Orwellian Obscenity

‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’
-George Orwell, 1984

On April 19th, the offices of Core Magazine were raided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. The news regarding the police bust was not publicized for many weeks. Only rumors circulated about. But then, in May, it was clear that something had changed. Books and magazines published by Core Magazine were censored far more than before. News rippled about how the sexual organs were completely covered up with black or white blots. Authors started complaining about the sales of their books were falling because of this new policy by Core Magazine.

It appeared that the police had declared war on genitalia in adult material marketed and sold to adults. Previously, the police arrested and penalized material that were uncensored but left alone material if the genitals has been partially obscured by black boxes or filters. But after May of 2013, it appeared that the police was demanding more self-censorship out of the publishers.

Of course, this was pure speculation. For months, no new information came into light regarding what had taken place. All that was known was that Core Magazine was forced to shut down operations regarding some magazines. What made this case harder to understand was that, as far as I can recall, all previous arrests pertaining to obscenity involved only one publication. But in the case of Core Magazine two publications–a manga magazine and a photo pictorial magazine, both adult publications marketed for adults–were said to be targeted. This was very strange. Why two? Was there some reason why police had to get both manga, which is pure fiction, as well as photographs of real people involved?

The logic involved in the raid was unclear, but the adult publishing industry noted that the raid had taken place and publications from companies other than Core Magazine started to self censor their material more.

Weeks turned to months, and come July, people were starting to think that perhaps the police had given up. Perhaps the prosecutor’s office declined the case because it was too weak, especially in the age of the Internet when so much uncensored pornography is available by the click of the mouse. Also, while censoring of the genitals was considered lax in the photographic pictorial, the manga magazine’s self-censorship standards followed industry protocols that had been in place for nearly a decade.

Then in July 29th, a full three months later the raid had taken place, news broke that arrests were made. The charge was obscenity, and the case was going to court. It was clear the police wanted to make an example out of this case as the police alleged both the manga magazine and the pictorial constituted obscene material.

What was especially disconcerting was the fact that the arrests took place immediately following the electoral victories of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP,) a political party known to have strong connections to the police and has campaigned on the platform of stronger law and order for Japan. The revision of the Child Pornography law and nationalizing restrictions of minor’s access to media have been part of the LDP agenda for quite some time.

A police force is supposed to be a neutral party and dutifully go about enforcing law regardless of what party is in power, but this timing was very troubling.

What is even more troubling is the fact that the police had effectively re-written its own rules for what constituted obscenity and they were not afraid to hide it.

For nearly 10 years, the industry standard was that obscuring the crown of the penis (the part that funnels out near the tip,) and clitoris, and instances of physical contact that constitutes sexual intercourse (i.e. insertions of objects into the vagina or the rectum) would absolve the depiction as being obscene. The police seemed also to reinforce this mantra, as they encouraged censorship of the kari (crown,) kuri (clitoris,) and the setsugou-bu (point of contact) and no more.

This was relatively straightforward, and while publishers and authors may deviate from this norm, the norm itself was fairly clear.

The standards for magazine aimed at adults sold in convenience stores were more nebulous. Theoretically, convenience stores do not sell adult publications. That is what is touted publicly, but the reality is that both the retailers and the publishers want to have magazines aimed at adults stocked at one of the most numerous retail outlets available in Japan. For this reason, convenience store franchises have guidelines that have effectively allowed soft-core material, taped closed so that minors would not have access to them without purchasing the material. The logic here is that the store can make sure no one too young was buying the magazines. There are numerous guidelines regarding content (some of them are rather laughable) but one important guideline pertains to how the genitals are supposed to be censored more heavily to lessen their erotic appeal. And thus, a type of differentiation was in place–Adult only publications would be self-censored less, while publications sold to general audiences would be self-censored more.

But with Tokyo Metropolitan Police’s arrest of the editors of Core Magazine, this system no longer makes any sense. The police had helped construct this system and yet they were now casting it away, blurring the lines of what constitutes illegal speech.

I can only imagine the interrogation that took place between the police and the editors.

