You may remember that I wrote, some time back, about Dr Masaru Emoto, a man who believes that water has feelings. Dr Emoto has a fairly substantial following in the magic water fraternity and his name is used to promote products such as H²Om Vibrational Water, which we’ve had cause to discuss previously on The Cow.

Well, it seems that Dr Emoto is happy to lend his name (and image, it would appear) to quackery, but is most reticent to appear anywhere that is critical of his ideas. This morning I received a letter from his office:


I’m Michiko Hayashi from OFFICE MASARU EMOTO LLC in Tokyo, Japan.

I would like to let you know that your use of water crystal photos has not been approved by OFFICE MASARU EMOTO. Please find attached the letter “Use of water crystal images on websites” and make the appropriate procedure to use water crystal images legally.

This is part of the attached letter:


Use of “water crystal” images on websites without permission

Please be informed that water crystal images are intellectual property, and OFFICE MASARU EMOTO LLC owns the copyrights to the water crystal photos that you have posted on your website. It is important that you obtain an official permission for such use authorized by OFFICE MASARU EMOTO LLC. The fee for the use on the website is 1,200€ (one thousand and two hundred Euro) or $1,400(one thousand and four hundred US dollars) for one year.

You what? 1,400 US dollars! Hahahahaha! I wonder if anyone would be daft enough to actually pay that? And I wonder even further whether they try this on with people who aren’t critical of Dr Emoto? Let’s do a quick image search, shall we… Oh, what a surprise! almost a hundred thousand images of Dr Emoto or his water crystals. And virtually none of them on sites that are critical of his silly ideas. The letter goes on to say:

If you have Mr. Masaru Emoto’s face photo (portrait rights) and/or his name on your websites, please delete it/ them IMMEDIATELY. The use of “Masaru Emoto®” and his portrait rights are strictly prohibited.

Ha. I hope that they aren’t thinking they can get away with his name being intellectual property too! Just sticking a ® on the end of something means toss-all folks.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the letter – it’s basically just repetitions of the same thing, coupled with a vague threat of legal action that doesn’t really scare me in the least. I have, however, um… altered the images I used on the original post because, quite frankly I can’t be bothered getting into any kind of legal dispute with people who aren’t able to think rationally.

I am a little disappointed in Dr Emoto and his office, if the truth be told. He got off pretty lightly on The Cow, all things considered. I cut him a bit of slack because I think he’s just a misguided old duffer, rather than a cynical con artist,1 and he certainly didn’t get the roasting that many of his fellow loonies have copped on my pages. But it is immediately apparent from today’s letter, that, like all practitioners of pseudoscience, one of Dr Emoto’s raisons d’être is the financial reward his nutty beliefs bring.

Michiko signs off…

With love and gratitude,
Michiko Hayashi

… an unusual (to say the least) salutation for a legal letter. Perhaps you will not continue to feel much gratitude towards me Ms Hayashi, when you know I have no intention of paying you any money, and have not changed my opinion of Dr Emoto in the least. As for the love, well, I have a feeling that yours is nothing more than the watered-down kind.

  1. Emoto is one of the very few of his ilk that has, at least, the courage to call his ideas ‘magic’. The problem is that he does so while wearing a lab coat and calling himself a doctor. Unfortunately most people aren’t able to understand that just because he has a laboratory and does ‘experiments’ doesn’t make him a scientist []