Fashionistas defend 'obscene' photographer Leslie Kee

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  • 13

    Teachmeteachyou

    Well he is clearly an artist, so this is clearly artistic expression. The difference with pornography is it's sole purpose is to titillate. These kind of laws, which I don't really agree with, should be applied with some discretion. It seems to me the real problem is eroticising under-age girls rather than artists expressing themselves.

  • 6

    GW

    J-authorities firmly plants foot in mouth once again!

    This is one of those embarassing times to be a foreigner in Japan, note to authorities, pleaee STOP, we beg you, some common sense'd go a LONG way! And do something useful while your at it like outlawing child porn, just a simple thought, USE IT!

  • 5

    nedinjapan

    This is a good piece of evidence to the 'Ridiculous Nature' of the courts in Japan; they simply abuse law by their absurd interpretations to bully decent people and support criminals. Shame on you ...

  • 7

    Pukey2

    Thank god some famous Japanese people have also expressed their shock at this anal-retentive law. It amazes me that the male genitals still requires pixellation in Japan when:

    You can get dirty magazines at some vending machines, dirty videos and channels at business hotels, pixellation which doesn't do that good a job hiding the genitals in the first place, dirty magazines which show all sorts of orifices, liquids and waste product without pixellation, sex-talk during lunchtime family shows (ever seen Shinkon-san irasshai?). I once saw a man salivating while reading his newspaper on the train - he then flipped the newspaper over and I saw a women completed naked - full frontal.

    Male genitals are something you can see in Japanese baths. I've even seen infant girls taken into the male baths by their fathers - unless the girls are blind, I think even they can seen them.

  • 0

    Probie

    Well he is clearly an artist, so this is clearly artistic expression. The difference with pornography is it's sole purpose is to titillate. These kind of laws, which I don't really agree with, should be applied with some discretion. It seems to me the real problem is eroticising under-age girls rather than artists expressing themselves.

    Everyone was geting all giddy with anger over a dumb girl with a kid holding her norks a while ago. Why is that bad, and this "artistic expression"?

    You can get dirty magazines at some vending machines, dirty videos and channels at business hotels, pixellation which doesn't do that good a job hiding the genitals in the first place, dirty magazines which show all sorts of orifices, liquids and waste product without pixellation

    I always thought that was hilarious. You can show a woman covered in man-milk, or urine, or number 2; but don't show a trouser snake or axe-wound because that's wrong!

  • -1

    cierzo98

    Is it not the photographs that some are regarding as 'obscene' rather than the photogrpaher, as the headline of this article implies?

  • 1

    taj

    Glad to hear that the supreme court has already ruled on Mapplethorpe. But now I'm left to wonder, what's up with the prosecutor (or police chief) that launched this arrest?

    I hope more people will come to Kee's defence and that he is released without charge.

  • 2

    Lilic

    Luck one he's a well know person, i can imagine if he was a just mortal foreigner like us, he will be behind bars and no one will notice, the legislation in this country needs to change!

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    He is just a mortal gaijin, just happens to be a bit more famous than most of us and his nihonjin friends are batting up to help him out in his time of need, arigatou!

  • 0

    randomenigma

    A bunch of people are calling him famous, but the first I heard of him was in these news articles. So if they were trying to make him famous by arresting him, I guess they succeeded. Now demand for his stuff will be even greater.

  • -1

    Cos

    “Under their narrow interpretation, works by Terry Richardson and Robert Mapplethorpe are all considered obscene,”

    They are obscene (some, not all their photos). So is any pornography, even with mosaic. Not a reason to jail the guys if they don't expose them in the public space or in private events accepting underage, idem for the prints, as long as the buyers are not underage, it's not an issue. But the Japanese law does not say why it's banned, it's a stupid law : "show these parts and get arrested". Like chewing-gum is forbidden in Singapore.

  • -1

    Cos

    Everyone was geting all giddy with anger over a dumb girl with a kid holding her norks a while ago.

    Because he was a kid.

  • -1

    Wakarimasen

    May be ridiculous but then again who wants to look at pictures of male genitals?

  • 0

    Tokiyo

    I don't think the point of the show was to "go look at pictures of make genitals" It was a showcase of photography.

    Plus, there are plenty of people that like to look and male genitals - just as there are many people that like to look at women's breasts and women's genitalia. How is that ridiculous?

  • 1

    Cos

    May be ridiculous but then again who wants to look at pictures of male genitals?