“We’ve always demanded that the genitals be completely censored. If you can see the genitals, it’s obscene, isn’t it?”
“But self-censoring the crown, the clitoris, and the contact points used to enough for adult only publications.”
“We never publicly said that. Genitals are obscene.”
“Then what of the precedence created by the police for the last decade?”
“There is no such precedence.”
“Then why didn’t the police demand self-censorship beyond obscuring the crown, the clitoris, and the contact points?”
“We never said we were not demanding more. You simply were not aware of our demands.”

What does this exchange remind you of? It sounds a lot like the following passage.

“Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.”

That, of course, is a passage from George Orwell’s 1984.

Personally I have deep reservations over a philosophy that would treat parts of the natural human body as shameful and obscene, but the major issue here lies elsewhere. The fact that authorities can change standards of what is illegal and legal on a whim is what concerns me the most.

Article 175 of the Japanese Penal Code restricts the distribution of obscene materials. Any material found to be afoul of 175 is obscene and thus illegal, therefore those associated with its distribution are criminals and the work is shameful contraband, something that must be restricted from society. Any material that is not considered violation of 175 is legal and its existence is permitted. The line that separates the two realms is arbitrary. It all comes down to who is prosecuted for what reason by the authorities. The authorities do not want to have the courts rule something is legal under 175, so they will only go after material they are certain they can win a conviction. There have very few cases where an Article 175 prosecution has failed in the Japanese courts.

Normally, it would be better if the line that demarcates illegality is set unambiguous and transparent. It would be easier for citizens to understand what is illegal and avoid skirting the law, especially in cases where the element that is considered illegal is part of their own bodies. In fact, citizens could even aid law enforcement if they have a clear understanding of what is illegal and why it is illegal. It simply improves citizenship. But when it comes to Article 175, the law is extremely vague.

“Those who have distributed obscene text, drawings, electromagnetic recordings contained om storage mediums, or such, or have publicly displayed the same material will be sentenced to two years of imprisonment or less or must pay a fine of no greater than 2,500,000 yen, or a combination of such penalties.”

Notice how what constitutes obscenity is completely left out. As of 2013, the court precedence that is still in effect arises from Japanese Supreme Court’s ruling over the Sunday Goraku Case of 1953.

“[Obscenity is defined as any material] that recklessly excites or stimulates sexual passions, and offends a normal person’s shamefulness against sexuality and is contrary to virtuous sexual morality.”

If the words “recklessly” were replaced by excessively, that part of the passage would make more sense, but I have faithfully translated the ruling from Japanese into English. How does one ascertain if something offends “a normal person’s shamefulness against sexuality?” Who determines “virtuous sexual morality?”

I confess that I am a layman, and being a layman I find it very difficult to comprehend how blots of ink on genitals have anything to do lessening a normal person’s shamefulness against sexuality and being contrary to virtuous sexual morality.

In other words, the current construct of obscenity in Japan is largely determined by the police and only by the police. It is possible to remove all references to sex from a work, and thereby guarantee immunity from Article 175, but that would be like throwing out the baby along with the bath water. The entire point of having freedom of expression is to be able to engage in a free and open discussion of ideas, to talk about our existence and what it means, and sexuality just happens to have a lot to do with our existence on this planet.

In other words, Article 175 is an over-broad law that can ensnare nearly anyone that engages in creation of artwork involving the human condition.

Had the police and other moral authorities made it their prerogative to slowly move toward ensuring more freedom, then this law is easier to accept. While I do not see concealing the human body serves the public good, it would make sense to moderate acceptance of new sexual norms. Perhaps everything should not be made free at once, but instead done incrementally.

And consequently, liberation and gradual relaxation of regulation of sexuality is exactly what has been taking place in the half century since the end of World War 2. There is no doubt the material that is available today is more explicit then what was available in 1955, but make not doubt about it–What was available in 1955 was revolutionary compared to what was available in 1935.

Mr. Ishihara Shintaro became famous for breaking contemporary standards regarding depictions of sexuality in his novels published in the 1950s. Later, he would publish a book in the 1970s claiming no text could coax a child toward crime or delinquency, and thus he felt perfectly fine having sexually explicit material available for his children to read. But come 2010, as Tokyo Governor and an advocate for passage of Bill 156 which increases restrictions on material available for minors in Tokyo, he refuted his own previous claims, stating “I was misguided back then…These days, the world has become a lot more crazy…Back then books that affirmed perversion was few and far between.”

