Tuesday, September 26

Honey Room or Misshitsu

Japanese manga ruled obscene

A Tokyo court has ruled a Japanese cartoon book obscene, in a landmark court case that sparked debate on freedom of expression and the position of the country's ubiquitous 'manga' cartoons.

Monotori Kishi, a 54-year-old publisher, was handed a one-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, for violating Japan's penal code on the sale and distribution of obscene literature.

Presiding Judge Yujiro Nakatani said Misshitsu, or Honey Room, was too graphic.

"Bodies were drawn in a lifelike manner with little attention to concealment (of genitalia), making for sexually explicit expression and deeming the book pornographic matter," Mr Nakatani said.

About 45% of all books and periodicals sold in Japan are manga. They often contain sexual material.

"Given what's available it seems an extraordinary decision," said the BBC's Tokyo correspondent, Jonathan Head.

"There is so much pornography available in Japan in every form - in films, computer games, cartoons and famously manga and anime - those books of cartoons you can see men reading openly on the train everyday," he told the East Asia Today programme.

Old news but this what makes this particular publication most sought after stuff in BBS boards like 4 chan. I remembered the frenzied request for this work in the public imageboard. The art cover is pretty good but I personally never read the manga. It must be one heck of the work to force Tokyo act with such ruling, first time in 20 years it seems.

Which brings to me one question, why such selective censorship? I seen gazillions of explicit content material which have negligible censorship, but why this particular work?

The creator is very unlucky.

This article looks at both sides of manga culture and look into this particular title as discussions on dark side of manga.

1 comment:

Mikhail Silverwood said...

If the transaction involves consenting adults - the seller and buyer are adults, they are in full understand about what is happening - then how can anyone argue it to be censored.

Sure, there are content that is anti-human and must be censored, child pornography for example, but the decisions upon what is anti-human content is up to human society as a whole.
Whatever society says goes.
It would hideous to live in a system where faceless elitist bureaucrats are in control and decide upon what content we are allowed to consume. That choice should be ours.