Japanese erotica  

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Rodin, who is full of fawnishness, asks to see my Japanese erotics, and is full of admiration before the women’s drooping heads, the broken lines of their necks, the rigid extensions of arms, the contractions of feet, all the voluptuous and frenetic reality of coitus, all the sculptural twining of bodies melted and interlocked in the spasm of pleasure.” --Journal des Goncourt

"A number of photographers and artists in Japan are renowned for their explorations of fringe sexuality. There's Hajime Sorayama, whose cyberwomen appear regularly in Penthouse; Masaaki Toyoura, whose bondage photos can be viewed in various Larry Flynt publications; Yoshifumi Hayashi, the master of erotic pencil art, whose drawings delve into the nether regions of coprophilia; and Nobuyoshi Araki, the photographer whose book about the Tokyo sex trade, "Tokyo Lucky Hole," is truly a pervert's delight." --"In the realm of the senses" (2001) by Stephen Lemons

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Japanese erotica is erotica from Japan. It is a part of Asian erotica.




Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e, usually executed in woodblock print format. While rare, there are extant erotic painted handscrolls which predate the Ukiyo-e movement. Translated literally, the Japanese word shunga means picture of spring; "spring" is a common euphemism for sex.

The ukiyo-e movement as a whole sought to express an idealisation of contemporary urban life. Edo period shunga sought to express the sexual mores of the chonin in the widest variety of forms possible, and therefore depicted heterosexual and homosexual, old and young alike, as well as a wide range of fetishes. In the edo period it was enjoyed by rich and poor, men and women, and despite being out of favour with the shogunate, carried very little stigma. Almost all ukiyo-e artists made shunga at some point in their careers, and it didn't affect their prestige as artists. Classifying shunga as a kind of medieval pornography can be misleading in this respect.

Japanese erotic films

In the years since the end of World War II, eroticism had been gradually making its way into Japanese cinema. The first kiss to be seen in Japanese film—discreetly half-hidden by an umbrella—caused a national sensation in 1946. Foreign films throughout the 1950s introduced female nudity into international cinema, and were imported to Japan without problem. Nevertheless, until the early 1960s, graphic depictions of nudity and sex in Japanese film could only be seen in single-reel "stag films," made illegally by underground film producers such as those depicted in Imamura's film The Pornographers (1966).

Mainstream pornography wouldn't arrive in Japan until the advent of Pink film. Pink film, as it was referred to since the color pink carries erotic as well as feminine connotations with the Japanese as they associate it with a woman's vagina, was theatrical film which featured soft core, suggestive themes and later full-on nudity and sexual acts. The first wave of the Pink film in Japan was contemporary with the similar U.S. sexploitation film genres, the "nudie-cuties" and "roughies". Nudity and sex officially entered Japanese cinema with Satoru Kobayashi's controversial and popular independent production Flesh Market (Nikutai no Ichiba, 1962), which is considered the first true pink film. In the 1970s, some of Japan's major studios, facing the loss of their theatrical audience, took over the pink film. With their access to higher production-values and talent, some of these films became critical and popular successes. When ownership of VCRs first became widespread in the early 1980s, AVs (adult videos) made their appearance and quickly became highly popular. As early as 1982 the AVs had already attained an approximately equal share of the adult entertainment market with theatrical erotic films. Since then the market for pink films has decreased tremendously with a majority of Japanese seeking pornography go to AVs.

Although the pink film genre has declined dramatically since the advent of AVs on VCR it is significant in that it paved the way for true pornography in Japan as well as for multiple other genres of pornography to be invented in Japanese film including: hamedori, roshutsu, and Japanese bondage. Other genres of pornography the Japanese have produced include: group sex(with gang bang as a sub-genre), lesbian, and fetishes (particularly foot fetishes). Lotion play is a popular element in Japanese pornography.

Japanese sexuality

Japanese sexuality

Sexuality in Japan has developed separately from mainland Asia, as Japan did not adopt the Confucian view of marriage. Monogamy in marriage was not prized in Japan, and married men often sought pleasure from their courtesans. Prostitution in Japan has a long history, and became especially popular during the Japanese economic miracle, as evening entertainments were tax-deductible. Homosexuality and bisexuality were common in former times, but are taboo in the modern era. Japanese pornography has a wide following worldwide and is translated and exported nearly everywhere due to its wide range of themes and media. Japan has a vibrant fetish scene particularly in the larger cities that has influenced many fetish communities worldwide. Decreased sex drive in the 21st century was blamed for the low Japanese birth rate and declining growth of the Japanese population.

