't yet over whilst Taguchi stated his belief that Hakamada was innocent.
There is some hope that the 79 year old Hakamada will not be forced back to court, though given his treatment over the last 50 years there is real fear that he will again find himself being locked up, despite failing health.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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