Why Is Japanese Porn Censored?

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Want to know why Japanese porn is censored?

If you have ever watched Japanese porn it will not have escaped your attention that much of the material you find, either online or on DVD, contains some form of censorship; most often a pixelated digital mosaic over the genitals and even, sometimes, pubic hair. There are laws on the distribution of ‘obscene’ images in Japan with many production companies voluntarily signing up to ethical associations that govern what can and can’t be shown in porn.

In this feature, we take a look at the history of the censorship of pornography in Japan as well as the current laws. We also give you the details of those sites where you can find Japanese porn that is uncensored.




Japanese Porn

The Japanese sex industry is one of the most diverse and colorful in the world and earns the country close to $100 billion each year. Despite the controversial and confusing Criminal Code, porn is a big part of this industry and generates a huge share of adult entertainment revenue.

porn censorship japan

Even animated porn is subject to the same censorship laws. Image via Wikipedia.

One of the key features of modern Japanese porn is the pixelated genital region of the performers. Irrespective of the content and how hardcore the scenes can be, as long as the genitals themselves remained obscured, the porn will pass censorship laws.

Scenes can depict BDSM and other fetish content as well as some stuff that many other nations would deem ‘obscene’.

Hentai, anime and video games are also not exempt from the law and you will find that even animated porn for the domestic markets must have pixelated genitals.

It is believed by some that, in an attempt to bypass the laws on porn censorship in Japan, producers turned to tentacle porn.

One of Japan’s weirdest porn trends, tentacle porn features nubile young women being seduced by creatures sporting phallic tentacles, often ending in penetration. The obvious benefit of using tentacles is that they are not actual cocks and therefore do not have to be obscured by digital mosaics. This means that much of a video can be enjoyed without being censored. Obviously, when it comes to actual penetration, this has to be depicted without seeing the female genitals.

porn censorship japan tentacle porn

Tentacle porn is thought to be a way of getting around censorship laws in Japan. Image via AnyPorn.

Porn producers have been particularly inventive when it comes to getting around the Criminal Code and, to some degree, has been a driving factor around some of the country’s ‘weirdest’ trends in porn.

Bukkake, for instance, focuses, not on penetration but, on ejaculation. Similar trends such as gokkun (drinking cum from a container) also have no need to feature actual genitalia. Omorashi, a sub-genre or urolagnia where performers have a full bladder, is also another example of fetish porn that is popular in Japan but which does not fall under censorship laws.

So, what are the rules on porn censorship?

The Laws on Porn Censorship in Japan

The Criminal Code of Japan contains an Article (175) which strictly prohibits the distribution of indecent materials. Over time, this has been interpreted by the adult industry as being taken to mean the genital areas.

Although there have been very few convictions in respect of any violations of this law there are several high-profile cases which have upheld this Article.

In 2004, a major obscenity trial was held in Tokyo which found hentai manga artist Yuuji Suwa guilty of distributing indecent images. The publisher, Monotori Kishi, was also convicted of the same offence.

After the case, most manga bookstores removed all materials produced by Suwa with some even closing their ‘Adults Only’ section entirely.

The Criminal Code or, more specifically, Article 175 has been enshrined in law since 1907 and has remained, broadly, unchanged for over 100 years. Prior to this date, pornography in Japan was quite widespread and, in the main, was not considered ‘obscene’. You can find many historical depictions of all manner of pornographic scenes including lesbianism and fetishes from BDSM to bestiality.

history porn japan censorship

Some classic (and uncensored) porn from the Edo Period. Image via Wikimedia.

Since 1907, there has been continued controversy in the adult industry about what can and can’t be shown. For instance, pubic hair was once considered ‘obscene’ but has become more commonplace and, since the 1990s, has not been subject to censorship.

Interestingly, the anus is not considered ‘obscene’ unless it is being (or about to be) penetrated!

The law has also been used by some more conservative Japanese factions to object to the display of genitalia and pubic hair in art and even educational material!

Distribution companies who want to sell porn within the domestic market in Japan must use mosaic pixelation to obscure the display of genitals. Most companies are therefore members of the voluntary organisation, NEVA (Nihon Ethics of Video Association).

In recent years, the digital mosaic used by NEVA has become more transparent and no longer completely obscures the action.

Uncensored Japanese Porn

Of course, there is plenty of Japanese porn that is not censored and the studios and production companies can get away with this by either filming outside of the country and/or basing their business and servers overseas.

Basically, as long as the material is not distributed for a domestic market, Japanese porn does not have to be censored.

One of the largest, and most popular, uncensored Japanese porn sites is Japan HDV. Based in Cyprus, their content features only 100% genuine JAV models and is all available in full HD. They are a premium porn site that offers streaming and downloads as well as English subtitles.

uncensored japanese porn

Featuring full HD and uncensored Japanese porn, Japan HDV.

Other premium sites that offer access to uncensored Japanese porn (some exclusively in HD and with English) include:

The All Japanese Pass network also offers a huge range of sites dedicated to different niches in Japanese porn and includes access to over 22 premium porn sites, including:

  • POV Japan
  • Anal Nippon
  • Tokyo Bang
  • Wierd Japan (yes, it is spelt wrong!)
  • Outdoor JP
  • Bukkake Now
  • Japanese Flashers
  • JP Milfs
  • Japanese Matures
  • Japanese Cosplay

Of course, all of the main tube porn hosting sites also include many clips by amateurs that are not censored and most of these are all free to view. Pornhub has a great selection as does AnyPornXNXX and XHamster.

Featured image via Flickr.

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