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Why is Japanese porn censored?

Well, if you spend a considerable time browsing the internet, that’s probably because you watch porn. And if this is the case, then you must have occasionally come across Japanese porn. Also, you must surely know that Japanese porn is the fucking bombshell they not only mix up genres of extreme BDSM and role play but also they gave us a brand new category called tentacles and generally, the Japanese venture into territories few have dared to go as far as adult entertainment is concerned.

However, one thing that particularly stands out from Japanese porn for anyone with a pair of functioning eyes; the genitals are censored (dicks and pussies are covered by a mosaic) Some think that hiding of the actor’s baby making bits is defeating the purpose of porn, to begin with, but it is advisable to think of the differences in culture which further manifests in law before castigating the Japanese as self-righteous.

Which brings us to the million dollar question: why is Japanese porn censored? What is the whole point of censoring porn anyway? After some research I came back with the following answers for you:

The law

They say the law is the law and Article 175 of the Japanese Penal Code prohibits sharing of indecent materials. Now that sounds like a strange law considering the Japanese have one of the biggest porn industries, but Japanese artists of the adult entertainment variety have found an easy way to circumvent this law- blurring out the genitals. Up until the 1990s, showing of pubic hair was actually considered obscene, and if you look at some of the older porn from Japan, you will notice that the whole lower torso was blurred. There was even a rumor going around that some actors used to fake sex!

As of 5 years ago, the Japanese government was willing to take porn that was deemed to show ‘too much’ off the shelves. In 2004, Article 175 was used for the first time in 20 years against a manga artiste called Suwa Yuuji who was convicted for distributing “indecent and explicit” material through his art. He pleaded guilty and was subsequently fined ¥500,000. While he took his appeal to Japan’s highest court arguing that his art was not as explicit as the ones that were freely accessible from the internet, the Supreme Court of Japan didn’t buy his argument and actually tripled his fine to ¥ 1.5 million. While no other convictions have been made since Japanese porn producers resort to blurring genitals to avoid falling foul of the law.

Understanding the Japanese culture and porn

They say a country’s laws reflect their morality, but it’s necessary to note that morality itself is subject to change throughout the years. Before the current porn policy came into effect, Japan had some of the most progressive attitudes towards sex. Well, it still does considering that it has some of the most liberal stances on pornography compared to other countries in East Asia where it is illegal to distribute or own porn.  But the stance was even more progressive before they came into contact with the western world in the 19th century.

The arrival of westerners on the island brought with it the Western version of morality. It began to take root in the upper echelons of Japanese society as the government did its best to show the western world that Japan was an equally civilized society. Traditional Japanese practices that were deemed normal by the locals but appeared strange to foreigners were outlawed, the biggest casualty being shunga, a traditional art form that depicted largely heterosexual, ethnic Japanese couples with enlarged genitals engaging in intercourse. Shunga may have been outlawed for over 300 years now, but its legacy is still seen in the raciest manga comics today while Japan’s biggest export as far as adult entertainment is concerned- tentacles- can trace its roots to shunga. See? Japanese smut was not always a pixilated mess.

But breasts are uncensored

If the display of genitals is considered obscene and indecent, then why aren’t breasts censored in Japanese porn? I mean, anyone who considers genitals an obscenity would surely have a problem with full display of nipples, right? Well, not really.

Japan has an interesting relationship with breasts. The #FreeTheNipple may not have engulfed the country as a movement, but you may find your answer as to why breasts are not forbidden in the country from observing the roots of Japanese porn.

As seen in shunga, there is hardly any difference between male and female chests regarding how they are depicted in the art. Actually, the only way to differentiate between the genders is through their dressing or genitals. Unlike modern art which eroticizes big breasts, the shunga art is evidence that the Japanese were not as obsessed with the female pair. Actually, it was common to see Japanese women walking topless. Nudity was also not sneered at, and it was not uncommon to see nude members of the opposite sex at communal baths. As you can see, the Japs were not always opposed to the idea of nudity and full exposure of genitals. A combination of events brought the change of heart along the way.

Finally

Anyway, do pass by our Asian porn sites category and see much more of what Japan has to offer the adult entertainment world including plenty of uncensored porn. Still, it’s crazy to think that a country with such a rich sexual history and a penchant for the more imaginative forms of erotic art can find something as straightforward as the human reproductive organs as obscene and indecent.

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