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No grant for Aichi art festival after 'comfort women' exhibition fiasco

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"The issue is not about the exhibit content but about the procedure," a source close to the agency said.

Is 'a source close to the agency' a reliable and quotable source? This whole article reads like total BS from start to finish. "The Agency for Cultural Affairs said it will not pay a 78 million yen as it was not informed in advance that the exhibition could trigger an outcry." What a load of crap! Obviously this agency is run by a bunch old right-wing cronies who still believe these women all volunteered for sexual servitude to support the imperial army. The funds were pulled because they told the truth about the sex slaves. Plane and simple!

1 ( +20 / -19 )

So much for freedom of expression. Going by the exhibitions title, it looks like they proved their point. Sadly this portrays Japan as no better than the vicious and oppressive dictatorships across the water from them.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Glad to hear they were defunded.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

Is it safe to admit there's no freedom of expression in japan now? Or are we just going to pretend?

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

Glad to hear they were defunded

Somebody didn't bother to read the article:

will not receive a state subsidy due to procedural errors.

defund

/diːˈfʌnd/

verbUS

past tense: defunded; past participle: defunded

prevent from continuing to receive funds.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Is it safe to admit there's no freedom of expression in japan now?

Yes.

Or are we just going to pretend?

We won't, but Japanophiles and the Japanese will.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

...As the band played "believe it if you can"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have been involved in many art exhibitions and say it's unusual for the organisers to have to state the precise contents, especially at a major exhibition like a Triennale or Biennale in order to receive state funding.

That would imply state censorship of a cultural event.

How would any organiser actually know the public reaction until the event is open and viewed.

The attempted censorship is of more concern than the contents of the event which wasn't some single topic but many.

https://aichitriennale.jp/en/

5 ( +10 / -5 )

It is not the freedom of expression matter. The event itself is a nonsense produced by unintelligent Japanese staff. Japanese medias are a lot behind compared with BBC, ABC, CNBC, NPR and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal etc. They do not understand what is truly important to report. I watch most of time Hoso Daigaku - Air University.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Good for the government. Public funding must be completely transparent, and this wasnt. Absolutely nothing to do with "censorship" or "freedom of expression".

2 ( +15 / -13 )

When they say; "The issue is not about the exhibit content but about the procedure," what they mean is that the issue is not about the procedure but entirely about the exhibit content.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

If a city is looking to attract Chinese and Koreans to their area, build up security and set up museums that cover the Nankin massacre, comfort women, Korean slave labor, the impact Japan had on the lives it oppressed in Japan, Korea, and China , topics like how conglomerates made their fortunes then and got to where they are today. I’m sure the list goes on. 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki have their history which people from all around the world come to learn from, grow, and say never forget and never again. 

Can you imagine if the United States were to say, ‘The nuclear bombs we dropped were not nearly as big as you say! It wasn’t even close to causing that level of damage you claim! You have to be kidding when you say that many people died!’

I would imagine rightly so Japanese would be deeply hurt and offended.

As I walk through parks here I occasionally find a random park with a concrete shape or a play area that seems to be a symbol of the atom dome. I pause at these places wondering how many Japanese realize the shapes significance. Those places in Nagasaki and Hiroshima are hallowed ground. The sad events of those times are seared into the psyche of this culture. Those events sadly happened. But It would be wrong to to take the events of what happened there away. 

As far as how Aichi can pay for this, I recommend they put a go fund me page out. There are those who would help cover the costs.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

. Public funding must be completely transparent, and this wasnt. Absolutely nothing to do with "censorship" or "freedom of expression".

Hahahaha...good one Gambare.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

For seven and a half decades Japan has done its best to hide, obscure, lie about, downplay and deny its wartime crimes against humanity. This is yet another example. Shame on Aichi-ken.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

.....will not receive a state subsidy due to procedural errors.

