The sudden Aug. 3 closure of "After 'Freedom of Expression?'" — a multiartist exhibit at the Aichi Triennale 2019 — clearly highlighted the ongoing struggles some people have with that very issue of freedoms in Japan.

Ironically, too, that exhibit comprised contributions that, according to the festival's artistic director, Daisuke Tsuda, could not be displayed in Japan previously "due to censorship or self-censorship."

Among those works were exhibits by artists such as Nobuyuki Oura and Meiro Koizumi. However, the shutdown came due to concerns over specific pieces, including "Statue of a Girl of Peace," a lifesize work symbolizing "comfort women," and a burnt image of what appeared to be Emperor Hirohito.