Japanese pornography

Japanese pornography has some unique features which separate it from pornography in other countries, especially Western pornography. The most common theme in Japanese porn are schoolgirls who are sexually submissive and often bound. It is quite common and frequently translated and exported to Western cultures because of its large spectrum of themes and media. Japanese erotica has a reputation in the West as being sado-masochistic and youth-centered.

Starting with erotic stories and woodblock prints from before the 20th century, Japanese pornography evolved into distinct subcategories with the media that in addition of pornographic videos and magazines featuring live actors, there are categories of pornographic manga (within Japanese comics), pornographic computer games (for both PC and game consoles), and pornographic anime (animated depictions sexual activity).

By Japanese law, the genitals of actors and actresses must be censored and up the mid-1990s so was the depiction of pubic hair. This type of censoring also extends to comics, video games, and anime made for adults. In the attempts of circumvent this type of censoring (and to cater to particular fetishes), actors and producers have featured subject matter unseen or rarely depicted in western pornography. Bukkake, Gokkun, Omorashi, and tentacle erotica are few uniquely Japanese genres known to western viewers. Lolicon and its contribution to the controversy regarding the regulation of pornography of depicting minors that don’t exist has been a major issue for free speech in and outside of Japan.


Japanese film, Behind the Pink Curtain - The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema

The 1960s, in Japanese pornography, was the era of the independent Pink film. In the years since the end of World War II, eroticism had been gradually making its way into Japanese cinema. The first kiss to be seen in Japanese film-- discreetly half-hidden by an umbrella-- caused a national sensation in 1946. Nevertheless, until the early 1960s, graphic depictions of nudity and sex in Japanese film could only be seen in single-reel "stag films," made illegally by underground film producers such as those depicted in Imamura's film The Pornographers (1966). Nudity and sex would officially enter the Japanese cinema with the independent, low-budget softcore pornographic films which would come to dominate domestically-produced films in the 1960s and 1970s. These films were called eroductions during the early 1960s, but are now more commonly referred to as pink films. The first true pink film, and the first Japanese movie with nude scenes, was Satoru Kobayashi's controversial and popular independent production, Flesh Market (Nikutai no Ichiba, 1962), starring Tamaki Katori. Katori would go on to star in over 600 pink films throughout the 1960s, earning the nickname the "Pink Princess".

In 1964 Tetsuji Takechi made the first big-budget, mainstream pink film, Daydream. Takechi would remake Daydream as Japan's first theatrical hardcore film in 1981, starring Kyoko Aizome.

Future "Nikkatsu Queens" Kazuko Shirakawa and Naomi Tani both made their debuts in 1967. Both actresses would appear in many pink films in the 1960s before before beginning their work with Nikkatsu in the 1970s, for which they best known today.

The 1970s was the era of big-studio softcore pornography in Japan. Facing bankruptcy, Japan's major studios took over the pink film market. In 1971 Toei entered the sexploitation market with its "Pinky Violence" series, and Nikkatsu, Japan's oldest major film studio, started its Roman Porno line of pink films. As the popular star of of Toei's sukeban (delinquent girl boss) series, With its high production values, professional acting talent and talented directors like Tatsumi Kumashiro, Noboru Tanaka, Masaru Konuma and Koyu Ohara, Nikkatsu produced nothing but these often critically-acclaimed and award-winning softcore pornographic films for the next 17 years. This introduction of pornography into mainstream Japanese movie theaters has been credited with saving Nikkatsu from collapse at that time. Nikkatsu created a "Queen" ranking for its leading Roman Porno actresses. Kazuko Shirakawa, Junko Miyashita, and Naomi Tani were the leading Nikkatsu queens of the 1970s.

The 1980s were a period of transition in adult entertainment in Japan. With the widespread private ownership of VCRs, theatrical pornographic films had a new competitor for adult audiences in the form of the Adult Video (AV). By 1982 the AVs had already attained an approximately equal share of the adult entertainment market with theatrical erotic films. Early AV performers were often struggling actresses who could not find work in the theatrical Roman Porno films and girls from the soaplands. By the late 1980s, prominent AV actresses like Hitomi Kobayashi and Kaoru Kuroki were becoming multi-media stars, and creating a mainstream image for AVs and pornographic actresses. Though traditionally not partial to large breasts, in the mid-1980s busty models suddenly become popular in Japan. In 1989, the "Big Bust Boom" (巨乳ブーム - "Kyonyu Buumu") was set "on fire" with the AV debut of Kimiko Matsuzaka, leading to a "Big Bust" genre in Japanese adult entertainment.

See also

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