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Why are Eroges censored in Japan?


Hiaran
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Just to make it clear: No, I don't mean Japanese VNs, that get localised and censored (cut 18+ stuff to forcibly make it 12+, which destroys the game). I'm asking, if someone knows, why are the lower parts in sex scenes censored (pixelized) even in a pure, untouched Jap version of an Eroge VN.

It isn't something that really bothers me, when I play a VN, I'm just curious why. I couldn't find the answer on Google - always shows results about Jap VNs getting censored when coming to the west, so thought I would ask here, cuz the question can't get off my mind, ever since I read that Mangagamer is required to block Japanese IPs since they sell uncensored products. Why must they even have those parts censored in Japan, when it is an 18+ Eroge?

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All sorts of porn are censored in Japan.

The Americans forced their sense of morals on the Japanese after the War.

They wanted to make porn completely illegal.

After some time the Japanese came up with censoring genitals to circumvent that.

And that basically hasn't changed since then.

 

You can read up the whole thing in more detail on Wikipedia.

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29 minutes ago, Ningen said:

All sorts of porn are censored in Japan.

The Americans forced their sense of morals on the Japanese after the War.

They wanted to make porn completely illegal.

After some time the Japanese came up with censoring genitals to circumvent that.

And that basically hasn't changed since then.

 

You can read up the whole thing in more detail on Wikipedia.

 Article 175 was included in the original document in 1907 and remains relatively unchanged.

this contraddicts what you are saying...

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38 minutes ago, Hiaran said:

I couldn't find the answer on Google - always shows results about Jap VNs getting censored when coming to the west

You're using the wrong search terms.

https://www.google.com/search?q=japan+mosaic+censorship&oq=japan+mosaic+censorship&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64.3318j0j9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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30 minutes ago, Ningen said:

All sorts of porn are censored in Japan.

The Americans forced their sense of morals on the Japanese after the War.

They wanted to make porn completely illegal.

After some time the Japanese came up with censoring genitals to circumvent that.

And that basically hasn't changed since then.

 

You can read up the whole thing in more detail on Wikipedia.

Thanks for the info and link ^^

So basically again America is at fault XD

Just now, sanahtlig said:

Yup, I definitely searched the wrong terms ;/

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Quote

After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers abolished all forms of censorship and controls on Freedom of Speech, which was also integrated into Article 21 of the 1947 Constitution of Japan. However, press censorship remained a reality in the post-war era, especially in matters of pornography, and in political matters deemed subversive by the American government during the occupation of Japan.

The Allied occupation forces suppressed news of criminal activities such as rape; on September 10, 1945 SCAP "issued press and pre-censorship codes outlawing the publication of all reports and statistics 'inimical to the objectives of the Occupation'."[56]

According to David M. Rosenfeld:

Not only did Occupation censorship forbid criticism of the United States or other Allied nations, but the mention of censorship itself was forbidden. This means, as Donald Keene observes, that for some producers of texts "the Occupation censorship was even more exasperating than Japanese military censorship had been because it insisted that all traces of censorship be concealed. This meant that articles had to be rewritten in full, rather than merely submitting XXs for the offending phrases."

— Donald Keene, quoted in Dawn to the West

According to wikipedia, the Allied Forces have nothing to do with the censorship law they tried to do the opposite but the censorship law from 1907 remained in effect.

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52 minutes ago, Ningen said:

All sorts of porn are censored in Japan.

The Americans forced their sense of morals on the Japanese after the War.

They wanted to make porn completely illegal.

After some time the Japanese came up with censoring genitals to circumvent that.

And that basically hasn't changed since then.

 

You can read up the whole thing in more detail on Wikipedia.

I also have to call "conflict of claim and source" on this.

Here's a relevant excerpt:

Quote

During World War II, pornographic materials were banned altogether: "Since the end of the Second World War Article 175 of the Japanese Penal Code, known as the obscenity law, has represented the only official restriction on freedom of expression, which is nevertheless guaranteed by Article 21 of the 1947 Constitution."[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_in_Japan#In_the_20th_century

The ban was in place before the occupation.  Can't blame the US this time.

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39 minutes ago, Valmore said:

It's not censored, vaginas actually look like pixilated photos. True story, bruh.

