TRIGGERING CONTENT: Japanese anime cartoons

Cdn Writer

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Hi,

Does anyone in here have any connections to law enforcement in Japan?

There's a form of anime from Japan which features children engaged in sexual activity with other children, with animals, with adults, any variation you can think of. This is apparently legal in Japan???? Apparently because they aren't "real" children but more art (?!?) representations??

Sorry, I'm still flabbergasted this exists. Anyways.....is there any action that can be taken to shut this down? It's in a foreign country (I'm in Canada) so I don't think the laws I know apply.

I don't want to post a link in case it is illegal (distribution/desimination of child pornography) but it can be found with a Google search of "japanese anime + children" for example. One artist has an 8 page story of an older sister molesting her younger brother.

Thanks for help.

Scott
 

JayBro

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Hey Scott,

That sounds horrible! Needless to say, I know that feeling of outrage and hopelessness that you are experiencing. Here in Germany viewing child abuse imagery is not even considered a serious crime and many are punished with fines. There is discussion about changing it but only because stuff is getting worse. A lot of people don't really see the harm, especially if the victims are teenagers. This is extremely triggering and upsetting to me.
I don't need to google the Japanese stuff you're mentioning, but I have heard of this type of stuff before. Very upsetting. How have you been dealing with the triggers?
 

Cdn Writer

Registrant
Hey, Jaybro,

It's not triggering for me, just absolutely shocking. My biggest fear is that somehow this crap being out there will escalate the acceptance of this material. I definitely do NOT want that to happen - we need this crap to be condemned absolutely and immediately. I just don't know how to do it.

I have one contact in Japan that said possession of child pornography was legal. He did say it was illegal to manufacture but it is legal to possess. Huh??? I understand the difference but I don't think it makes a lot of sense.

My contact was saying that Japan did not sign the UN declaration on the rights of the child so...maybe children don't have rights in Japan? Hard to fathom...

Scott
 
@Cdn Writer - you're noticing some very real differences in Japanese vs. western culture that many people before you have noticed.

Sad to say, there's nothing much to be done. It's legal and accepted there. However, social mores in Japan are changing somewhat and making this kind of pornography less acceptable.

It's good to remember that, as opposed to a photograph or video, viewing a drawing - no matter what that drawing is - harms no one. Even drawing such things harms no one.
 

JDylah_da_Kylah

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Hello friend!

I'm an anime fan (less-so a manga reader), and while most anime and manga is harmless (i.e. nothing to do with child pornography whatsoever), the widespread dissemination of this material within both industries (and it's acceptability in Japan)--as well as among some, though not all, Western anime fans--has always made me uncomfortable. It's been around for a long time, and is so deeply embedded that I don't think it's going away anytime soon.

I had a paragraph typed out about why I think this is "acceptable" in Japan (quotation marks because I think it's mostly part of the sexual subculture, which simply isn't talked about in mainstream Japanese society), but I'll leave it at the following:

I believe part of why it doesn't "count" as child pornography is because it's animation (or a comic, in the case of manga).

Much in the same way as there's more fanfiction out there than I care to admit featuring underage characters: that shit's not taken down and the authors aren't prosecuted because it's writing about, or drawing or animating or whatever, fictional characters. Not living children, or fictionalizations of living children. As long as it's all completely fictional . . . it gets a pass. I could be wrong, but I think that's where the legal "loophole" is.

(Though it's worth noting that the age of consent in Japan is 13, so I don't know if the blatant exhibition of this material, fictional or not, is acceptable because of that? That age was established in 1907, so . . . methinks there needs to be some fixing-up.)

But anyway . . . from a part-time anime fan, that's what I've gathered over the years. It's really unfortunate, too, because there's some truly amazing anime out there, and it breaks my heart to know that someone's first (and only) exposure to anime as a whole might be this terrible shit.

I hope that makes sense?

I'll be really curious to hear what others think . . .

P.S. Strangeways, well said!
 
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Cdn Writer

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@Cdn WriterIt's good to remember that, as opposed to a photograph or video, viewing a drawing - no matter what that drawing is - harms no one. Even drawing such things harms no one.
Not really. If someone who *MIGHT* molest a child was to see this material, the message that is sent... "THIS is ok." could lead to some abuse. Such material shows a segment of our society that other people feel/do the same - someone told the story, someone drew the story.....so if *I* feel like touching lil Suzie or lil Bobby......well....it must be ok!

