If you like controversy with your contemporary art "Postwar Art in Close Up" at The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) may be the wrong exhibition to visit. Though it is tentatively presented as a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II — with all the pitfalls that may entail — it's at "An Art Exhibition for Children," a different show a few rooms down, where the real controversy has been kicking off.

It has been widely reported that artist Makoto Aida is embroiled in a dispute with the museum over his video mocking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and a banner that he created with his son and wife. In the video piece, he stands in for Abe and apologizes for Japanese war-time aggression, while the banner protests textbook screening. Aida claims that he was asked to remove his work from the show, while the MOT has rebutted, saying that it only asked him to remove the Japanese subtitles to the film, which would in their view make it, "more appropriate for children."

As luck would have it, while I was taking in "Close-Up," which was open to all ages, I found myself standing next to a mother and her very young child as I watched documentary footage of an anti-Expo ’70 and anti-Vietnam war campaign. A clip of an event organized by Tamio Suenaga, one of a series that popped up around Tokyo between 1968 and ’69, shows one of the activists with a length of tubing strapped to his privates, which he uses to slap the faces of semi-naked acolytes kneeling around him, who also jokingly pretend to perform acts of … well … what you’d expect art activists to do in late ’60s. I overheard the girl ask her mother what they were doing, but she didn't get a response.