I recently wondered whether there's an actual pixellation fetish that resulted from censorship. I bet there is. It's like, you know, after years of watching internet porn in 320x240, HD is just not the same. N-not that I would know anything about that sort of thing.

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9 hours ago, Ariurotl said:

I recently wondered whether there's an actual pixellation fetish that resulted from censorship. I bet there is. It's like, you know, after years of watching internet porn in 320x240, HD is just not the same. N-not that I would know anything about that sort of thing.

As a rule of thumb, if something exists, some people will have it as a fetish.

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1 hour ago, Clephas said:

lol... even if they removed the laws, the tradition would remain.  I seriously doubt most companies would stop putting mosaics over private parts.

In this, I think you're dreaming. If you cite that example where the original artist was upset that the mosaics were removed, I don't find that as convincing, especially since to me it still seemed to be an indirect way of saying it's the law. There is plenty of Japanese porn being made and distributed outside of Japan to circumvent the laws. Mankind has a history of censoring, well, everything, as a way of controlling the people and the people respond by trying to get access to the censored material. There is a already core of local Japanese that are obsessed with getting uncensored material from the USA and elsewhere. Create a new market by removing the laws and the market will respond, even if it's just a handful of publishers to begin with and they will sell like hotcakes. Pornographers the world over are known for trying to push the boundaries, not restrain themselves - irrespective of Japanese sensibilities, the Japanese pornographers, be they 3d or 2d will do the same. Once the sale of uncensored material is shown to be a guaranteed way to improve and maintain market share, why would any sane human keep censoring it?

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Censoring is the only reason that Japanese porn is leagues above the porn from every other country. I don't understand why any sane ero connoisseur would want the laws and the market to change.
If you rather look at ugly genitals in full glory instead of enjoying good settings, dialogues, characters, fetishes and so on, just watch bad Western porn.

Please Japan, never change.

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31 minutes ago, ittaku said:

In this, I think you're dreaming. If you cite that example where the original artist was upset that the mosaics were removed, I don't find that as convincing, especially since to me it still seemed to be an indirect way of saying it's the law. There is plenty of Japanese porn being made and distributed outside of Japan to circumvent the laws. Mankind has a history of censoring, well, everything, as a way of controlling the people and the people respond by trying to get access to the censored material. There is a already core of local Japanese that are obsessed with getting uncensored material from the USA and elsewhere. Create a new market by removing the laws and the market will respond, even if it's just a handful of publishers to begin with and they will sell like hotcakes. Pornographers the world over are known for trying to push the boundaries, not restrain themselves - irrespective of Japanese sensibilities, the Japanese pornographers, be they 3d or 2d will do the same. Once the sale of uncensored material is shown to be a guaranteed way to improve and maintain market share, why would any sane human keep censoring it?

No, I'm simply stating that most will simply keep the mosaics out of momentum and tradition.  The more extreme companies and nukige makers will gleefully abandon the censorship, of course, but probably we won't see most of the moege makers switch over to no-mosaic any time within the first decade or so after the law is overturned (if that ever happens).  The moege makers are the most conservative corner of the industry and the least likely to embrace any sort of change before they are forced to by trending. 

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8 hours ago, Tyrosyn said:

Censoring is the only reason that Japanese porn is leagues above the porn from every other country.

I really don't think so.

The main reason why western porn just relies on full nudity is that because of our christian roots, we are still very prudish and seeing another person naked is exciting.

Japanese culture has never been very prudish, sex has been a normal topic of conversation and children are allowed to see nipples. their porn can't just rely on voyeurism.

Also, you seem to be implying that all japanese porn relies on good settings, dialogues, characters, fetishes and so on, but from my experience, most of it relies on recycling tropes, tropes and more tropes, just like western porn.

Feel free to disagree on all of this, but I think claiming it's the ONLY reason is bullshit, culture is always important in these things.

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3 hours ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

Japanese culture has never been very prudish, sex has been a normal topic of conversation and children are allowed to see nipples. their porn can't just rely on voyeurism.

I live in a Western country and yet I can see nipples at lunchtime on TV every day and we still produce bad pornography. Your argument is flawed because most Western countries actually are pretty progressive and open-minded. So I don't see a correlation here.