It is amazing that Mr. Ishihara, who authored sexually explicit passages at a time when their existence would have raised a storm a mere 10 years ago, was now claiming Japan had reached a state that was “too uninhibited.” But since he could claim authority as Tokyo Governor, and since this authority was backed up by the police, for those who are not familiar with history or representations of sexuality in popular culture could find little reason to doubt his statements. Mr. Ishihara never fully explained why it was acceptable for depictions of sexual violence against minors to be included in his novels, but should not be tolerated within manga. Any hard questioning tending to end with him stonewalling the question or getting angry over how literary works such as his novels should be compared equally to manga.

And thus, it is very clear that the passage of time does not automatically guarantee acceptance nor relaxation of depictions of sexuality within fiction. The police and other authority figures can and have acted as guardians of public morality, ready to influence public culture in the image they see fit.

This has happened independent of Tokyo’s bid to win the Olympics for 2020 and unrelated to manga or any form of published or displayed entertainment. On May 29th, Mr. You-Ichi Furuya, the head of the Public Chief Division of the National Police Agency, gave a speech to an pachinko trade group meeting. Pachinko is Japan’s legalized form of gambling and its operations are heavily regulated by the police to ensure players are not exploited financially and organized crime do not get involved. But on this occasion, Mr. Furuya talked about how recent images and graphics displayed on pachinko machines could be found contrary to public morals and threaten healthy environments. He specifically talked about how erotic or grotesque imagery should be avoided. Had Mr. Furuya been talking about theme parks frequented by children or public displays exposed to the general public, this would sound sensible. But minors are forbidden from playing pachinko in Japan. In effect, Mr. Furuya was acting as the public moral guardian over adults.

In his article about the police raid against Core Magazine, Mr. Hiruma mentioned detectives talking about how Core Magazine was being made an example, i.e. the police intends to interfere and direct how pornography is created for adults. This sounds Orwellian to say the least. Some of you might write this off as fanciful writing on the part of this reporter, but Mr. Hiruma backed up this claim with a follow-up article, and I personally have also confirmed this story from multiple sources as well. Here is an example by Jin Toriyama, an author and editor of adult novels.

Since September 17th, at least three publishers of erotic manga have been directed to report to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police to “discuss” how publishers should self censor their material and what subjects should be avoided.

It is very clear that the Japanese police and perhaps other parties are aspiring to become more involved with shaping the nature of Japan’s adult entertainment industry.

In the near term, this intervention by the Japanese police will primarily impact Japan’s creators. While the logic behind this intervention will always be about protecting Japan’s public morality, restricting the production of sexually explicit material will have little impact on a public which can easily access uncensored erotica from abroad, however if the police’s power to direct and influence the Japanese creative community is left unquestioned, the authority of the police to direct public morality will be further entrenched.

There is talk of making United Kingdom an opt-in state regarding Internet pornography, where any citizen who wishes to have access to erotica would have to specifically request their Internet service provider to turn off their filtering software. That could also happen in Japan, especially if fantasy regarding sexuality is deemed fall within the domain of state intervention.

Article 175 is both the symptom and a root cause behind how the moralists authorities in Japan wield power over the public. As a taxpayer and a voter in Japan, I am saddened to think valuable public resources that could otherwise be spent toward repairing the damage of the Great East Japan Earthquake or other such pressing public needs are being diverted to the entrenchment of a state bureaucracy that self-perpetuates itself through the diminishment of citizens’ rights.

But people overseas can also make a difference, by making their protests public online and not letting the subject die. Donations to organizations that rigorously address free speech issues, such as the National Coalition Against Censorship and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will allow these groups to continue asking hard questions against the Japanese establishment.

While this debate might be taking place in Japan, the outcome of this debate may impact the quality of entertainment you enjoy in your own home nation. After all, many agree that Japan is at the vanguard for many forms of visual entertainment. Even those that dislike Japanese erotic fantasy will agree, Japan boasts tremendous diversity in the realm of fiction that is unavailable else where.

Alas, if one of the most liberal lands of fiction is muzzled, what will become of lands that are less liberal?

