• About the « harmful works classification » in Nagasaki Prefecture :
In a document published in 2008 [i] by the children's future agency of the social welfare department of Nagasaki Prefecture [ii], my work « Manhole » (volume 1) was classified as a « harmful document for minors ».
As I have never been contacted regarding this issue, I have remained ignorant of this very important fact for about 5 years. I have only known about this since last year, and wished to request to Nagasaki Prefecture and its governor the withdrawal of my work from this classification.
• My opinion on Manhole :
Though one can find a certain depiction of violence and fear in Manhole, I am convinced that this work does not deserve to be called harmful.
If we were to admit that these depictions in Manhole could be harmful to minors, then according to these standards set by Nagasaki Prefecture, they should include many more works that are far more violent than Manhole. What they call an application of the law is completely arbitrary (by which I mean illogical and contradictory)
At the end of last year, I have sought legal advice with the Tokyo Law Office Authense [iii], and after discussing this issue, I have decided to engage in legal pursuit in order to withdraw Manhole from this gharmful work classificationh.
By the way, as I was looking up the different works included in this classification, I realized that around the same time they included my manga, they had also included shunga (erotic prints) from the Edo Period, works that should be considered as important cultural assets[iv].
The making of the classification is completely meaningless, and proves not only the ignorance and intolerance of Nagasaki Prefecture towards works of popular culture, but I believe that this is a clear violation of our freedom of speech as it is defined and protected by our Constitution.
• Financing this legal action :
Finally, I must stress that this is my way, as an author, to express a strong objection towards an unfair act of censorship, I do not intend demanding any kind of monetary compensation or indemnity for hypothetical sales loss, and I will cover all expenses and lawyer fees on my own.
My main source of funding being revenue from sales of my works, I incent people wanting to support my cause to purchase my works, starting with Manhole, it will be the greatest of help.
Thanking you all in advance for your support,
[i] Harmful works classification, Nagasaki (from 2002 to 2012)
Classification of 2008 : Manhole vol. 1, published by SquareEnix
[ii] Children's future agency, department of social welfare, Nagasaki Prefecture
[iii] Authense, law office
[iv] Harmful works classification, Nagasaki (from 2002 to 2012)
Classification of 2008 : Shunga - Sun special issue, published by Heibonsha https://www.pref.nagasaki.jp/shared/uploads/2014/09/1412141141.pdf