For a country often lauded on marks of social sensitivity and public safety, Japan has its share of dark patches. One of the most shocking by Western standards is the porn industry.

Warning:
This post is disgusting. If you don't want to be offended and saddened, you probably shouldn't read it.

Without even considering hentai, Japanese porn has a lot going against it. For a start, Japanese censorship laws dictate that the important bits must be pixelated, which means that you can't quite see why the girl is acting like she's in so much pain.

But despite those harsh restrictions, adult media is very publicly available across the country; nearly every Japanese convenience store has an "Adults Only" section of the magazine rack. And perhaps because of censorship restrictions, the variety of content in the country is never-ending. Unedited depiction of intercourse is illegal, but only in the letter of the law. Imagery of obscene acts involving body fluids, uniforms, costumes, game shows, or even insects, sells in droves. And Japanese people who don't approve of it seem to simply avert their eyes.

The Internet has fostered a similar haven of deviance on a global scale. And yes, it probably out-does Japan every time. But only in Japan does it seem to be granted a physical body. Only here can you walk into a store and see this:



This whole section is titled レイプ, or "rape" to you and me. This type of porn typically makes up about 20% of all porn sales. Try as I might, I've only ever found one shelf of men being raped with strap-ons.

I've heard a lot of people defend Japan's violent sexual media as an outlet for what would otherwise be a rapist or paedophile. And the criminal numbers seem to be in favour of that excuse. UN statistics indicate Japan's rape averages as 1/24th that of the USA and 1/20th the UK's.

Further investigation, however, produces a different explanation: The definition of "what rape is" in Japan is very narrow, and attempted prosecution may lead not only to a rejected case, but to the blame being attributed to the victim (see Sexual Violence and the Law in Japan by Catherine Burns); thanks to a severe gender bias in the legal system. For this reason, it is possible that many more Japanese victims exist who are unwilling to report the crime (though numbers of reports have started to increase since a high-profile serial-gang-rape case made national news.)

The idea that watching rape porn quells the desire for real rape is generally argued to be false. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Surely a rapists desire isn't just one of observing the mistreatment of a woman, but actively being involved in it. The absurd popularity of this genre only supports the concept of rape being "a fantasy, rather than a crime" for many Japanese men.

Even more disturbing, but very telling of the industry's unrestrained extent, is this section; liable to turn up in many adult shops:


This is lolita porn, not in the "Barely Legal" sense, but featuring real kids. Children.

It flies under the radar because there's no "actual" nudity or abuse. The kids are just provocatively posing or messing around, and the director passes it off as artistic (presumably the intense camel-toe on the girl on the left is just incidental then). But this is for sale. In the porn section.

I don't know what else to say.

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