Nakano, Shibuya branches blocked from selling erotic photo books from November 18 to May 16
The Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission issued an administrative disposition on Tuesday blocking the Nakano and Shibuya branches of the secondhand otaku retail chain Mandarake from selling books containing erotic photographs for 180 days, beginning on Friday, November 18 until May 16, 2023.
Police filed charges in May against Mandarake’s president and four other individuals for selling six books containing “obscene photographs,” but ultimately decided not to indict them.
In October 2021, Tokyo Metropolitan Police charged a Mandarake executive with violating the Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Law. The charge alleged that the retail chain operated a store that displayed a large amount of adult entertainment in a prohibited area. The company admitted to the charge, saying “It was foolish to think that we could operate a store like that even after being warned by the police.”
The shop in question was the “Banned Publications” store that opened in August 2021 at the Nakano Broadway complex in Tokyo.
The new shop was only one of many Mandarake stores in the complex, but it attracted public attention soon after its opening. “Spank!” is a fashion and clothing store catering to teenage girls, and the “Banned Publications” store opened directly across a narrow 1.95-meter (about 6.4-foot) hallway from the fashion store. The fashion store’s staff said they could not reopen business due to the presence of the adult store.
The 12-square-meter (about 130-square-foot) “Banned Publications” store was the only adult shop out of about 30 tenant spaces that Mandarake rents within Nakano Broadway. However, the Metropolitan Police’s Safety Division did not deal with the other shops and dealt with the “Banned Publications” store on its own. The Division ultimately cited the fact that the adult store was operating near a hospital, which made the area prohibited for such businesses under the Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Law.
Police previously warned the store on or after September 2, 2021, but the store continued to operate. The police searched the premises of the store later that month, prompting a temporary closure (the store has yet to reopen as of November 2022).
Mandarake has shops on multiple floors in Nakano Broadway, and is widely known among otaku as a destination for various goods, merchandise, production material, vintage animation cels, cosplay material, and other collectibles. The chain’s “Banned Publications” store was its newest addition to Nakano Broadway.