2010 “Our nation was at war with anti-social erotic fiction. Our nation has been always been at war with anti-social erotic fiction.”

2014? “Our nation was at war with erotic fiction featuring minors. Our nation has been always been at war with erotic fiction featuring minors.”

201X? “Our nation was at war with erotic fiction featuring sexual exploitation and criminal sexual acts. Our nation has been always been at war with erotic fiction featuring sexual exploitation and criminal sexual acts.”

201X? “Our nation was at war with erotic fiction featuring unrealistic and exaggerated human anatomy that reinforce stereotypes. Our nation has been always been at war with erotic fiction featuring unrealistic and exaggerated human anatomy that reinforce stereotypes.”

20XX? “Our nation was at war with erotic fiction not involving procreation. Our nation has been always been at war with erotic fiction not involving procreation.”

20XX? “Our nation was at war with erotic fiction…”

This entry was posted in bureaucracy, censorship, child pornography, harmful material, news, nonexistent youth, public morality and media. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Orwellian Obscenity

  1. dark says:

    Simply put, a fucking dumb, brainless, old, tired, stuck-up, too old or be brainwashed too much to think or act differently than what they`ve been taught, and dying generation try to force their own ideal world onto the rest of the world.

    And we’re back to middle age, with the church/the king/queen always right. Whoever goes against them is death. Sweet

  2. Mike Creig says:

    I think all of Japan’s police organisations ought to be reformed! The police are supposed to be neutral, but Japan’s police are at the back and call of the Liberal Democratic Party and other right-wing parties.
    Human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are continuously appalled by Japan’s human rights record–especially the 23-day detainment of suspected persons in police stations.
    In my opinion, Core Magazine should sue the police force, the government and/or the LDP, New Komeito and other “moralists” involved!

  3. mrsean says:

    This sounds 100% bleak. I feel like the LDP are going to get their way, doesn’t sound like many are trying to stop them and those who trying aren’t making any success. Censorship bulls*** in the usa, uk and japan, my faith in humanity is slipping every day.

  4. Dark says:

    Like I always said: It is the time to immigrate onto the internet, with servers put in, maybe, Africa or the South Pole, or like TPB, put on the space. Obviously by then, no governments, no moRONlists (for a thousand of times, there is no such thing as moralist. They’re MORONLIST, the end) or bitchy bitch feminists or any other old fools out there might say anything anymore.

    • dankanemitsu says:

      You need to realize that conducting business is not easy, especially for a people who do not use a lot of English. Also, please note that there are a fair number of feminists who are sex-positive and protest increasing censorship.

      • Dark says:

        Obviously I’m all for the opposite forces. It’s just that I feel the protest might not be enough to shut the hell out of them for good.

        And I also think it’s time for Japanese to get use to English and/or other languages more, rather than just Japanese. I feel Japan has been left behind too much because of language skill (one of the reasons, of course)

        Again & again, I need to state that I do NOT like the idea “corps control everything”, that’s certain. But in our case, I think it’s time for all those big names in industry to show all those officers who pay for their checks every month; and it’s not those old farts who live in their past, obviously, again.

        • dankanemitsu says:

          People who advocate censorship are for the most part well-meaning and their actions are the result of (what I believe is misguided) efforts to try to make the world a better place. The debate over the overall desirability of censorship and state control of ideas is over 3000 years long. It would be unrealistic to hope that demands of censorship ceases in our lifetimes.

          We can, however, hope to convince the public and policy makers that their demands for censorship are old-fashioned, draconian, overbearing and self-serving.

          I’ve found that being civil and considerate is important in this debate, as it is the people on the fence watching over this debate that will have a great impact. One may be totally convinced of one’s righteousness, but if one has few fiends and wins little respect, their success will be rather limited.

          Regarding language, I also agree that being more comfortable with foreign languages is important and I’ve worked my entire working life toward helping the Japanese creators with their ability to reach out to a global audience.

          I, however, am one man. I also happen to work in this industry for over 25 years, so I am realistic about what can be easily done and what cannot.

          Regarding opposing censorship as both a taxpayer and a voter in Japan, I’ve mentioned my stance in my article and I’ve stated the same argument many times in Japanese as well.

