Photo/IllutrationProtesters in front of Shogakukan Inc.'s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Feb. 26 express their anger over a manga that "insults Genghis Khan." (Ken Shiohara)

A publisher’s apology did little to quell the anger among Mongolians over a children’s manga that shows a character scribbling a penis on a portrait of Genghis Khan.

Mongolians and people from China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who live in Japan sent a formal letter of protest to Shogakukan Inc. on Feb. 26, demanding the publisher recall the March issue of “Gekkan Corocoro Comic” and print a public apology.

The letter states that Genghis Khan, who founded the Mongolian empire in the 13th century, is “a pillar in the hearts of ethnic Mongolians and the most important subject of our worship.”

The letter described the drawing as “a barbaric act that cannot possibly be overlooked.”

About 90 people protested in front of the publisher’s headquarters in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Feb 26, shouting in unison, “Insulting Genghis Khan is unforgivable.”

The monthly magazine featuring the offending cartoon went on sale on Feb. 15.

Shogakukan apologized to the Mongolian Embassy in Japan on Feb. 23 and has published an apology on the company website.

The Mongolian Embassy had earlier released a statement on its Facebook account criticizing the manga. Mongolian government officials also protested the publisher through their Japanese counterparts.

Prominent Mongolians from the sumo world also joined in the criticism.

Yokozuna Hakuho wrote on his blog that the cartoon is “disappointing” because the magazine is largely “read by small children.”

Former yokozuna Asashoryu also fiercely denounced the manga on his Twitter account.

A public relations official from Shogakukan told The Asahi Shimbun that the company “would like to offer our deepest apologies to Mongolians and everyone else who esteem Genghis Khan and were disgusted by the inappropriate expression.”

(This article was compiled from reports by Ken Shiohara and Nozomi Matsui.)