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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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Japan’s First Manga Trial

Japan’s First Manga Trial

Honey Room (2002–2007)

(p.221) Chapter 8 Japan’s First Manga Trial
The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan

Kirsten Cather

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter discusses the censorship trial of Honey Room, the first manga (comic book) sued for violating the obscenity law. The trial’s outcome was not entirely a defeat for the defense, which managed to get the initial one-year suspended prison term reduced to a fine of 1.5 million yen (approximately $13,750). Notwithstanding this slight victory, the unprecedented case against a manga marked the introduction of a new artistic medium as a candidate for successful prosecution by the state. As suggested by recent movements led by conservative Liberal Democratic Party politicians and powerful citizen groups, popular cultural media—manga (including the burgeoning genre of erotic cell phone manga), anime, video games, and the Internet—will likely be the new targets of legislation and regulation.

Keywords:   Honey Room, manga, anime, video games, obscenity law, censorship trial

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