    Tastes and colors. From what I get, the pictures show the whole men, and some guys are totally watchable. He was not going to emasculate them to take nude photos. Well, yeah, there is the mosaic (J-style) and the ridiculous cartoon flower (US-style).

  • -1

    Probie

    Everyone was geting all giddy with anger over a dumb girl with a kid holding her norks a while ago.

    Because he was a kid.

    But what about "artistic expression"? ;)

  • 1

    shirokuma2011

    Twitter user @onda_natsue said the arrest showed how unsophisticated Japanese culture is.

    Or rather, how unsophisticated contemporary Japanese culture can be. It wasn't always this way.

  • -1

    Vienna1sausage

    Censorship of the male genitalia is a vain attempt of the Japanese government to prevent Japanese women from seeing what's beyond their borders..

  • 2

    FightingViking

    @ProbieProbie

       Because he was a kid.
    

    But what about "artistic expression"?

    Pictures of nude children ON THEIR OWN can be considered artistic. On doesn't take pictures of an obviously pre-adolescent boy holding a woman's breasts. Un point c'est tout.

  • 1

    basroil

    CosFeb. 06, 2013 - 12:53PM JST

    They are obscene (some, not all their photos).

    Obscenity is a constantly changing idea, and in fact a very western idea dating back to church policies against heretical books. Some of the oldest books in existence can be considered obscene by governments today, even though they were perfectly valid hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

    So is any pornography, even with mosaic.

    Funny, basically any museum in Japan has pornography there, ranging from bestiality to rape to masturbation. Why are those not confiscated? Doesn't matter if they are 300 year old drawings, the content is no different, and many times far more graphic.

    Not a reason to jail the guys if they don't expose them .. in private events accepting underage, idem for the prints, as long as the buyers are not underage, it's not an issue.

    When you show or sell art, age is irrelevant. If people are against having their kids go see the works, then they should keep their kids from doing so on their own terms.

    But the Japanese law does not say why it's banned, it's a stupid law : "show these parts and get arrested". Like chewing-gum is forbidden in Singapore.

    Chewing gum actually had reasoning behind it, the fact that they wanted to clean up the street and it was too difficult to catch people littering. No gum= no gum residue on the sidewalks. Obscenity laws in Japan on the other hand started at the meiji restoration and went full on overkill after the war. Hell, it's actually related to why panty fetishes are so popular here.

  • -3

    Cos

    Obscenity is a constantly changing idea, ...Funny, basically any museum in Japan has pornography there, ranging from bestiality to rape to masturbation.

    Obscenity is even a personal concept, but well in each society there are clearly a definition of what can be showed anywhere, and the rest. I usually say "indecent" , not in the norm of decency. For the rest, for what is not for everybody, it can be in museums. Usually, they put it in some rooms with a warning at entrance. It's an issue only if it's in the street where everybody is forced to see it.

    When you show or sell art, age is irrelevant.

    Art is an irrelevant criteria. You call art what you want. My work is Art, but I'm the only one aware of it at that point... Closer to the topic, the guys that do torture in some SM clubs call themselves performing artists. I don't care. You don't go in those clubs if you are under 18, that's all.

    Chewing gum actually had reasoning behind it,

    That's my point. Bureaucratic logic.

    No gum= no gum residue on the sidewalks.

    They could put fines to those that litter. I never had a chewing-gum falling out of my mouth onto the side-walk, and you ? In the same logic, they can ban absolutely anything people may throw out or drop in the street (note that would be a way to get rid of fast-food, but that would also kill their New Year market ). So it's just like banning images of genitals for fear they could be seen by sensitive persons someday. Like assuming that the guy that bought Lee's album was going to show it to kiddos playing in the local park. BTW, was the buyer also arrested ? 99.999999% of the persons that make, sell, buy watch "pornography/obscenity/whatever the name" are not using it to shock or abuse anyone (this would be an actual crime). So the police would better use the energy at arresting the actual abusers. They don't need photos, they have their own junk to show. Actually, they could arrest all those disgusting ossans that pee in parks and on the side of roads (in the middle of Osaka), as they are pixelised.

  • 0

    Cos

    they are pixelised.

    Not pixelised. (Sorry I type too fast for my old keyboard.)

  • 0

    Kabukilover

    What is obscene is not artwork showing male genitals but that arrest in this day and age of serious artist for obscenity.

