HIV Billboard Is Too Hot For Japan, Gets Censored

poko murata hiv billboardOfficials in Japan have repeatedly ordered down an HIV awareness billboard, citing a peek of underwear as the reason.

It’s a little ridiculous, since the Shinjuku district is home to lots of other heterosexual sexy-time establishments. Hostess clubs, sexy female robots and naughty massages all abound. But a scrap of cartoon fabric in service of public health? SHUT IT DOWN!

Someone even went so far as to modify the art. They put pants on one character so that the underwear was just peeking out. The modification was probably made by someone at ViiV or their ad agency. ViiV is a pharmaceutical company that was using artist Poko Murata to promote their HIV treatments.

It’s a real shame that the billboard is likely going to disappear — and might have come down already. It depicts some happy, shame-free gay relationships in a way that’s really open and welcoming. Gaymanga identifies some of the diverse types of men in the art: a gachimuchi (????) central figure, a middle-aged “ossan” (????), a chubbier “debu” (??) figure, even a couple of bishonen boys. No black guys, though. (?????????????)

We’re including a few of Murata’s other works below. Even though Shinjuku residents can’t see them, at least we can browse them online.

poko murata smoking

poko murata tackle

poko murata spies

poko murata skin care

poko murata underwear

poko murata sports

poko murata kiss

poko murata dancing

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  • woodin

    what’s up with all the question marks….bit arrogant and condescending to the Japanese culture. As for the black race card. Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Filipinos account for approx. 99.4 percent of the population, and all others representing few then .6%, so one has to ask why the race card remark was made.

  • tdobshinsky

    @woodin: i assume they meant to put the characters in. hey, queerty, here you go:





    the black guys thing i think is actually just a bunch of question marks, idk what they were going for with that.

  • tdobshinsky

    @tdobshinsky: hahahahahahaha oooooh well. nevermind, won’t display here either.

  • DarkZephyr

    @tdobshinsky: LOL Well maybe queerty will have to put the characters in as jpeg files or something. I think its funny that @woodin: mistook it for being condescending.

  • Kangol

    This looks like a great campaign, for Japan. I never get the little pockets of prudishness in Japanese visual culture (pixillated pen!ses, etc.) given some of the things that are considered perfectly okay to depict.

  • reason_sf

    Yes, it looks like the author tried to cut-and-paste from the Gay Manga! blog.

    If anyone is curious, the terms mean muscle man, old man (or uncle), chubby, and beautiful youth (or twink).

  • reason_sf

    Oh, and the race comment was also unfortunate, and I’m not sure why the author threw that in. In fact, HIV/AIDS used to be thought of as a foreign disease in Japan, with guys incorrectly thinking that as long as they didn’t play around with foreigners they would be safe. If the ad had included a black guy (or anyone distinctly non-Japanese looking) it would have been counterproductive, again showing or implying that AIDS is connected to foreigners.

Comments are closed.