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Man arrested in Japan with 1,500 fake 'Nezuko' figures from popular 'Demon Slayer' anime

Fake figures of Nezuko Kamado, a character in the smash-hit anime "Demon Slayer," which were confiscated by Yamaguchi Prefectural Police, are seen at Yamaguchi Minami Police Station in the city of Yamaguchi on Nov. 26, 2020. (Mainichi/Nanako Hori)

YAMAGUCHI -- A man in western Japan was arrested on Nov. 26 on suspicion of possessing some 1,500 fake figures of "Nezuko," a highly popular character from the smash-hit anime and manga "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba," with intent to sell them, police said.

    According to Yamaguchi Prefectural Police's Yamaguchi Minami Police Station, Shinichi Takemoto, 41, a company employee living in the Okayama Prefecture city of Kasaoka, stands accused of violating the Trademark Act and the Copyright Act. He has admitted to the allegations and told investigators that he knew the figures were counterfeits.

    In "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba," Nezuko is the sister of the main character Tanjiro Kamado. Police suspect that Takemoto listed the figures, which were about 15 centimeters tall, on an auction site from April to May without the permission of Shueisha Inc., which publishes the manga, or Aniplex. Inc., which created the anime. He is specifically accused of selling one of them for 3,600 yen (about $35) including shipping. Investigators found him in possession of 1,531 palm-sized fake figures of Nezuko, which he apparently intended to sell, on Oct. 29.

    The police station had been investigating after a buyer from the city of Yamaguchi reported around late May that the figure they had purchased was poorly crafted. Authorities are investigating how Takemoto obtained the fake figures.

    (Japanese original by Nanako Hori, Okayama Bureau)

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