Is Japan a nation of free speech? How much freedom of expression do people enjoy in this country?

These questions have gained great public attention recently as opinion leaders worldwide debate the limits of freedom of expression after the terrorist attack on the satirical cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The weekly's caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad had inflamed the Muslim world, inciting deadly violence. The Jan. 7 massacre at its office is believed to be a direct result of such outrage.

A bizarre — and potentially extremely controversial — art exhibition underway at a small gallery in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, possibly offers insights into that critical question with regards to Japanese society.