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The Japanese Just Don’t Get It (Pt II)

October 30, 2006

Pornography. If you got offended by that word, you're under 18, or you're my Mum (Hi Mum), you should probably not read any more.

One of people's favourite questions to ask me since I got here is "So, do you like Japanese girls?" I usually reply with some variation of "Yeah, yeah, they're very nice and everything. Good work with that. Well done." Then of course, they reply that wow, I must be loving it here then, eh? Eh?

I then point out to them that no matter how much I might like Japanese girls, it's kind of a redundant point since there are absolutely none in any direction for miles around. Some kind of void sucks up every person in this region once they hit fifteen, and doesn't spit them out again until they're 75 with a perfectly right-angled back and grandchildren of their own. Once I remind them of this, they usually just laugh and go "Oh yeah. Guess that kinda sucks for you, then, huh?" and give me a bit of a slap on the back.

Well, it stopped being funny a while ago. So I decided it was time to hit the porn stores. And what a disappointment.

Japan doesn't quite seem to know what its stance on sex is. Nobody talks about it. If two people of opposite gender are seen together, it's pretty much assumed they're married. In fact, it seems nobody here actually has sex. Babies are made in little artificial tubes at Nintendo and then shipped out to the couple who can prove they are able to work the hardest (at their job, not raising their kids). But at the same time, the downtown city area is filled with Love Hotels (more on that later. Hopefully.) And porn is absolutely everywhere you look.

We took a wander through our local comic store (and by local, I mean in the city. We don't have local stores) to see what innocent publications our young leaders of the future were picking up. My friend picked up one apparently nice one which seemed to be about a young boy and his pet dog. Who knew what kind of adventures they'd get up to? Only one way to find out, so we cracked the cover. The dog instantly got hit by a car. And died.

But wait! The dog's spirit entered the body of the salaryman who had hit the dog. Now the boy goes to visit this salaryman (for some reason), and the dog's spirit is revived! As well as the apparent latent love (in a rather unnatural sense) which the two had for each other. Well, they get straight to it. For some reason the salaryman appeared to have a bunch of collars and leashes and stuff handy, so they all got brought out as well. A cowboy or something turned up later, but by that point we'd pretty much lost interest.

This was one of many many MANY similar titles which were scattered around next to your slightly-more-appropriate titles like DragonBall Z and any others that you might have heard of. And all in the same cutesy covers and everything. These things are right there for the kids. The magazine stores are full of them as well. Whether it's more cartoons or actual people, the sex magazines are everywhere.

BUT what is Japan's answer to this? Well, mosaicing. Or pixellation. Whatever term you're more familiar with, it's the act of covering over the "offensive" part with a fuzz of large pixels so you can't actually see what's happening. Or, in fact, any organs at all. I don't know what the rationale is behind this. Perhaps it's assumed that if you can't see that particular part, then the publication becomes harmless. After all, who knows what's happening? Could be anything, really. The rest of the body and the particular situation might be highly suggestive, but unless you can actually see it, then I guess there's always room for doubt. Every single piece of porn in Japan has had this defacement.

And maybe because of this "harmless" porn, the porn is everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. The kids love it. But why shouldn't they? It's mosaiced. Harmless! Hell, throw in some ropes and spikes and whips, and a couple of monsters as well. After all, you can't see what's really happening in that particular few square millimetres. If the kids ask, we'll just tell them they're playing. Or something. I dunno.

So, Japan has managed to ruin the society two-fold. Porn is everywhere for the kids. You know they all know. But since nobody would ever dare to talk about such a low-brow topic, it's never going to change. And what's even worse, is that for us of-age, law-abiding citizens, there is not a single option available to us to actually enjoy. It's all, to be honest, crap. I haven't been this disappointed since Australia.

Well done, Japan. You guys just don't get it.

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