4 hours ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

Also, you seem to be implying that all japanese porn relies on good settings, dialogues, characters, fetishes and so on, but from my experience, most of it relies on recycling tropes, tropes and more tropes, just like western porn.

I'm not sure I understand your argument. Tropes are not bad. Of course porn relies on tropes. These tropes are called fetishes and they're the reason we watch this.
The difference in quality between Western and Japanese pron is simply how much these fetishes are explored and appreciated.

Let's use the Maid fetish as an example:
Western porn: 3 minutes of a bad acting maid in a stupid pseudo-setting, she undresses, 27 minutes of generic sex, no trace of a maid left. Every single time.
Japanese porn: Variable length, high quality costumes, elaborated setting and uses its time for build-up, actress is in-character the whole time, whole sex act is focused on master-maid relationship.

4 hours ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

Feel free to disagree on all of this, but I think claiming it's the ONLY reason is bullshit, culture is always important in these things.

Implying the West has no sex culture. Which is obviously not true. The culture is there, but it doesn't get reflected in pornography.
Because humans are simple. They think the only thing they need to fap is a naked body. They think the most interesting things are the things they normally don't see (genitals). And that's what they will buy.
Japanese makers of pornography can't take this shortcut. They can't satisfy the simply need of showing uncensored genitals, so they need to do something else to make their videos interesting. Elaborated stories to flesh out fetishes or the actresses' personality for example.
If a Western studio did that, it would cost more than a "normal" video and would probably not sell very well. Because the normalfag would rather buy the cheap vid with naked bodies having sex instead of a more expensive video which is wasting its time on non-explicit stuff like roleplaying or the non-explicit parts of a fetish.

3 hours ago, Ariurotl said:

Japanese live-action porn is incredibly shit. Unless women who constantly look scared shitless and on the verge of tears are your thing.

Well, how about stop watching the JAVs you don't like and start watching the vids more to your liking? Saying that every JAV features scared women is like saying every eroge is a nukige.
Don't be a pleb and only watch what JList has in stock or what's popular on xhamster when you search for "asian". What you are describing are Debut JAVs and they are probably the most cheap and boring genre of the medium. And sadly the only thing that is actively advertised to gaijins. Don't let that fool you. The world of JAVs is much, much more than this.

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I actually share your opinion in many ways, but that's just what it is; an opinion.

you use the term 'quality porn' and that is purely your opinion. exploration and appreciation of fetishes is a good thing, but so are hot actors and highly detailed genital action. you just don't care about them as much. 

43 minutes ago, Tyrosyn said:

Western countries actually are pretty progressive and open-minded.

They really aren't, not in the way the Japanese will allow (for example) a full, graphical and character-focused relationship between a middle-aged teacher and his 8 year-old student.

43 minutes ago, Tyrosyn said:

I'm not sure I understand your argument. Tropes are not bad. Of course porn relies on tropes. These tropes are called fetishes and they're the reason we watch this.
The difference in quality between Western and Japanese pron is simply how much these fetishes are explored and appreciated.

That's not what I meant. I meant that Japanese pron now has a closet full of those tropes/fetishes, and more or less lives off recycling them with less and less effort in characterization.

43 minutes ago, Tyrosyn said:

Don't be a pleb and only watch what JList has in stock or what's popular on xhamster when you search for "asian". What you are describing are Debut JAVs and they are probably the most cheap and boring genre of the medium. And sadly the only thing that is actively advertised to gaijins. Don't let that fool you. The world of JAVs is much, much more than this.

Yeah, and I can say something very similar about western porn.

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29 minutes ago, Tyrosyn said:

Let's use the Maid fetish as an example:
Western porn: 3 minutes of a bad acting maid in a stupid pseudo-setting, she undresses, 27 minutes of generic sex, no trace of a maid left. Every single time.
Japanese porn: Variable length, high quality costumes, elaborated setting and uses its time for build-up, actress is in-character the whole time, whole sex act is focused on master-maid relationship.