Another pathetic excuse by Abe's right wing cohorts, akin to the export controls excuse for the retaliation against South Korea's Supreme Court rulings.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Politicians and bureaucrats programmed to indulge in ideological twerking are seldom suited to opine on art for as Kafka wrote: I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief. 

Any work of art that has this same disturbing effect as the "comfort women" is anathema to the pusillanimous denizens of officialdom who fear to tread where the brave spirit and soul of humanity shine.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The purpose of art is to make us question and challenge our thinking and expectations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ok, so BB of Co. B got the verb wrong.  But, I agree with his meaning/concept.  W/o breaking down the issues of "comfort women", which anyone here should be read up on virtually ad infinitum, the Japanese consider the issue closed (notice I didn't say forgotten) per earlier signed agreement between J and SK.  So, re-energizing the issue through something supposedly called "art" is anathematic to the Japanese and has no place on Japanese soil.

(For those who are preparing to slaughter me on this post) Yes, I am a Japanophile, but that does not make me an apologist for them nor anyone else. It means I'm highly cognizant of Japanese feeling (lived there many years) and am well read on things Japanese.  Ok, now go for it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not sure why both Chipstar and kokoro7 assumed bugle boy didn’t mean what he said . Maybe he is glad they were defunded .

”Glad to hear they were defunded

Somebody didn't bother to read the article:

will not receive a state subsidy due to procedural errors.

defund

/diːˈfʌnd/

verbUS

past tense: defunded; past participle: defunded

“Ok, so BB of Co. B got the verb wrong. But, I agree with his meaning/concept.  “

>

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Imperial Japan will not be questioned

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The Asahi Shimbun, which first addressed the comfort women issue, apologized for the error in the article. It's ridiculous to use public money to make this problem bigger.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wallace FredSep. 28  05:22 pm JST

Is it safe to admit there's no freedom of expression in japan now? Or are we just going to pretend?

Chip StarSep. 28  05:42 pm JST

Is it safe to admit there's no freedom of expression in japan now?

Yes.

Or are we just going to pretend?

We won't, but Japanophiles and the Japanese will.

Idiotic opinions as always. Anyone arrested and charged as in SK just for practicing their freedom of thought& expression challenging Korean must-narratives? It is just not supported by our bloody tax money.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Can you imagine if the United States were to say, ‘The nuclear bombs we dropped were not nearly as big as you say! It wasn’t even close to causing that level of damage you claim! You have to be kidding when you say that many people died!’

I would imagine rightly so Japanese would be deeply hurt and offended.

Is US saying as such? Is Japan complaining about CW exhibitions in SK other then requesting to respect Vienna convention by removing one from the Japan's embassy? More than any, is Japan oppressing such exhibitions in Japan like the one in NIshi-Waseda by WAM?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Unfortunately this kind of attempts by national or local authorities to squash artistic freedom of expression are rather frequent. The concepts of freedom of expression and more fundamentally that of civil liberties in general have never really gained a foothold in Japan. While there is a tradition of "looking the other way", as soon as someone complains directly (even if it's only a single voice) the authorities use that as an excuse to crack down on the freedom of expression, especially in regard to forms of expression directly critical of authorities or even worse of the emperor. I sometimes get the impression that authorities outrightly assigning people to complain so that they can step in, but that is not based on any factual knowledge.

Just like in this case they then use formalities as an excuse to shut down exhibitions or more frequently remove artworks from exhibitions.

The last two examples of such censorship were an artwork by Makoto Aida in an exhibition in the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art and an exhibition featuring stylized vaginas by Megumi Igarashi. In the case of Aida the artwork was a huge banner with handwritten text outrightly critical of the Japanese education system and the national board of education, that Aida had written together with his at that time junior-high-school-aged son.

In the case of Igarashi the authorities took the case to court where it was decided (by an old male ) judge that showing stylized vaginas in art was obscene. Both in my eyes clear violations of the freedom of expression, regardless of whether you like the artworks or not.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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