Seems the controversy of manga has reached the UN where Japan’s sex manga has been brought into question linking sex manga to violent pornography. I guess the only way to appreciate manga is if you are born and raised in Japanese culture which would obviously make one more susceptible to the cultural aspects of this art as the repository of fantasy. Kanji looks like art and art looks like kanji extended to manga makes sense. The critics make the claim sex manga is exploitation, others think it is child pornography. The “godmother” of sex manga here, Keiko Takemiya, say’s she “opened a Pandora’s box” by subscribing to her intent to demonstrate human sexuality in all its diverse and perverted forms through manga. Sounds good to me, after all, who am I to judge culture in Japan. Keiko Takemiya is president of Kyoto Seika University.
Kyoto Seika University is noted for its faculties in manga and anime which explains why Takemiya is the president. The university was chartered relatively recently in 1979 and is involved in the teaching and training of future manga artists. I’ve always wondered though what if any conveyor belt there is between sex manga and the porn industry in Japan that cranks out an estimated 24 films a week knowing that many Japanese girls are manipulated and often forced into pornography. What’s the connection if any to the porn industry and those in it who grew up spending a lot of time reading sex manga? Also, what if any connection is there between the number of young Japanese men disinterested in sex, the falling birth rate in Japan and the sex manga industry?
It’s a bizarre thought but there is actually a labor shortage in Japan’s porn industry with an estimated number of 70 hardcore Japanese males to what some think are around 10,000 Japanese females involved in the industry. A mechanized efficient robotized industry of predictable financial outcomes reduced to the basest of human instincts: sex for a price. Let’s trivialize it with manga. To my way of thinking, if there is a decreasing population in Japan couldn’t the manga industry be a little more creative by developing something along the lines of a manga series related to family issues? Like a series of manga characters consisting of a mom and dad really getting it down in the bedroom making little Japanese babies?
The godmother of manga sex in Japan
16 March 2016
Image caption Manga is hugely popular in Japan but critics fear some of it amounts to exploitation
A recent UN report weighed into a debate that provokes intense controversy in Japan, by including manga in a list of content with violent pornography. The BBC’s Yuko Kato went to meet one of Japan’s leading female manga artists, Keiko Takemiya, seen as the woman who opened the floodgates to sexually explicit manga.
Some readers may find some of the sexual details that follow disturbing.
In 1976, when she was only 26 years old, Keiko Takemiya began a comic series that proved to be a ground-breaking moment for Japanese manga. Called Kaze to Kino Uta (The Poem of Wind and Trees), it opens with two naked teenage boys in a 19th Century French boarding school lying on top of each other, post-coital.
The series centres on one of those boys and another new boy. Gilbert, who was abandoned by his parents but raised by his uncle, has experienced rape and incest, and spends his time as a sex toy for the older boys and staff. He then meets Serge, the dark-skinned son of an aristocrat, and the subject of bigotry.
It addressed and broke almost every taboo thinkable when it was published in a weekly girls’ manga magazine.
“In those days everything was opening up. Freedom was in the air… I wanted to explore and write about love without boundaries, love in different kinds of shapes and forms, whether it was between man, woman, child or an old person,” Ms Takemiya says.
Until the early 1970s, popular manga for girls in Japan was mainly about ordinary teenagers finding boyfriends, the trials and tribulations of everyday life. It was a time when a heterosexual kiss between consenting adults in manga was considered racy. Anything more intimate was simply hands held on bed sheets, flickering candles. Burgeoning sexuality was a teenager turning beet red when her hands touched the boy of her dreams.
Ms Takemiya was one of a pioneering group of female artists who made manga a genre many consider now worthy of literary criticism, heavily influenced by Western authors like Herman Hesse, Bram Stoker, Dumas and Dostoyevsky, drawing on their perennial themes of love, hate, life and death.
Please go to the BBC website to read the entire article.