It's hard enough to deal with actual child abuse, we don't need people drawing up and selling cartoons of it!

My opinion anyways......
 
the message that is sent... "THIS is ok." could lead to some abuse.
Just wanted to say that there's little evidence this happens, and in fact there is some evidence that seems to indicate that having these types of works available may possibly cut down on child abuse. But it's impossible to say for sure. Even one instance of child abuse is one too many. I certainly understand and agree with your point. It's very troubling, and I don't want to see it or want other people to see it.
 

jacats

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There's a lot of erotic fiction out there, from Canada, that is about all kinds of illegal shit. Rape, molestation, animals, non consent, abduction. And weird shit like ghosts and mind control and aliens. IMO it's totally not a Japanese thing, just look at the subheadings on any porn or erotic fiction site. Taboo shit always gets hits. So no need to go to japan, if you dont like it theres enough in Canada to deal with lol.
Also feel like most people who read that stuff wouldn't want it in real life. Rape fantasy is different than rape, most people wouldn't actually want to be raped by a ghost or killed by a vampire or made to do weird shit by a hypnotist on stage. But they get off on the fantasy. Imo totally different shit from real life.
 

Cdn Writer

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Highly Triggering Post:

Could someone perhaps clarify a point for me?

I learned back in Uni in the 90s that one thing child molesters did, they would view child pornographic images or other erotic material in order to lower their inhibitions against molesting children. If this is the case, any material that explicitly shows children engaged in sexual activity with adults, isn't this going to promote it?

The specific 8 page cartoon that I read before starting this thread was an older sister molesting her brother, all the way up to forced vaginal sex - she masturbated him to an erection and then sat on him. Afterwards, she was saying that she was happy to enjoy his penis after she'd taken care of it for so long and there were a series of drawings showing the two of them in the bathroom around the bathtub. The boy is clearly in distress, crying while the girl's hands are on his private parts. There's a caption about the boy being age 3 then age 8, etc. I found this material with a simple google search when I was looking for stats about female perpetrators in various countries.

I guess if the issue is which do you want to see - an actual child molested and photographed so that someone can view those images or do you want a animation about child abuse which is "just" a drawing and doesn't hurt any actual children? Well, I'll take the animation any day!

But I see the issue as more something that if someone is on the fence, like they have an attraction to children and society is saying "NO!! NO!!" then they see something that says, "YES!" when they are already thinking about offending ....does this contribute to an actual child abuse offense?

I'm not sure how you prove it one way or the other so I think erring on the side of caution would be warranted.

As for written erotica sites they do have stories about the lonely housewife getting it on with her mailman or the new hot neighbour (male or female) mixed in with the crap about the supernatural and children. I'm ok with the adult stuff. The stuff that is straight children or *wink, wink* children, I have reported what I'm aware of to law enforcement in North America but the material is still there so.......maybe it's protected by free speech?
 
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JDylah_da_Kylah

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(Edited because I just realized I completely missed the point of the last post. Sorry, @Cdn Writer! I hope you see this instead of what I wrote before.)

I think for the answers you're looking for, you'd have to ask a trained psychologist, or really dig into the clinical literature to see what specific triggers may or may not push someone who's looking at these images over the edge into actually harming a child (as well as taking into account what we may or may not know about, say, someone "graduating" from looking at animation to images of real children, etc.--and I suspect that specific aspect hasn't been studied). That having been said, I do know that some people who create or look at this material are not actually potential child molestors (or even remotely attracted to children), but are individuals dealing with CSA issues themselves. I can't speak to them having therapists or not, but I wonder if a large part of it isn't some form of self-medication / self-soothing / etc., much in the way that some rape survivors may find solace in writing stories about rape (and / or even finding rape fantasies stimulating). (And I know this only because this topic became a rather heated subject of discussion over on one of the fanfiction sites where I post my own work--and I found myself rather surprised by the answers given by so many people.)

Of course, this doesn't address the actual industry that exists around such material made for-profit in Japan, which I think is more at the heart of why you originally started this thread.