          I am not trying to undercut your pleas, but if a simple solution existed, it would have been exploited many moons ago. I do appreciate your enthusiasm.

          • Dark says:

            First of, I thank you for your enthusiasm over me & my noisy mouth (^_^)

            Of course I’m not saying my ways isn’t perfect, or rather the opposite. It’s just that I think we should try more aggressive methods, like organizing rallies or sth.

            Just like you say, we need to convince those in power know their demands are nonsense. One of the best methods is, I think, yell it out to their faces. Officers are the same everywhere: if you don’t yell to their faces, they’ll never learn.

            About my suggestion, well, (^_^) they’re just suggestions, after all. It’s not like you can change business’ ways in just one or two days. But I really think people should look for methods using by the guys at TPB. Like I said, PARTS (not all (^^)) of their ideas about freespeech are somewhat similar to us, and how they survive before (extreme) copyright holders is something we should take a look, at least.

  5. Anonymous774 says:

    Hello Dan, thanks for yet another post.

    I’m not very optimistic regarding this whole situation as it current stands, with a more militaristic than ever LDP and the Olympics coming. I won’t pretend I know what I’m talking about, and this is purely all personal conjecture, but it seems the sexual permissiveness from the times when 夜這い and 男色 were common place in Japan are gone. Since the Meiji restoration, the influence of Western (specially British) morals, the militarization of Japan, the distortion of Shinto in WWII and Japan’s eventual defeat and difficulty in leading with all wartime issues, I think it will take some time until Japan’s morals return to the form they were found in the past, even in the form of fiction. I have the impression Japanese society just largely ignores it, as they seem to do most other issues which do not directly affect their daily lives, like taxes. I can’t see things getting better for Japan in its current state, but I hope to be just found clueless, since I don’t live there and can’t really know what’s going on. Maybe the mentality will improve when Japan starts feeling more independent of the U.S.A. and as a nation, and that can be a positive side-effect of the current nationalistic approach, in the long-term, by these politicians, although that obviously won’t sit very well with neighboring countries until they feel their issues have been addressed and the past shows us it didn’t really work out that way. However, one holds to the idea at least something positive may arise in the face of the bleakest situations.

    Anyway, we also have the internet now. If it all comes to the worst, I’d suggest Japanese creators of エロ同人誌, エロ漫画 and エロゲーム to host and sell their works on servers located in countries with very strong notions of artistic freedom and freedom of speech. They may not create the same content in those countries but that’s no indication they do not enjoy similar freedoms regarding drawn material — perhaps it’s only a matter of culture. This way Japan’s オタク文化 can still be saved in the face of the worst conditions possible.

    Hopefully my post wasn’t too stupid for anyone reading this.

    • dankanemitsu says:

      I am not sure if you are from the United States, but attitudes regarding sexuality and militarism often swing back and forth, i.e. Carter, Reagon, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama. Moral panicking and ostricizing minorities often occur when a society preceives fear and anxiety regarding its future. Economic issues also heavily influence how policies are debated. For these very reason, it is important to have a constitution and institutions that uphold a constitution that prevents minorities and unpopular elements of society being made the bogeyman for all the social ills of any society.

      There no stupid posts at my blog. I appreciate them all.

  6. Rika says:

    Dan, i’ve read some bad news about Fukushima, what do you know about this? Maybe the summer 2020 olympic will be cancelled?
    Seems the Fukushima matter is far from a definitive resolution and tons of radioactive water are still reversed in the pacific ocean, also there is a big risk that the reactor can explode.
    What’s the truth behind this?

    • dankanemitsu says:

      I think a lot more work needs to be directed toward addressing the problems of Fukushima, and wasting money on protecting children who do not exist and forbidding adults from see genitals is not a good idea. I also think transparency is something that is short supply in Japan, but being overly concerned about threats that may or not materialize is also probably counterproductive. There’s a lot riding on fixing Fukushima, for not just TEPCO but also the government as well.

  7. Alex says:

    Hi, Dan.

