Top: Cover of Barazoku (薔薇族) magazine issue #30, July 1975Cover...

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Top: Cover of Barazoku (薔薇族) magazine issue #30, July 1975
Cover artwork by Ryu Fujita (藤田竜)

Bottom: Illustration by Go Hirano (平野剛) for Barazoku #30

After the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s “Public Morals” office banned the April 1975 issue of Barazoku, publisher Bungaku Ito was convinced the fallout for his magazine would be disastrous. Ito was forced to pay a ¥200,000 fine and Mansaku Arashi (author of the scandalous Gay Journey to the West) was also fined ¥100,000. A directive prohibiting the sale of Barazoku was sent to police stations nationwide, resulting in coverage of the scandal in newspapers and on television. As a result, sales of Barazoku soared.

Go Hirano deliberately refrained from showing the crotches of the men embracing each other in his illustration for Barazoku’s July issue, but even still, the image provoked the ire of police officials. Barazoku was barely holding the line. 

via Bungaku Ito’s Blog (伊藤文学のひとりごと)