What is Obscenity? The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy


#1

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#2

So lemme get this straight.

Art like this is ‘a-okay:’

But art like this is “obscene:”

M’kay.


#3

Hhaha. That is the mild stuff. It’s crazy the censor their porn, both “real” and animated with pixilated boxes. I half expect a scene where two virgins recoil in terror because their bits aren’t obscured flesh colored boxes.


#4

Purchased her book in her support.


#5

These obscenity laws takes backwards-retrograde-recessive to a whole new level. Or old level. Anyway. IIRC they inspired/led to the invention of tentacle porn, meaning what they did was just lead perving to take new and interesting paths.

Maybe there is a lesson here somewhere…


#6

I read somewhere that before ‘Western values’ were introduced to Japan, they had no issue with nudity and showing body parts. But once the West arrived, it was shameful to show or think about such things.


#7

Yeah, apparently the first anti-pornography laws were during the Meiji restoration (which was part of a response to the West), and it seems like the modern censorship law invoked these days is post-WWII, with the occupation government. I always thought it was even more modern than that, because of explicit Japanese films of the '60s, but it turns out those can’t be seen in Japan, uncut.


#8

No, they’re still pretty cool with it. Public baths are out of style, but only because indoor plumbing, not because eeeek.

I think it’s clear bathing and fucking are seen differently.


#9

There’s no evidence to support that, it seems it was cooked up as a just so explanation


#10

If I had to take a guess on why one is legal under their obscenity laws and the other not, it’s because said statue is at (or associated with) a Shinto temple.

ETA: Tagata Temple has a big Penis festival every year, if you somehow were not aware. No, it’s the Festival that is big, oh nevermind…

There is a Vagina temple as well, who has a ceremony with statues of vaginas and the like, and it’s held just before the one with all the Penis statues.

http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/2012/03/24/hime-no-miya-festival-ogata-jinja/

Check out the Vagina candies!:

http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/ooagata-shrine-hounensai.html

(Note: Don’t get me wrong, Japanese culture is quite chauvinist. The festival at Tagata is definitely much bigger, and gets more attention than the one at Oagata. I’m not convinced that chauvinism is necessarily why miss Igarashi is being persecuted is all.)


#11


#12

To again reference the hearsay of my lawyer friends, its the cops and prosecutors doing “letter of the law” because in the end thats all they know how to do. Its the same letter of the law they use to bust importers and retailers of “realistic” sex toys shaped like human penises.

As to whether culture her is chauvinist or not, I’ll leave that argument up to the Social Justice Special Forces to decide.


#13

The truth is, as always, “it’s complicated”.

As Boundegar says, there was not so much Christian shame associated with nakedness in old Japan; mixed bathing in the altogether was a thing for centuries. And before the Meiji Restoration, pornographic prints, or shunga, were popularly enjoyed by all social classes; these illustrations often featured disproportionate genitalia and clothed models. With the Restoration, however, censorship laws were brought in to cover pornography as well as criticism of the Emperor and his government. After WWII, the Occupation pornography laws were transplanted wholesale from the US; where they coincided with the Meiji laws, it’s, well, coincidence.

Over the years, the pornography laws have been somewhat relaxed; where once it was illegal to show pubic hair, for instance, leading to all Japanese models shaving their nethers, it is now legal, and models now sport neatly trimmed pubes, which can be helpful in covering up women’s labia, which are still illegal to show undisguised. Artistic depictions of male genitalia are still illegal, especially erect pricks, with an apparent exception to be made for certain traditional festivals. This ban, incidentally, is why manga and anime drew on an older tradition of rude tentacles, as depicted by Hokusai and others, to depict certain acts in pornography. Penises are not allowed; tentacles that are essentially penis analogs are okay.

So there’s plenty of evidence to support the idea that the mores of Japan are not the mores of the West, although at first blush they may appear similar. The legal status of those mores is as mixed-up as those of the West, though. In the West, classical and faux-classical art depicting nudity is publicly kosher, mostly, but modern depictions have to tread carefully; in Japan, nudity is fine, giant erect penises in temple festivals are fine, fluffy cushions fashioned after women’s genitalia are not.


#14

Can you give more details about this? Do you mean films that are legal for the Japanese to produce within Japan, provided that the films are not actually exhibited within Japan? I’m aware that there are some films (mostly if not exclusively pornography without fogging) that fall into this category, but I thought this was a fairly recent phenomenon.


#15

Its my understanding from some art books I have purchased here that shunga werent actually legal. As I understand it, in the rare case there was legal interference in manufacture or sale it was for being too overt. It wasnt so much anti-obscenity legislation as something akin to public morals laws.

I’ve heard that and also heard that it was airbrushing. Perhaps some of both. Even the hint of a visible slit at that time frame would have fallen on the wrong side of the law.

Oddly enough I’ve never heard that from anyone here in Japan. It may simply be coincidence ending in a just so explanation.

Oh they absolutely are not in this and many many areas.

In very limited contexts

AFAIK constitutionally protected on several grounds and absolutely no cop or prosecutor is going to go up against a long established temple probably even with iron clad evidence of financial malfeasance & murder.

Again depends, In the case of Igarashi, this may simply be one bit of things related to the prosecution rather than a prosecutable item on its own. Similar pillows can be found at various retailers in Tokyo that are not “adult oriented”


#16

Well, I was thinking specifically of “In the Realm of the Senses” (愛のコリーダ), which is actually from the '70s, but it had some very explicit nudity/sex (which caused problems almost everywhere it was shown around the world) - the full cut of the film has only been seen outside Japan, apparently. Reading up on it, they avoided problems by having it officially be a French production and did the film development and editing in France, even though in every other respect it’s a Japanese movie. It seems like there’s a few other Japanese films of the period that are less explicit but still fall afoul of censorship laws, but they may have been made similarly.


#17

Yes, I know In the Realm of the Senses, but I didn’t think that’s what you meant because 1) as you pointed out it was actually from the '70s and 2) it had to pass itself off as a French production to avoid prosecution and Oshima was still tried for obscenity anyway. This obscenity trial was for a book connected to the film rather than the film itself, but it still seems that ItRotS was considered beyond the pale. I could easily be mistaken but I suspect that the hardcore nature of the film was not known to the authorities until the film was already in the can and out of the country. Significantly, when fellow film rebel Terayama Shuji made his foray into explicit sex, Fruits of Passion, (which had French producer Anatole Dauman in common with Senses) the decision was made to film in Hong Kong.


#18

The “good for nothing artist” appears to have a very serious side - she is trying to reduce the shame of Japanese women so they can start to address sexual health problems.


#19

Well, this is considered classic art:

But I guess cultures who like to produce both extremely exaggerated pornography and whimsical illustrations of octopuses are going to make something like this inevitably.


#20