    I’ve been following the issues of child porn, obscenity regulation, and the TPP and their effects on the otaku community and industries in Japan, and I keep finding links to this blog as an example of the pro-censorship, pro-TPP arguments:

    http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kaneco_gawa

    I’ve read some of the posts on this blog and I find it hard to believe that someone actually believes the things written on it and it isn’t just heavy-handed satire. For example, there’s this post fulsomely praising the controversial CEO (and now member of the Diet) Miki Watanabe:

    http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/kaneco_gawa/37849972.html

    There was also a post which I can’t find now in which the blogger wrote that it’s a good thing if thousands of people get imprisoned under the revised child porn law, because that will result in increased profits for the multinational corporations who will be running the prisons under TPP.

    The “wholesome society” this blogger advocates seems to be one in which pleasure is prohibited for all but the 1% elite, and the people are to be made literal slaves of multinational corporations. I can picture this blogger watching the new movie “Elysium” and cheering for the villain played by Jodie Foster. And yet the tweets linking to this blog appear to take it quite seriously as an example of what they’re up against.

    I consider myself fluent in Japanese, but it’s still not my first language, so I’m likely missing some nuances. Also, I live in a country where even the most conservative politicians and journalists at least pay lip service to the idea of individual rights. Is this kind of blatant, unapologetic elitism and authoritarianism actually quite normal among conservatives in Japan?

    • dankanemitsu says:

      I will be honest. This is the first time I’ve heard of this person who mentioned, and I’ve in the debate regarding free speech and manga for over 14 years.

      I’ve briefly gone through this person’s blog, and I hard it find to believe this person has much sway over politicians. I could be wrong, of course, but among the interesting points that this person is advocating include:
      – All recreations activities should be restricted because they prevent engineers and other people from being productive.
      – Parodies and derivative works are the same as piracy.
      – Minors must be forbidden from using the Internet. All PCs must have ID verification schemes to make sure the user is over 18. Any parent that allows minors to access the Internet must be penalized.
      – Minors must not have any sexual relations with anyone.
      – Sexual relations between adults must be restricted and allowed only in cases when it is not inappropriate.
      – The gap between the rich and the poor must be increased.
      – People who are overworked to death are failures for being unable to adapt to working.
      – Free speech is dangerous.
      – Anime and manga are not cultural works because they can cause criminal acts.
      – Japan should not encourage people to have children because it will become like China.
      – Access to medical care should not be universal.
      – Constitutions exist to restrict citizens.

      Need I continue any more?

      Not this brand of conservativism would get laughed out the door of most public forums of discussions. Few conservatives would wont to get associated with radicalism this person advocates.

      • Dark says:

        I have a much shorter description of those kind of shit:
        1. Brainless are contaminating everywhere.
        2. Haters gonna hate, fools gonna be fools, and the sun still shine on the sky
        You’d be shock when reading some of China-hating blogs (not that I like China, though) or all those anti-globalism, racists…. comments & blogs all over the internet if you think the yahoo blog above is bad.

  8. This is highly unsettling. It is a cause of concern for me. It’s a reason I have gone really from being a ‘conservative’ to being ‘libertarian’ in my political leanings. I just want the government to leave me the hell alone.

    If you look at some of the online news (no necessarily written by liberals, we on the right see it as well), the U.S. has become an increasingly police-like state. Even agencies with no real need for a SWAT team has several fully armed and outfitted people. Little businesses that cross paths with a zealous government worker or politician tend to be on the microscope.

    The thing is, is Japan leading the charge? Or is it catching up?

    • dankanemitsu says:

      Conservative is a loaded word, as just as liberal is. I tend to avoid using those words because they mean everything and nothing, all at the same time.

      This is the reason why I prefer to use words like moralist and authoritarian. The former discribes people who want to push their own morals on others, while an authoritarian want institutions to have a lot control over people’s lives.

      Just to really mess things up, would you suprised to hear that I am pacifist miltech geek. I’m facsinated with military hardware, but I believe use of military force must be restricted to situations where there are no other alternatives or other alternatives are far worse.

      I’ve had animated discussions regarding Japan’s history, but none of this would be possible without a free and open society, a society where transparency insures fairness and equality.

      I presonally believe free speech is not a right thing or a left thing. It is part of the bare minimum needed to keep a society healthy and its citizens content.

