In 2004, 2chan went mainstream with the release of “Train Man,” a collection of posts from the board that allegedly showed users helping an unlucky nerd woo the woman of his dreams. The story became a bestseller, a box office hit, and a popular television show. It made 2chan the most trafficked website in Japan.
While most users discussed hobbies or fretted about work, others threatened murder, posted bomb threats and spread outrageous conspiracy theories. A spate of posts from far-right users denied Japan’s war crimes and fueled a nationwide surge in hatred of Korea.
as Mr. Nishimura benefited well from the site — he made up to $100,000 a month — and also became adept at sidestepping its costs. According to his own statements, he has been sued more than 100 times for 2chan posts. He refused to pay at least $1 million in court judgments, citing the lack of criminal penalties for doing so.
“If I were going to be executed for non-payment, I would do it. But nothing will happen to me if I don’t pay, so I won’t do it,” he told reporters after a court hearing in 2007.
for Mr. Nishimura dodging the lawsuits – like everything else related to 2chan – was “just a game,” said Eiichiro Fukami, who has worked closely with Nishimura-san on 2chan-related projects for years. Mr. Fukami sued Mr. Nishimura for defamation after Mr. Nishimura had accused him of embezzlement.
Mr. Nishimura, he said, spent countless hours devising ways to circumvent laws and regulations. The servers used by 2chan were located outside the reach of Japanese law in the United States. At one point, Mr. Nishimura considered declaring the site a religious organization in order to receive a tax exemption, Mr. said. said Fukami.
“He was always on the very edge of the rules,” he added.
As 2chan’s reputation costs grew, Nishimura-san tried to distance himself. In early 2009, he suddenly announced that he had sold the site and severed his ties. He wrote a book called The Reason I Threw Away 2chan.