Osaka Goverment’s “Harmful Publications” List.
I found something very interesting while reading an article about various manga scanlation being pressured by advertisers to take manga that was deemed ‘too mature’. (More information on this can be found here and here.) Apparently mature manga is in a big debate right now, not only in the US but in Japan as well.
Recently, the Osaka Prefectural Government posted an updated list on what they consider “Harmful Publications”. Most of the new items added to the list are Boys-Love Magazine publications but there are also Shojo mags added as well. This isn’t anything new. Back in June 8th of 2007, Osaka Police did a sweep of 70 manga book stores and their list has grown quite a bit.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they are completely banning these books and magazines. They are simply restricting them and making them illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to read or buy them. While it is not competently out of the ordinary for people to check idea before selling mature content manga and anime (they do it here in the US all the time) I do think it’s a little outrageous for there to be an actual list of books that are stated to be harmful. It seems that pretty much each Prefectural Town in Japan has their own rules and laws on these issues and has their own “Harmful Publication” list.
As I mentioned earlier, here in the US, it’s not uncommon to be IDed when buying 18+ or mature manga. However, this is usually only done when buying manga or anime from a place like a convention Vender. This does not stop someone from ordering it online, or ordering it through a book store and simply buying it over the counter without the book sellers checking ID. They WILL check your ID if your buying something like…say…a PlayBoy, but 9 times out 10, they don’t do this with manga. That is because overall, it is a persons’ right to read what they will and after all, Hentai in manga is simply an artistic representation of the human body in non-existent characters. It’s not like it’s REAL porno. I’m not the only one to realize this. This is currently being debated by the The Democratic Party of Japan about a new Tokyo Bill involving Lolicon and Shotocon similar to the one Osaka passed. The bill has been put on delay because of it. You can find the updated article on this Tokyo Bill HERE.
So, what are your thoughts on all of this? Please take the poll and feel free to comment back here on this post. I’m curious about everyone’s ideas and feelings.
A complete list of information and links regarding this subject, please visit this forum post on Baka-Updates::Manga – Japan’s Explicit Content Bills.