cover of Barazoku (薔薇族) magazine issue #27 April 1975 Barazoku...

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cover of Barazoku (薔薇族) magazine issue #27
April 1975

Barazoku was Japan’s first widely available gay magazine. It was launched in 1971 by Bungaku Ito, a heterosexual publishing heir who wanted to combat societal prejudices towards gay people. 

Early on, Barazoku faced criminal accusations of obscenity over the depiction of a single public hair. Getting off with a warning (“not another pubic hair”), Ito again ran afoul of the law with the April 1975 issue of the magazine, which included Mansaku Arashi’s erotic novel Danshoku Saiyuki (Gay Journey to the West). From Wikipedia:

This time Ito and the novel’s author Mansaku Arashi were summoned and interrogated harshly, until when the investigators found out that Arashi was related to a former prime minister of Japan. Soon the interrogation was closed and Ito and Arashi were not criminalized, but further sale of the April 1975 issue was forbidden.

via de maupinBungaku Ito’s Blog (伊藤文学のひとりごと)