Implying the West has no sex culture. Which is obviously not true. The culture is there, but it doesn't get reflected in pornography.
Because humans are simple. They think the only thing they need to fap is a naked body. They think the most interesting things are the things they normally don't see (genitals). And that's what they will buy.
Japanese makers of pornography can't take this shortcut. They can't satisfy the simply need of showing uncensored genitals, so they need to do something else to make their videos interesting. Elaborated stories to flesh out fetishes or the actresses' personality for example.

"It's the mosaics!" is a very simplistic explanation of the reasons underlying fundamental differences in porn content between Japan and the rest of the world.  That certainly affects camera angles and such, but does not suddenly create demand for immersive experiences.

This difference in supply and demand of immersive *visual* pornographic experiences can be explained by fundamentally different cultural attitudes towards pornographic content.  In the West, sex entertainment tends to focus on instant gratification: short, cheap experiences.  The audience isn't interested in investing the time and attention required for drama and situational eroticism, nor are they willing to pay for it.  In addition, the deep objectification of women, including psychological dependence on the "protagonist", seen in Japanese porn is viewed as disgusting by many in the Western audience.  They find more shallow portrayals less offensive.

That's not to say that developed situational eroticism doesn't exist in Western culture.  But it tends to take place in smut fiction novels rather than in visual formats, and it's usually targeted at females.

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2 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

"It's the mosaics!" is a very simplistic explanation of the reasons underlying fundamental differences in porn content between Japan and the rest of the world.  That certainly affects camera angles and such, but does not suddenly create demand for immersive experiences.

This difference in supply and demand of immersive *visual* pornographic experiences can be explained by fundamentally different cultural attitudes towards pornographic content.  In the West, sex entertainment tends to focus on instant gratification: short, cheap experiences.  The audience isn't interested in investing the time and attention required for drama and situational eroticism, nor are they willing to pay for it.  In addition, the deep objectification of women, including psychological dependence on the "protagonist", seen in Japanese porn is viewed as disgusting by many in the Western audience.  They find more shallow portrayals less offensive.

That's not to say that developed situational eroticism doesn't exist in Western culture.  But it tends to take place in smut fiction novels rather than in visual formats, and it's usually targeted at females.

THANK YOU

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1 hour ago, Ariurotl said:

That's not what I'm saying, but whatever.

It's an analogy. The point is, you only know one part of something bigger, but assume that everything else must also be exactly like the part you know.

54 minutes ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

They really aren't, not in the way the Japanese are 

I think it's exactly because Japan is not progressive and open-minded, that they produce so elaborated fiction.

54 minutes ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

you use the term 'quality porn' and that is purely your opinion. exploration and appreciation of fetishes is a good thing, but so are hot actors and highly detailed genital action. you just don't care about them as much. 

My taste or that I think Japanese porn is of a higher quality has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Instead of "quality porn" we can simply call it "Japanese porn" and the arguments are still valid.

54 minutes ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

That's not what I meant. I meant that Japanese pron now has a closet full of those tropes/fetishes, and more or less lives off recycling them with less and less effort in characterization

If we are talking about eroge, it's probably true. If we are talking about JAVs, I still see innovation and new things every month.

50 minutes ago, sanahtlig said:

This difference in supply and demand of immersive *visual* pornographic experiences can be explained by fundamentally different cultural attitudes towards pornographic content.

Like I said, I don't see this.

The difference in attitudes towards pornographic content is not much different in some Western countries than in Japan. We also have a history full of sexuality and pornography. But we still don't have this level of sophisticated porn output today like the Japanese have.
At this point I think it's not because of culture, but because the Japanese were conditioned to this kind of porn by only having censored porn available. What you are seeing nowadays as Japanese "culture" is heavily shaped by years of producing censored pornography and trying to circumvent or enhance it. And embracing it. Censorship is part of the reason for this culture's existence, part of its origin. It's the fundamental difference between pron in Japan and in the West.

What will happen to the Japanese culture when we remove the censorship? Well, just look at uncensored JAVs. They are like Western porn, uninspired and with no innovation. No effort, because it will be bought thanks to uncensored genitals and not because of the quality of the product. Japanese people are no different than Western people in that regard. Japaneses culture doesn't protect the genre from going the cheap, low effort way if it's possible.

54 minutes ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

Yeah, and I can say something very similar about western porn.

With the difference that in Western porn it's the exception while in Japanese porn it's the norm.

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