S. Korean Court: Cancelled One Piece Exhibition Can Be Held
posted on 2014-07-22 07:00 EDT by Egan Loo
The Seoul Western District Court ruled on Thursday that an exhibition for Eiichiro Oda's One Piece manga can be held, despite being cancelled by the War Memorial of Korea. The War Memorial museum in Seoul had cancelled the exhibition on July 9, just three days before it would have opened.
The exhibit was scheduled to be held at the museum from July 12 until September 4, and mannequins of the characters and other pieces were planned to be displayed. Due to some opinions that the facility is a place of mourning for the activists that fought to gain independence from Japan when it occupied Korea, the staff decided to cancel the event. The museum had cited complaints that some images in the manga were reminiscent of Japan's Rising Sun flag.
However, the court said that the manga cannot being considered to "hail Japanese imperialism" because it contains images similar to the Rising Sun flag. It also noted that those images were associated with an antagonist in the story, not the protagonist. Therefore, the court ruled that the museum could not cancel its contract to host the exhibition for those reasons.
Oda began serializing his One Piece pirate manga in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1997. Over 345 million copies of the entire manga series have been printed worldwide, and it has sold 130 million copies since 2009 in Japan alone.