The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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February 19th, 2005 · No Comments · Art, Misc., Politics

Evidently, there ARE things you can’t publish in Japan:

2-17-05 (9:28PM EST)—- First Obscenity Judgement Against Manga

In a landmark ruling in the Japanese court system, the first judgment stemming from obscenity charges has come down against a manga. The key figure in the case is Motonori Kishi (54) who first started his publishing company Shobunkan in 1968. He was arrested pending the release of his manga Honey Room, the charge being distributing obscene material. Tokyo’s District Court found Kishi guilty on January 13, sentencing him to one year in prison and suspension for three years. The verdict has the adult rich comics industry in Japan in quite a nervous state. Ashita No Joe mangaka Tetsuya Chiba appeared in court as a defendant side witness. According to the testimony of A Tokyo Metropolitan Police inspector, the investigation was started based on a memo from LDP Diet member Katsuei Hirasawa. The defendant’s side argued that charge violated the constitution that secures the freedom of expression. An appeal is currently underway and a hering is scheduled for March 17th.

Now, censorship issues aside, this story scares me. Why? Because it suggests that there is something so amazing awful - so utterly and horrifically corrupt - that you CAN’T PUBLISH IT IN MANGA FORM. If incest, tentacle rape, mutilation, bestiality and depictions of underage characters having sex AREN’T obscene, then… sweet Zombie Jesus… what on EARTH could be in that book? Clearly, the content of the publication in question is something so intensely vile that I can’t even IMAGINE it. I can only assume I’d be dumbstruck and would subsequently sink into the deep abyss of some Lovecraftian madness if I ever came across it.



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