Yakuri Kyоshitsu is the pseudonym for a specific group of science writers who have been consultants for the Dr. STONE manga, starting with volume 10. They also have a nonfiction series of their own called Arienai Rika (translated as Impossible Science). But for some reason two of their books have been taken down from Amazon Japan.
Their publisher, Sansai Books, reached out to Amazon Japan, wanting to know why this had happened. Other books of theirs had been pulled as well.
Amazon Japan pointed to Tottori Prefecture law, saying that the science books were considered “harmful to youths” by the standards of Tottori Prefecture law.
Sansai Books disagreed and asked that their books be put back on Amazon Japan. Amazon Japan said if this happened, the books would have to be labeled as 18+.
With the ball back in the publisher’s court, Sansai Books said there was nothing in the books to warrant an 18+ rating. Amazon Japan stuck to its guns, so Sansai Books went to the source and asked the Tottori prefectural government what the issue was.
The prefectural government responded by giving them a summary of Tottori’s Youth Healthy Development Ordinance, which didn’t help anything. The prefectural government later said it was the “overall content” of the books that got them in trouble, but couldn’t list any specifics, like, “This information pushed is inaccurate,” or another criticism.
As of now, the books are still unavailable on Amazon Japan, and Sansai Books is stuck just selling them on their own online store, though nine out of ten of their sales come from Amazon. Sansai Books has also made it clear it’s not happy with the Tottori Prefecture government not telling them why the book is being banned, and saying this is bad news for freedom of expression.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.