      • True it’s a loaded word, it’s a loaded word I’ve most likely used for the longest of time. TBH it is different every president. You’ve got the term ‘Reagan Democrats’ for self-proclaimed Democrats who agree with many of Ronald Reagan’s stuff or the term ‘Obama Republicans’ for the same reason. It all changes depending on where the current president stands on certain issues.

        If anything, I’d be part of SHTF group according to popular and political culture. The ‘shady’ type of people who have a plan for everything, don’t rely on the government much, and likes his guns. Just most of the stuff I agree with is part of the ‘fringe’ group of the Republican party.

        As for the pacifist miltech geek? I sorta agree. I’ve said I’m very Hawkish when it comes to my country’s foreign policy, but that doesn’t mean (to me) to always send in the U.S. Marines. It means using every acceptable ounce of soft power (economic, political, etc) before even considering sending in the wetworks and the Agency to muck things up.

        The Marines are the last option on the table, and definitely not the worse option left.

  9. Dark says:

    @Alex: It’s not just Japan. Those kinds of shit are pretty popular in even Western countries and the U.S. Not sure why you sound surprise. Pro-censorship followers, copyright maximalists…. they’re everywhere. Oh, and seem like I forgot about feminists (especially in the U.S) who yell out dubbing you “harass woman” just because you put your hand on your WIFE/GF shoulders.

    Friend, it is fact that HUMAN’s mind, OUR OWN KIN’s mind, that is, is rotten. It’s not “about to”, not “on the verge of” or anything along the line. It’s already rotten, and it will get worse days by days in future. It’s not effects from some stupid imaginative movies, though. It is an effect that last from even ancient times: Human’s brain is usually scared of changing. The more the world change, the more some introvert dumb brains will reverse into their shells, believe that’s the best thing, and try everything to force others do the same. All those witch hunts, all the executions against “heretic”…. I can give you a never-ending list if you like.

    The question here is: How serious will people take those craps? Of course they have their own rights to write down what they believe (FREE SPEECH HERE, PLZ) The problem is after that. After reading those, who’ll take it seriously? Hikkikomori, or government officers or what?

    @Anonymous: I believe moRONlists (again, there is NO such thing as moRALists. Not anymore, just a bunch of moRONic fools who believe they can shape the world the way they want) & feminists just put us & the whole manga/anime industry into the same front line with those guys from The Pirate Bay. Whether anyone here calls them thieves or not, I truly think that parts of their ideas (people should be free to share what they want, a.k.a a form of free speech/expression) are similar to us. So I honestly think that it is THE BLOODY TIME that studios, mangaka… should think of adopting new forms of tech: magnet/torrent, setting up websites for easier accessible…. And internet = no bound, so I don’t think they need to change anything from their styles. Also, like those guys from TPB, you might not even need a place to host your server. Put your server on the sky (^_^)

    • Anonymous774 says:

      Well, there’s J-Comi from mr. Akamatsu.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J-Comi
      http://www.j-comi.jp

      Support it if you are able to.

      As for human history, don’t be that pessimistic. We actually lived pretty well for more than a hundred thousand years as hunter-gatherers. In fact, just very recently humans have attained the height we once had in the neolithic period due to better nutrition and lifestyle.
      (Sources in these links:
      http://nutrition.highwire.org/content/133/11/3893S.short
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic_Revolution#Social_change
      http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html)

      The problems started when agriculture was introduced around 12.000 years ago and soon we became settled in one place, overpopulated and with a poor diet. Then humans started devising “solutions” such as slavery, controlling other people’s lives (politics, organized and dogmatic religion), large-scale wars, etc, to deal with those “issues”. I believe sometime in the future humans will be able to live as well and as we had been able to as hunter-gatherers but with advanced technology and science at our disposal. It surely looks like it’s going to take some time, though. This situation is also interesting because it directly correlates with our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos. Chimpanzees engage in brutal wars among their own species due to a lack of living space and resources, while bonobos live south of the Congo river with an abundance of living space, resources and solve most of their problems through sexual gratification. I hope with science will be able to satisfy all of humanity’s needs one day, so we don’t need to engage in inhumanity ever again. Anyway, I believe I went too much on a tangent.