That having been said, as for why it's allowed--I think the legal distinction is simply the difference between fictional material and explicit content involving real children. So writing about two fictional underage characters or a fictional adult having sex with a fictional underage child isn't illegal. The line may be considered crossed if someone wrote or drew something about a non-fictional kid. That may well be prosecutable.

I have a friend who works in law enforcement . . . I'd be happy to ask her where the line is drawn, at least here in the States, if you'd like.
 
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I learned back in Uni in the 90s that one thing child molesters did, they would view child pornographic images or other erotic material in order to lower their inhibitions against molesting children.
Completely false. Child molesters may also use child porn, but they use it because they get off on it, not because it "helps" them molest. We believed a lot of very weird things in the 90s.
The stuff that is straight children or *wink, wink* children, I have reported what I'm aware of to law enforcement in North America but the material is still there so.......maybe it's protected by free speech?
Correct. It is, in general, completely protected free speech in the United States, bar a few outlying judicial decisions. I'm not sure about Canada.
 

Cdn Writer

Registrant
Regards Canada and the laws on child pornography:

In Canada, there was a case, I don't fully understand all of the decisions but it was against a man named John Robin Sharpe.


I've read the above several times and I'm still confused. Some of the stories - TEXT - that have been posted online seem to violate this and I have reported them to law enforcement but occasionally I see a note I jotted down on my desk, wonder "what happened there" and Google.....it's STILL there.

***I am NOT talking about survivors posting about what happened to them. I have no problem with this material. I am talking about stories that read like a "how to script" for child molesters to follow. The decision in v. Sharpe would seem to say this is wrong, but...? All I can think of is that because it's on the internet, Canada's laws don't apply.***
 

Cdn Writer

Registrant
JDylah -

It would be interesting to ask your pal. Perhaps s/he has some insight.

I had not thought of the fact that some survivors/victims of sexual abuse would write such material as a way of trying to make sense of what happened to them. I have never heard of it - self medicating with drugs, alcohol and meaningless sex? Yes. Writing stories/drawing stories about being molested, that's a new concept for me....I'm going to have to think about that for a bit. Come to think of it.....I vaguely remember one girl who posted on a survivor site talking about writing out sexual fantasies....

Thank you for suggesting that.

The one issue about the fictional child I am not entirely certain about.....if the situation is real, that is such a situation really happened to "Gina" or "Gino" and one writes about it but changes the names to "Jessica" or "Billy" - the situation still happened to a real child. Changing the name isn't going to change that.

Scott
 

JDylah_da_Kylah

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Hello, @Cdn Writer!

I asked if my friend if she'd have some time to chat about this from a law enforcement perspective; I'll get back to you if she has some free time and we end up talking. (It may be a little while, due to everything going on in the States and the city where she lives, but if we talk--I'll let you know!)

As for writers using writing to deal with their trauma (positively or negatively, unfortunately--it's not always a good thing) it's definitely interesting to consider. Just in case you're curious as to the backstory of how I know this . . . and apologies if not! . . .

The discussion came up on the site where I post my silly stories around whether or not works around rape should be banned on the precedent that they either "promote" rape or are simply giving people distasteful material to get off to--at which point many rape survivors spoke up and said that writing stories about rape was part of how they were healing (as was posting them on the internet, i.e. giving themselves a voice, even through fiction). The conversation then turned to stories involving underage characters, wherein CSA survivors spoke up with similar feelings. There was also a contingent of authors claiming to be underage themselves, and how writing about characters their own age makes more sense to them. In addition, there seemed to be some overlap, as in minors who've experienced CSA writing about children having sex with adults because, again, that's how they process their trauma.

This, of course, opens up a massive can of worms about, "Well, yes, but then should children be posting sexually-explicit stories to the internet?" . . . Which is probably a discussion around children and access to pornography via the 'net in general that's too big a topic for this thread.

And then we run into a pickle with material involving underage characters in cases like that because there's really no way to tell who's writing what and why. Unfortunately, you could well get someone writing these stories who isn't a minor, but claims to be, and therefore it's "okay". The degree to which law enforcement may or may not follow up is probably contingent not only upon stories being reported but most likely it has more to do with if they believe an individual has photographs or other (non-fictional) pornographic material.

