In 2004, 2channel went mainstream with the publication of “Train Man,” a assortment of posts from the board that purportedly confirmed how customers had helped a hapless nerd woo the girl of his desires. The story turned a best-selling guide, a blockbuster film and a in style TV present. It made 2channel the most closely trafficked web site in Japan.

While most customers mentioned hobbies or griped about work, others threatened homicide, posted bomb threats and spawned reckless conspiracy theories. A flood of posts from far-right customers denied Japan’s conflict crimes and contributed to a nationwide rise in anti-Korean hate.

As Mr. Nishimura profited handsomely from the web site — incomes as a lot as $100,000 a month — he additionally turned adept at dodging its prices. By his personal account, he was sued greater than 100 instances over 2channel posts. He refused to pay a minimum of $1 million in court docket judgments, pointing to the lack of prison penalties for doing so.

“If I would be put to death for not paying, I would. But nothing’s going to happen to me if I don’t pay, so I won’t,” he informed reporters after a 2007 court docket listening to.

For Mr. Nishimura, dodging the lawsuits — like every part else associated to 2channel — was “just a game,” mentioned Eichiro Fukami, who labored intently with Mr. Nishimura on 2channel-related initiatives for years. Mr. Fukami efficiently sued Mr. Nishimura for libel after Mr. Nishimura had accused him of embezzlement.

Mr. Nishimura, he mentioned, spent numerous hours pondering up methods to keep away from legal guidelines and laws. The servers utilized by 2channel had been primarily based in the United States, past the attain of Japanese legislation. At one level, Mr. Nishimura thought of declaring the web site a non secular group to obtain a tax exemption, Mr. Fukami mentioned.

“He was always moving at the very edge of the rules,” he added.

As the reputational prices of 2channel grew, Mr. Nishimura sought to distance himself. In early 2009, he immediately introduced that he had bought the web site and severed his connections. He wrote a guide titled “The Reason I Threw Away 2channel.”

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