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Japan: Artist fined for breaking the country’s obscenity law

10 May 2016

On 9 May 2016, a Tokyo district court found the Japanese artist Rokudenashiko (real name: Megumi Igarashi) guilty of breaking the country’s obscenity laws because she produced a kayak modelled on her vagina, reported The Guardian and BBC. She was fined 400,000 yen (US$3,700). In court appearances, Igarashi insisted her …

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Japan: Exhibition of Unfreedom of Expression

23 January 2015

“Is Japan a nation of free speech? How much freedom of expression do people enjoy in this country?” asks Reiji Yoshida and Kazuaki Nagata in an article in The Japan Times about an ‘Exhibition of Unfreedom of Expression’ which is on display in a small gallery in Tokyo until 1 …

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Japan: Artist imprisoned over ‘obscene’ kayak design

15 December 2014

                    When Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi began to make plaster casts of her genitalia and show them in exhibitions, she accepted some people might be upset. But she could not have imagined she would end up in prison. Megumi Igarashi has …

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Japan: ‘Vagina artist’ released after one week in prison

21 July 2014

42-year-old sculptor and illustrator Megumi Igarashi has been released after spending a week in jail for distributing digital data that made it possible to recreate her genitals with a 3D printer, a possible violation of the Japanese law banning the distribution of “obscene” material, the Kyodo news agency reported Saturday. Megumi …

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Japan: Censors reject the French film ‘My Little Princess’

31 March 2014

Japan’s film censorship body, Eirin, has labeled French film My Little Princess as ‘Inapplicable for Classification’. Even though Eirin calls its classification system ‘voluntary’, its refusal to give the film a rating certificate is the equivalent of banning it from a regular theatrical release. According to the Code of the …

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Japan: Director claims censorship of film set in slum

25 March 2014

Japan’s biggest slum is visible just blocks from bustling restaurants and shops in Osaka, the country’s second-largest city. But it cannot be found on official maps. Nor did it appear in the recent Osaka Asian Film Festival, after the director of a new movie that is set in the area …

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Artist Alert: August and September 2013 | Article 19

24 October 2013

Newsletter from Article 19, published on article19.org on 21 October 2013: Art, in any form, constitutes a key medium through which information and ideas are imparted and received. Artist Alert, launched by ARTICLE 19 in 2008, highlights cases of artists around the world whose right to freedom of expression has …

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1930-1949 Asia

1 January 2001

1934. China. Li Jinhui Shanghai-based composer and songwriter Li Jinhui was banned (if only ineffectually) by the ruling Nationalist Party, and repeatedly came under attack from the socialist left because of the association of his music with the colonial, petit-bourgeois culture of urban Shanghai. Li Jinhui had been experimenting with …

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