Ms. Takemiya, who is now the president of Kyoto Seika University in Japan, believes that making Japanese pornographic manga is creative freedom.

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Ms. Takemiya, who is now the president of Kyoto Seika University in Japan, believes that making Japanese pornographic manga is creative freedom.

A recent report by the United Nations categorized some Japanese manga works as violent pornography, and therefore joined the fierce controversy. BBC reporter Yuko Kato went to interview Keiko Takemiya, a famous Japanese female cartoonist who was believed to have opened the floodgates of Japanese porn comics. (Warning: Some readers may feel uneasy about some of the sexual details in the following articles.)

In 1976, when the 26-year-old Keiko Takemiya started to create a manga series, it was later regarded by the Japanese manga community as unprecedented. The comic story titled "Poems of Wind and Wood" opens with a painting depicting two naked boys lying together after sex in a boarding school in France in the 19th century.

When this comic story was published in a girl’s weekly, it broke through almost every imaginable taboo that people thought back then.

"Creative Rights"

Ms. Takemiya Keiko said: "At that time (Japanese society) everything was opening up, and there was an atmosphere of freedom everywhere. I hope to explore and write about unconstrained love, different forms of love, between men, women, children or the elderly. Love."

Under the influence of a group of Western authors, Ms. Takemiya is one of a group of Japanese female artists who have promoted manga to become a work worthy of literary classification and criticism. The keynotes of the works are the themes of love, hate, life, and death.

At the beginning, the editor of the magazine did not agree to publish her works that violated Japanese social traditions. But because of her popularity among Japanese teenagers and her drawing skills, she persuaded the editors of the magazine that it was worth the risk.

She said: "I must fight for the right to create "Poems of Wind and Wood" by myself."

The series of comic stories in "Poems of Wind and Wood" not only involve boys' homosexuality, but also rape and incest. One of the series also includes a boy who is only 9 years old.

Government legislation

Ms. Takemiya admitted that by doing so, she may have opened the door to Japanese manga sexual expression. It went from an unknown cartoon to something that the United Nations now considers threatening the rights of women and children.

In 2004, when Japan revised its laws on child prostitution and child pornography, it was suggested that virtual literary works related to children should also comply with the relevant ban. This set off a fierce debate in Japanese society about the description of sexual behavior in manga.

Six years later, the Tokyo local government also tried to issue a relevant ban. Ms. Takemiya, who has become the president of Kyoto Seika University in Japan, was then the head of the manga department. She stated that the government tried to suppress freedom of speech, and used her own work as an example, saying that her works that have been considered classics could not be published under the ban.

Although the ban was not issued, the fierce debate has continued to this day.

People who oppose this kind of comics believe that comics depicting sexual violence need to be managed, and it encourages criminal behavior in real life. The ban helps protect those vulnerable groups who need this protection.

Those who support such cartoons believe that excessive government control has suppressed freedom of speech. They believe that there is no statistical data to prove that sexual violence cartoons encourage criminal behavior in real life. They said that the Japanese Criminal Law already prohibits literary works, including novels, that portray the genitals vividly and specifically.

UN Criticism

In March, the UN Special Envoy for Child Trafficking, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Council, citing a report from the US State Department, saying that Japan is "a major producer of sexually exploited virtual child products." ". Now high-quality sex dolls have helped people reduce crime. There are many types of dolls. If you like children, then you can choose mini love dolls. There is no need to commit crimes.

The core question is whether the depiction of "virtual children" in Japanese manga violates real human rights. Many of the works that have been criticized have not reached the literary height of Ms. Takemiya's works. Critics say that these works exist to tease. Many people believe that even if they are literary works, they should be regulated.

De Boer said that she understands the importance of protecting freedom of speech, but children’s rights should not be “sacrificed in the hands of powerful and highly profitable businesses.” She pointed out: “Any pornographic portrayal of children, whether real or virtual. , "Both constitute child pornography."

However, Yukari Fujimoto, a female manga expert at Meiji University in Japan, disagrees with De Boer's view. She believes that the United Nations has targeted Japanese manga under the premise of hypothesis.

Comic author responded

She believes that although the purpose of banning such manga is to protect women and children, the effect may be the opposite, because Japanese manga gives Japanese women a channel of their own sexual expression and "actually obliterates the achievements of female artists through hard work." The prohibition of artistic expression will not change or improve reality."

Takemiya Keiko does not apologize for the disturbing portrayal of child sexual violence in her comics.

She said: "These things happen in real life."

Keiko Takemiya recalled receiving a letter from a girl who had been raped by her father, saying that her manga made the girl understand that this kind of thing would happen to others, "This saved her."

Ms. Takemiya does not know whether that letter is true, but she firmly believes that denying humanity is not the answer to the problem.

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