Shinjuku boos bara billboard for HIV awareness


Poko Murata's billboard in gay neighborhood draws ire from local government

An interesting struggle is going on in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ni-Chome, a popular gay neighborhood. VIIV Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company that makes an HIV drug, selected popular gay artist Poko Murata to draw up an HIV awareness ad to run in the neighborhood. The ad, pictured above, quickly sent the Shinjuku Ward Office into a tizzy because it went up against "public order and morality."

Y'know, when it's cool to have 8-year-old girls in skimpy swimsuit photoshoots.

Japan has had a long history of homosexuality in its art, which Gay Manga goes into detail on. In fact, there's a lot of use of sexuality to sell products. Just go into any convenience store in Japan and see the magazines strewn about with lascivious women (real or drawn). And yet an ad like this offends moral sensibilities?

Well, with the Tokyo Olympics coming up, Japan is cracking down on "subculture" items that are not up to its moral standards. I'd expect to see more targeting of gay/bara material ahead of the Olympics, especially if Russia continues to show an aggressive stance in world politics.

What do you think of this billboard? Is it harmless, or is it super provocative because you can see a guy in his underwear?

[Gay Manga via Deb Aoki]

You are logged out. Login | Sign up



Brad Rice
Brad RiceFounder   gamer profile

Brad helped found in 2006, and currently serves as an Associate He's covered all aspects of the industry, but has a particular preference for the business-end of things, more + disclosures



Filed under... #manga #politics #serious business #Sex



You're not expected to always agree, but do please keep cool and never make it personal. Report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community team. Also, on the right side of a comment you can flag nasty comments anonymously (we ban users dishing bad karma). For everything else, contact us!