If you know anything about the porn produced in Japan, regardless of your personal predilections and consumption level, it’s probably the rather bizarre practice of pixilating the actors’ “naughty bits”. While the content can be graphic enough to give Hugh Hefner nightmares, you’ll never see an orifice in detail. That quaint practice may be on the way out, though, according to one industry expert.

The pixilation, called a mosaic in Japan, has its roots in a Meiji Era obscenity law banning content injurious to public morals. After WWII, the occupying forces wrote much broader protections for free expression into the law, but left the provisions regarding pornography alone. Today, producers of adult videos belong to voluntary ethics organizations that advise them on how much is permissible to show without being damaging to public morals.

The first of those ethics organizations was founded in 1972, and at that time, any pubic hair or anal sex was an absolute nonstarter. In addition, the mosaic placed on the genital areas was fairly strong and difficult to decipher. Particularly during oral sex scenes, it was hard to tell exactly what was going on. Oh, but the times, they are a’ changin’.

These days, videos with anal and pubic hair are easy to find and the mosaic isn’t the impenetrable fig leaf it once was. Setsu Kobayashi, a professor at Keio University Law School and head of one of the major ethics organizations’ board of trustees, predicts the standards of public decency are going to continue to relax over the coming decades.

“In the US, after the FBI discovered that there was no causal connection between porno and crime, they lifted the ban on it. Japan is gradually following in America’s footsteps, relaxing the law, and by 2050 it’s likely that the industry will be completely free of restrictions.”

In any event, it is now easy for consumers to go online and find adult content without any pixilation, so what’s the point of keeping the outdated restrictions in place?

According to one industry writer, there will always be a market for it, regardless of the legal requirements. “While it has become increasingly easy to get unaltered, rather extreme videos, there will probably always be people who feel that it shows too much or who prefer the mystery of Japanese-style porn. Much as Aoi Sola has captivated Chinese audiences recently, even in 2050, there’s a high likelihood that there will be consumers of Japan’s idiosyncratic porn.”

Source: News Best Seven
Image: Corpse Reviver, Wikimedia Commons