Which leads into the R. vs. Sharpe case--I think the Wiki article is dreadfully unclear, unfortunately. For example, were his charges solely based on the possession of child pornography (which is illegal) and did they have nothing to do with the stories? What, exactly, were the stories? Were they about the children in the photos (so stories / fantasies about real kids)? If that's the case, then I think the stories could fall under the ruling of child pornography. If they were "just" fiction about, I don't know, the kids in Harry Potter or something--then it'd be distasteful, but I don't think it'd be illegal and wouldn't have anything to do with his charges.

As for the changing of a name: I agree, that doesn't suddenly make the story fictional and therefore not illegal. The question is, though--legally, is that enough? I don't know. I'll run that past my friend, as well.

*sigh* I don't know that there are many easy answers to this, friend-o. The laws themselves may even be unclear. I'll definitely let you know what my friend says, though, as soon as I hear back. That said--it's going to be U.S.-based law, but hopefully it'll give you a bit more insight.
 

JDylah_da_Kylah

Registrant
@Cdn Writer--

Pardon the double-post but I have an update for you!

Everything mentioned below applies only to content traceable within the U.S. (created by a citizen or no), and therefore pursuant to U.S. law . . . just to make that clear.

My friend said the following (paraphrased rather than directly quoted because I want to keep her anonymity, etc.):
  • From a law-enforcement perspective, she cannot charge or arrest someone simply for something that they say online, due to freedom of speech. The only thing to do is report the content to the website owners who host it and let them take it from there. (Exceptions to this are if someone's openly supporting a terrorist organization or something like that.)
  • If we're talking fictional content involving a (fictional) minor, whether art or writing or animation or whatever, the long and short is that it's not illegal because it's technically not a crime (however distasteful).
  • However, if someone is posting a real account of harm actually being done to a minor, then changing the name(s) of the child and / or perpetrator does not "make it fiction", and law enforcement will investigate this. In this scenario it doesn't matter if this account is in written form--the squad assigned to violent crimes against children will track them down.
  • That said, the people who are actually engaged in illegal activity (i.e. not fanfiction writers who just have a distasteful sense of what makes good erotica) aren't out in the open posting to websites like Archive Of Our Own--they will post their content to the dark web to avoid attracting a lot of attention. Law enforcement has a high presence on those websites, for obvious reasons.
  • When in doubt, she said the FBI will nevertheless take an interest in people who are posting fictional material involving minors online, and may well pay someone a call if there is ever any doubt that someone is engaging in more than just writing a piece of trashy fanfiction or drawing explicit artwork.
  • Still--an arrest or charge can't be brought against anyone unless an actual crime is being committed (i.e. do they have photographic child porn, for example, or explicit videos, or are they doing harm to children themselves?).
  • She also added that 1) unfortunately case-law hasn't quite caught up to the reality of the internet, and where the line between legal free speech and illegality is drawn, so that's a hot-bed topic in the U.S. right now, and 2) even people who are just posting fanfiction or whatnot, whether CSA survivors healing or otherwise, should be well aware that they might attract "the wrong people".
So that's the scoop from the U.S. side of things. Unfortunately I don't know how this sort of thing is addressed in Japan, to tie this back to the original crux of this thread . . .

That said, have you considered contacting a local law enforcement agency and seeing if there's an officer who could speak with you about the ins-and-outs of Canadian law? Even just the local police office may be of some use. I feel like that may be the most concrete way to get answers to your questions, if at the very least you're wanting to get as much of this stuff scrubbed from the Canadian side of things as possible . . . But at the very least I hope it's answered your questions about why stuff you're reported in the States may still be there.
 
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I've read the above several times and I'm still confused. Some of the stories - TEXT - that have been posted online seem to violate this and I have reported them to law enforcement but occasionally I see a note I jotted down on my desk, wonder "what happened there" and Google.....it's STILL there.
If the site is hosted on Canadian servers, law enforcement may be able to take the offending material down. But it's very likely to reside on servers in the United States.

The Internet is international. It's very difficult for one country to take down material illegal in their country but legal in another without shutting down the entire internet within their borders, as Iran and Russia and other countries have done in the past.
 

