Protecting Youth and Regulating Speech, Battle Royale

Udo Helms ahura_matsda
Tue Jan 23 02:07:36 EST 2001

Aaron commented:

>If I remember correctly, the problem was less the violence in the film,
>than the fact minors were shown committing the crime of counterfeiting or
>defacing currency.

Yes. More precisely, the scene in which hoards of street children are using 
the counterfeit notes in money changing machines. But Eirin regarded this 
indeed as "incitement to juvenile delinquency", even though, as director 
Iwai explained, the counterfeit technology in the film is entirely 

>A very important point.  One thing people must remember about Eirin is
>that it is not simply a post-production regulator.  From the beginning,
>Eirin inspected scripts before production and apparently still does for
>some major films (though I don't know how many films this amounts to).
>Eirin will never be just a ratings board if it continues to preview
>scripts.  But that would involve it changing its entire constitution.

The problem is that Eirin, as its full name Eirin Kanri Iinkai suggests, is 
the Administration Council for the Picture Code of Ethics. It has no hand in 
the composition of the code - that is done by the Eirin Iji Iinkai 
(Supporting Committee of the Picture Code of Ethics), whose members are 
representatives of its 43 members. These include the major studios and 
distributors, but not the independent filmmakers.

All production in Japan is more or less independent, with a small studio or 
even a company founded for the production of a single title organising 
budget and renting studios. The studios then pick up the title and share the 
profit with the production company, hereby minimizing the risk of profit 
losses. Since exhibition in Japan is still very much in the hands of the big 
studios, there is little, if no chance for the independents to have a say in 
how film is regulated - and the studios have understandably little interest 
in modifying a Picture Code that helps to affirm their authority. For 
precisely this lack of representation, a few independent distributors and 
directors discussed the founding of a "2nd Eirin" in 1997, but to little 

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