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The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan$
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Kirsten Cather

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835873

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835873.001.0001

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Lady Chatterley’s Censor (1951–1957)

Lady Chatterley’s Censor (1951–1957)

(p.19) Chapter 1 Lady Chatterley’s Censor (1951–1957)
The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan

Kirsten Cather

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter narrates the events surrounding the censorship trial of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Loverin Japan. Oyama Hisajirō, owner of Oyama Publishing, approached respected critic, author, and translator Itō Sei about translating Chatterley as part of a planned series of Lawrence’s collected works. Within two months after the publication, over one hundred fifty thousand copies had been sold. However, as the book became known, the police initiated obscenity charges against Hisajirō. The prosecution identified twelve particularly objectionable passages in the book, which, in prosecutors’ minds, rendered the entire work obscene. These included examples of the “repeated plain and detailed descriptions of adulterous sexual intercourse” between Lady Chatterley (Connie) and two men, the writer Michaelis and the gamekeeper Mellors.

Keywords:   D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Oyama Hisajirō, Itō Sei

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