Tony 'Texas Daddy' Marano attracts huge following in Japan –
Dubbed the "Texas Daddy," Tony Marano, 66, is known by the Japanese as an outspoken and controversial figure who offers an American perspective on Japanese political affairs.
One of the logos created for Marano's vlogs and blog.
Tony Marano may not be a household name in America, but he's managed to garner a huge following in Japan.
Dubbed the "Texas Daddy," Marano, 66, is known by the Japanese as an outspoken and controversial figure who offers his perspective on Japanese political affairs.
Born in Connecticut and raised in Brooklyn, the former AT&T employee – now retired – films videos from his Dallas home, where he's lived for 36 years.
Marano's Japanese ties began seven years ago, when he spoke out against Sea Shepherd, a U.S.-based marine conservation group which attempted to stop the practice of whaling in Japan.
"It's not that I'm for or against whaling, it's that I don't approve of Sea Shepherd's tactics," he explains.
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Since then, Marano has gained a logo bearing the Texas flag, published seven books, launched his blog "PropagandaBuster" and has been invited to speak at several engagements abroad.
This sparked the creation of the the Texas Daddy Japan Secretariat. The organization is based out of Japan and has a team of editors and interpreters who help Marano – who speaks little Japanese – translate his message for the Japanese public. 
Along with a large following of supporters, Marano has also attracted critics. He's taken on highly controversial issues, including the topic of "comfort women" – women forced into sex during labor in Imperial Japanese military wartime. 
In a Facebook comment discussion with the Japan-U.S. Feminist Network for Decolonization, Marano asserts that according to a 1994 U.S. Army report, some of these women were willing participants: "Those so-called sex slaves were paid more than the average Japanese soldier and where (sic) they ladies enjoyed entertainment and sporting events with members of the Japanese Imperial Army. Do sex slaves do that?"
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While that's sparked outrage among many progressive groups in Japan, Marano contends that his goal is not to become famous or to upset the public.
"I'm just an opinionated Italian, and this is a way to communicate my message," Marano says. "I don't consciously try to grow a following."
"I walk down the street in Tokyo and elderly people stop me and ask me questions, but to me, I'm just a little guy here in Texas."


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