Cdn Writer

Registrant
Thank you for the updates.

I've looked at the original anime comic I mentioned at the start again. It's 18 pages, not the 8 or 9 I originally thought.

I'm also aware of one erotica site available on the internet which has a lot of "fictional" material involving minors. I looked at a couple of stories on the site. Gah. Hard to describe.....the majority of them have content warnings and suggestions that if it is distasteful, do not read. None of them really straightforwardly and flat out say, "If you are considering sexually molesting a child, this is what you do......." but that is my first interpretation of where it is going. There are stories that are heavy on how the child enjoys it. There are stories where there is significant physical force used to get the child to comply.

I have no idea why someone would write this....does it help them deal with their trauma? It might. Does it inspire other people to act on such things? I would truly hope not. If I ever win the lotto, I'll fund a study to get a definite answer.

I do see one benefit to the growing awareness of sexual abuse, child abuse however that awareness is being spread. It's that people are recognizing what happened/may be happening is abuse. I'm thinking specifically of the Larry Nasser case and how he was molesting all those girls/women on the gymnastics team. The girls talked amongst themselves, they all knew it was happening to each other, heck, they called him the "crotch doctor" but because he was a doctor and he was doing it to all of them, they all assumed it was a legitimate medical treatment. It apparently started in 1995 or so and went on til 2015. That was so bat-shit insane.

I guess there's nothing to be done. I don't want to shut down people's access to the internet. If this material helps people to deal, I don't want to restrict it. I just wish there was some way, some type of detector, that could be used to weed out the distasteful crap people write from actual "confessions" so law enforcement could home in on the ones who actually committed crimes and hide it by bragging about it under the umbrella of a "fictional" story. I can't speak for the entire spectrum of stories I've seen but I really feel some of them are too real to be made up. Yes.....maybe a survivor wrote it....

I appreciate all the insight people have provided. My moral compass says this is seriously wrong but I'm not an authority on any of this and like JDylah has written, it could have a legitimate application such as a survivor trying to process their trauma or perhaps to raise awareness of this issue.

I guess I'll have to just ignore it if it bothers me.

Thanks all!
 

JDylah_da_Kylah

Registrant
I think many of us, as survivors, tend to be more sensitive to this stuff than most (and for good reason). We worry that one thing is inevitably going to lead to another, so it becomes easy to look at what some people might just consider disgusting "art" (and not think any more about it) and immediately think instead, "Holy shit what if this is made by a real child molestor or as a manual for CSA? What if this is a depiction of a real event?!" It's hyper-vigilance, in its own way.

(I reread your introduction and, even though you mention not being sure if what you experienced counts as abuse, I would posit the idea that you found your way here, which suggests that you may have lingering feelings about this event. Said event might be effectively coloring your perception in just the same way. Pardon me if that's too forward a thing to say, and I apologize if my impressions are unfounded.)

Perhaps it's off-topic, but what springs to mind is the debate about violent video games causing violent behavior. We know this isn't true, even though some games may indeed seem like "manuals" for violence.

And the developers who made the games had to think of them. Does that mean they're all harboring some sociopathic murderous tendencies? No. For example--there's a video game that I love, which contains very violent depictions of the death of the player character, who's a kiddo. Do I think the developers have fantasies about actually killing kids? Absolutely not. Certainly nor would they want anyone to do this.

Nevertheless, just as some stories or artwork or animation may attract "the wrong people", as my friend put it, some violent video games may attract those who already have disturbed patterns of thought, which is truly unfortunate--but it's not caused by the video game itself.

As for the "reality" of a scene or a story or a comic--again, I think most of us as survivors have an ultra-sharp lens when it comes to those things; our threshold for "reality" vs. "fiction" is much less than for someone who hasn't experienced CSA or sexual assault as an adult. And I think, while there's definitely merit to figuring out how to bring the truly bad stuff to the attention of the authorities, it's also worth bearing in mind that our perception may be skewed due to our own experiences (perhaps especially if they're unprocessed).

That's my last jingly $0.02, hahah, as I feel like I've gabbed your ear off and it sounds like you've drawn the conclusions most suitable to you, friend. :)

Take care,
Dyl.
 
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