  • 0

    mangosqueezesbanana

    some call it obscenity other may say shock value

  • -2

    basroil

    CosFeb. 06, 2013 - 06:27PM JST

    Obscenity is even a personal concept,

    Indecency is a personal concept, obscenity is a societal one. In Japan, it's not even a societal one anymore, rather just an obsolete rule enforced more than necessary (compared to indecent exposure laws that are also meant to prevent "obscenity")

    For the rest, for what is not for everybody, it can be in museums. Usually, they put it in some rooms with a warning at entrance. It's an issue only if it's in the street where everybody is forced to see it.

    Plenty of tentacle porn from the 1600s in promotional material, far more public than a mostly closed gallery and a private event, which it was.

    Art is an irrelevant criteria. You call art what you want. My work is Art, but I'm the only one aware of it at that point...

    Having displayed my works at public galleries, I can tell you that there are many forms of art, but it is only art if you are able to convey that this IS art. Something only you care about is not art, it's an excuse to ignore the issue.

  • -3

    DudeDeuce

    Defend the guy all you want but if you decide to move to a foreign country, respect the laws as ridiculous as they might be or face the consequences.

    Should I go to Bali with a bag full of drugs hoping that they are going to change their laws because I am some hot shot American?

  • -1

    Tokiyo

    I should think a nude body would carry a lot less consequence than a "bag full of drugs." Sometimes you just end up in places, whether you want to or not. Weak comparison methinks.

  • -2

    basroil

    TokiyoFeb. 07, 2013 - 10:03AM JST

    I should think a nude body would carry a lot less consequence than a "bag full of drugs." Sometimes you just end up in places, whether you want to or not. Weak comparison methinks.

    Well, consider it this way, this person is risking twice as much jail time as the average vehicular homicide.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please.

  • -1

    Tizalleyman

    @ Tokiyo

    I should think a nude body would carry a lot less consequence than a "bag full of drugs." Sometimes you just end up in places, whether you want to or not. Weak comparison methinks.

    Try displaying the nude body in a Muslim country. I'm not defending the law in Japan or making any personal judgements about decency or obsenity, but Basroil & DudeDeuce have a valid point. Either accept the consequences of breaking the law or don't do it. Maybe the artist wanted to stir up some controversy to encourage debate or just wanted some personal attention. Either way, it was still against the law...

  • 0

    Tokiyo

    Hey, drugs kill people, nude bodies don't which is why I am saying it carries far less consequence that a bag full of drugs. Muslims...I won't touch that topic.

    If that be the case, ukiyo-e should be censored, the penis festival should be censored, the penis shrines should be censored, paintings should be censored, fashion healths should be raided. The law may be the law but the implementation of it is totally arbitrary - thus "the law is the law" excuse is kind of a lame duck. If they want that argument to hold any weight then do a better job policing it.

  • -1

    gokai_wo_maneku

    So how do I become a "fastonista", and how much does it pay?

  • -1

    basroil

    TokiyoFeb. 07, 2013 - 03:44PM JST

    If that be the case, ukiyo-e should be censored,

    I've also agreed, several times.

    the penis festival should be censored, the penis shrines should be censored.

    Hell, anyone that participates in those, sells or buys ANYTHING dick related there (from dick on a stick to dick carvings) should be arrested.

    The law may be the law but the implementation of it is totally arbitrary

    Not only arbitrary, but also carries an unjust sentence, as I was saying before being interrupted. This is less a law and more some politician's wet dream of power.

  • -1

    DudeDeuce

    I should think a nude body would carry a lot less consequence than a "bag full of drugs." Sometimes you just end up in places, whether you want to or not. Weak comparison methinks.

    Not really, laws are laws and every country has different ones than where you come from. Not showing male genitalia is one of the most famous laws in Japan. I wouldn't call 2 years in jail that minor.

  • -3

    basroil

    DudeDeuceFeb. 08, 2013 - 10:20AM JST

    Not really, laws are laws and every country has different ones than where you come from. Not showing male genitalia is one of the most famous laws in Japan. I wouldn't call 2 years in jail that minor.

    Sorry, but calling BS on that one. http://photoguide.jp/pix/displayimage.php?album=529&pid=14207#top_display_media is a Japanese website hosted on Japanese servers showing a Japanese matsuri that has Japanese people in Japan.... and a whole bunch of dicks. http://tomuraya.co.jp/wakamiya-10.htm is another famous one, and better yet, it disproves any notion that showing a dick in public is bad, just look at all the children!

  • 0

    airrunwesker

    I say supporters all start showing our genitals in support of Lee!

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