PERSONAL NOTE: Manga is very popular in Japan, for young and old, men and women and teenagers! Subjects could be anything…and more sexual now. It is spreading to other parts of the world. But it is an obsession in Japan…like Anime…cartoons! peace, steve, usa August 7, 2019
The godmother of manga sex in Japan
• 16 March 2016
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.