      Let us keep supporting artistic freedom and the people who support it.

  10. Rigo says:

    Mr Kanemitsu (The onwed of this blog)

    Do you know what happened at the end with the proposed porn bill?, they say we were going to have an answer on September, and nothing seemed to have happen.

    Also, how is gonna affect fan-artwork like the ones at pixiv?. and similar artworks outside of japan?,

    • dankanemitsu says:

      I’m assuming you talking about the LDP/NKP/JRP bill to revise the Child Pornography Law. Prime Minister Abe has not called for an extraordinary session of the Diet. Just to note, all none scheduled sessions of the Diet is referred to as an “extraodrinary session.”

      When the Diet is called to assembly, the bill will most likely be debated in committee. That outcome of that debate is uncertain. Some members of the LDP do not like the bill for contain provisions regarding anime and manga, some members of the LDP say the bill does not go far enough.

      I’m fairly certain Pixiv is operated by a Japanese legal entity. I’ve met one of their founding members many moons ago. Therefore, if the bill passes in its current form, many legal entities would be pressured to disavow content legally defined as “material similar to child pornography.”

      Some companies will fend off such pressures until a law specfically outlawing such material comes into being. Some companies will cave in at the slightest hint of legal incrimination. It’s hard to say.

      Japanese laws apply to any activities taking place in Japan, so even if fictional depictions of minors involved in sexual situations are made illegal in Japan, it won’t directly impact foreign websites. However, the chilling effect will be pretty immediate and foreign nations may feel emboldened to pass new laws.

      • mrsean says:

        chilling effect + foreign nations= new laws
        this is the other thing I fear will happen if these revisions pass.
        Suddenly I’ll hear nancy grace attacking we without wings or boku tomo.

  11. Mike Creig says:

    Why can’t the manga publishers, anime studios, animators, mangaka, etc. just file some kind of a class-action lawsuit or something against the LDP, Komeito, etc.? They DO have lawyers, don’t they?

    • dankanemitsu says:

      The Japanese legal system does not allow class-action lawsuits nor does it allow reviewing laws for constitutionality prior to the law actually being envoked. Because there is a strong stigma associated with criminal proceedings (hint: 99% conviction rate,) the threat of a criminal arrest itself is effectively used by the police to influence those parties they target.
      As I say, its Orwellian, and it will stay this way unless people question why and how the police have such authority, instead constantly figuring out what parts to self-censore to stay out of the police’s radar.

      • anonymous says:

        Oh yes, those 99% conviction rates. I had completely forgot about them. Now I can better understand why it is so worrying if something comes into law in Japan.
        Honestly, do you, as a Japanese person, think anything can be done in such a situation where a mere threat is enough?

        Also, what would you do if the bill came into law? Would you try contesting it in court when enforced, look for alternative methods to preserve current artistic freedom or would you try fighting back censorship through other means? Would everyone really self-censor, thus making the law never evoked?

        • dankanemitsu says:

          I believe it is important to keep this issue alive, regardless of the status of the bill. Those who aim to control free speech should be made to pay a price, through public debate in a civil and respectful manner, yet insistent and unyielding questioning of their policies.

          Resignation that free speech is conditional to the whims of authority is what they crave. No laws can force acceptance within one’s mind. That must be reminded if free speech is to have hope.

  12. Dark says:

    Good morning people (9:11 AM here (^_^)) Good morning Dan

    At this point, I’m not sure how to react to everything anymore. From what you said above, Dan, I can only pray that P.M Shinzo Abe & co. got more than they can chew on the schedule, with things like problem in Fukushima, their closet allies -the U.S- in on a gridlock, their economy’s restructuring plan… will keep them too busy to even think about “extraordinary session”

    Also, there seem to be a slightly (just a very glimpse, though, but better than nothing) hope that the bill might at least be subjected to rewrite, since even within LDP, not every member agree to that stupid idea “virtual porn = real porn” & “manga is violating woman’s/children’s rights” or blah blah blah along the line.

    I cross my finger of hope everyday, trying to suppress my anxious over the matter, since I have too many other things to worry about right now.

    Btw, how’s your cold, Dan? Heard you have 38 degree (;-_-)

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