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Why is Hentai Censored?

Explore the legal reasons behind hentai censorship in Japan and its impact on the industry. Learn about the regulations that shape hentai production.
Why is Hentai Censored?

 Hentai, a popular form of anime and manga pornography, is often censored in many countries, leaving fans wondering why. In Japan, where hentai originates, censorship is primarily due to the country’s laws regarding explicit content. 

Why is Hentai Censored? - Legal Reasons

In this article, we will explore the legal reasons behind hentai censorship and check the impact it has on the industry and its fans.

What is Hentai?

Hentai is a subgenre of anime and manga that focuses on adult content, including sexual themes and explicit imagery. 

The term “hentai” is derived from the Japanese word “hentai seiyoku,” which means “perverse sexual desire.” Hentai is often characterized by its unique art style, fantastical elements, and diverse range of fetishes and kinks.

Legal Reasons for Hentai Censorship

In Japan, the production and distribution of pornographic material are regulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry enforces the obscenity law in Article 175 of the Japan Penal Code, which restricts the sale and distribution of obscene materials. 

The Ministry also regulates the adult entertainment video industry, which has faced controversy over the consent and privacy of performers. The regulation of sexually explicit images in Japan is a complex and evolving issue, as it involves different legal, social, and cultural factors. 

For example, in 2014, Japan enacted the Act on Prevention of Damage Caused by Provision of Private Sexual Image Records, also known as the Revenge Porn Prevention Act, to address the problem of non-consensual dissemination of sexual images. 

This Act represents a contrast to the traditional prohibition of sexual images intended to protect sexual morality or healthy environments in society.

The regulations require that all genitalia, including the penis, be censored in pornographic material. This law applies to hentai as well.

The legal reasons for hentai censorship in Japan include:

  • Child Protection: Hentai often features characters that appear to be underage, which raises concerns about child exploitation and abuse. By censoring genitalia, the Japanese government aims to protect children from explicit content.
  • Public Decency: Explicit sexual content is often considered offensive and inappropriate for public consumption, leading to censorship laws to protect public decency.
  • Cultural Norms: Japan has a unique cultural attitude towards sex and sexuality, and censorship is seen as a way to maintain these norms.

Impact of Hentai Censorship

Hentai censorship has a significant impact on the industry and its fans. Here are some of the ways censorship affects hentai:

  • Limited Availability: Censorship laws limit the availability of hentai, making it difficult for fans to access their favorite content.
  • Decreased Creativity: Censorship can stifle creativity and innovation in the hentai industry, as creators must adhere to strict guidelines and regulations.
  • Increased Demand for Uncensored Content: Censorship can drive demand for uncensored content, leading to an increase in illegal downloads and streams.
  • Loss of Revenue: Censorship can lead to a loss of revenue for the hentai industry, as fans turn to illegal sources to access their favourite content.

Conclusion

Hentai censorship in Japan is primarily due to the country’s laws regarding explicit content, specifically the requirement to censor genitalia. 

While the legal reasons for censorship are intended to protect children and maintain public decency, they can have unintended consequences, such as driving demand for illegal content, and reducing revenue for the hentai industry.

It is important to note that while hentai censorship is mandatory in Japan, it is not universally enforced in other countries. However, different countries have their own regulations and laws regarding explicit content.

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