CENSORSHIP


CENSORSHIP
   Censorship in modern Japan has served as both a political expedient wielded by government as well as a self-regulating tool used by the publishing houses. In 1869, the first publishing regulations were enacted, followed in 1875 by regulations for newspapers. Under the Meiji Constitution, these regulations were modified and intensified, focusing not only on treasonable materials but also on anything deemed “injurious to public morals.” Publishers learned quickly what would and would not pass the government censors and often used self-censorship to avoid the scandal of official censure. The inevitable clash between writers and censorship laws came early and often through the end of World War II, in part because of the kind of freedoms of expression the new narrative styles allowed and encouraged. With the rise of Communism and proletarian literature in the 1920s, the police were particularly severe in enforcing the Peace Preservation Act of 1925, which outlawed groups that sought to alter the system of government or to abolish private ownership. This act was broadly interpreted and was often used to censor literary publication. As Japan’s war with China escalated, writers were forced to either produce propaganda or not write at all. Tanizaki Jun’ichiro was particularly affected by wartime censorship, as both his modern translation of The Tale of Genji (ca. 1008) and his novel Sasameyuki (1943–48; tr. The Makioka Sisters, 1957) were subjected to censorship.
   Following the war, the Allied Occupation force set up its own censorship system, which came to an end with the Occupation and the establishment of Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution prohibiting censorship. Although Japanese literature has been free of censorship ever since, there have been subsequent obscenity trials focusing on the translation of works by D. H. Lawrence and the Marquis de Sade.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • censorship — cen·sor·ship n: the institution, system, or practice of censoring compare freedom of speech, prior restraint Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • Censorship — Cen sor*ship, n. The office or power of a censor; as, to stand for a censorship. Holland. [1913 Webster] The press was not indeed at that moment under a general censorship. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • censorship — 1590s, office of a censor, from CENSOR (Cf. censor) + SHIP (Cf. ship). Meaning action of censoring is from 1856 …   Etymology dictionary

  • censorship — [n] forbiddance; ban blackout*, blue pencil*, bowdlerization, control, forbidding, hush up*, infringing on rights, iron curtain*, restriction, suppression, thought control*; concepts 376,388 Ant. approval, compliment, encouragement, endorsement,… …   New thesaurus

  • censorship — [sen′sər ship΄] n. 1. the act, system, or practice of censoring 2. the office or term of a Roman censor 3. Psychoanalysis the agency by which unpleasant ideas, memories, etc. are kept from entering consciousness, except symbolically as in dreams …   English World dictionary

  • Censorship — Part of a series on Censorship By media …   Wikipedia

  • censorship — /sen seuhr ship /, n. 1. the act or practice of censoring. 2. the office or power of a censor. 3. the time during which a censor holds office. 4. the inhibiting and distorting activity of the Freudian censor. [1585 95; CENSOR + SHIP] * * * Act of …   Universalium

  • Censorship —    During the period of partition, films in the Polish territories were censored according to the laws of the occupying powers. After regaining independence in 1918, the government was in favor of an open market regulated by tariffs and… …   Guide to cinema

  • Censorship —    Film censorship regulations were first introduced in Italy in 1913 by a law that established the requirement for all films to be furnished with an official written release (nulla osta) from the Ministry for the Interior, granted on the basis… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Censorship —    Official film censorship in Spain started in 1912, and remained in place as an explicit system to control artistic expression, enforced in one form or another, until 1977. The power to censor spectacles was held, in the early periods, by the… …   Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema


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