What is AV?
2. AV Production
3. AV Censorship
4. Behind the censorship
5. Why is Japanese adult video censored?
6. Why is Girl's profile always included
7. AV girls in American or European porn's
8. Japan nude models
9. AV actresses recruitment
What is AV?
"AV" is short for Adult Video. It's also often
referred to JAV or Japanese Adult Video. The adult video
industry in Japan is huge, releasing hundreds of new titles
every month. It also covers many genres some of which
you don't see much of in the West. These include amateur,
bondage, rape, schoolgirl, facial cum shots (bukkake),
scatology (pee & poop), and even older women videos,
Companies that produce and sell adult video in Japan can
be classified into three groups: Mainstream, Independent
Mainstream AV are the mostly widely available in Japan
both in retail and rental stores. They are also the first
to feature the most popular female stars, the girls you
see in the magazines.
Kuki is by far the largest conglomerate
of AV producers in Japan. Over time, they have built up
affiliations with 8 production houses. Kuki, Atlas 21,
Cosmos, Alice Japan, MAX-A, Big Morkal, Sexia and Gorilla.
Although they do have some amateur series and the occasional
bondage or rape-themed release, most of their bread and
butter is presenting the freshest starlets in their first
HRC (Human Relation and Confidence) is
a smaller AV production group consisting of the Cher,
Rouge and Zoom labels. They still get the cute girls but
they only release a fraction of titles as compared to
Kasakura is a fairly prolific AV production
firm whose videos range from pretty girl to amateur, madam,
rape and bondage.
HMP (Houya Media Produce) is yet another
group of AV makers in the Mainstream category. If you
come across videos labels with names like Samm, Tiffany,
Miss Christine, For You, Q, Jamm, Cream, 10, Video Bank
or Sex 9, it came from HMP. Again, a little amateur thrown
into the mix but predominantly straight sex, AV actress
Cinemagic produces bondage and S&M.
Occasionally you will see an actress in one of these videos
who you recognize from a more milder video genre (e.g.
Sanae Asoh, Nao Hirosue and Maria Yumeno), but this is
the exception rather than the rule.
Marx Brothers is a fairly new mainstream
AV firm. They have three labels: Princess, Super Burroughs
and Boda. Princess is all AV Idol while the other two
run the gamut from amateur to costume play to big boob
Independent video companies differ from
the mainstream groups in that they don't subject their
videos to the censorship standards of the Eirin, a non-governmental
organization made up of 23 movie studios. This has two
consequences. Independent videos generally contain less
censorship but since the Eirin also controls the video
rental market, the indie titles are not widely available
for rental by consumers but only through retail sales.
In addition, many indie studios shoot for the fringe market
genres so you're more likely to find your more adventuresome
fetish subjects within this group.
Soft On Demand is definitely the leader
among independent AV filmmakers. They often get former
mainstream video starlets into their videos (Bunko Kanazawa,
Ryo Hitomi, Mao Misaki) and also have an exclusive contract
with a starlet of their own: Kurumi Morishita. SOD videos
cover a very wide range of kinky stuff like rape, bondage,
sperm and even taboo subjects like lesbian and anal sex.
Momotaro wins the battle for having the
least censorship of any large independent AV producer
because they use a special digital mosaic mask. Also,
they mercifully tend to avoid producing videos that revolve
around plots and complex story structure. Momotaro has
a cadre of AV stars that seem to pop up every once in
a while (like Ruri Ikenouchi and Nana Housho) but they
tend to go with new talent most of the time. They have
long running series focusing on fudols, kogals and amateurs,
but the most popular by far is the Bejean series.
Moodyz (formerly Mr. President) works
very hard on getting well known AV stars in their videos.
A lot of their titles revolve around costume play, but
they also delve into amateur, light rape and bondage themes.
Waap videos are predominantly AV idol
videos. They produce the excellent Dream Shower series
which is part bukkake and part gang bang.
Audaz features AV idols along with amateur
titles in its catalog. Their Face series is one of their
most well known.
Wanz Factory is one of the newest indie
companies and mostly produces videos starring AV idols.
They also feature big boob compilations.
NOTE: There are too many independent AV firms to be listed
All legally available AV is censored (pixelized mosaic
mask) in Japan. There is, of course another category of
AV production: the Underground. Given that the distribution
of such uncensored material is illegal you won't find
them in any of the regular video stores in Japan. However,
since the Japanese police are typically lax in enforcing
laws pertaining to illicit sex, you can find some in and
outside of Japan with some effort. However, the general
consensus seems to be that these uncensored (or "ura")
videos are inferior to the legal stuff both in terms of
the girls and the production value. Most of the women
in these videos are veterans of the sex trade and therefore
not up to the level of a bankable AV actresses.
However, there is yet another category of uncensored AV,
best describe as being smuggled out of the production
cycle before mosaic censorship could be applied. These
are a handful of these gems starring some very popular
AV stars like Ai Ijima, Hitomi Yuki, Rui Sakuragi and
Behind the censorship
Most AV girls fake having intercourse (titles that are
release before 2003). The mosaic censorship allows for
enough ambiguity from the viewer's perspective that it
doesn't matter whether the sex is real. A note of interest
– titles that are release after 2003 are presented
with the "real thing" using smaller pixel mosaic
or thin mosaic (digital moasic) except those from KUKI
and SOD which still utilitize large pixel mosaic.
Petting - Yes
Cunnilingus - Yes but not always
Fingering - Sometimes
Fellatio - Yes but often with a condom
Intercourse - Usually not
Anal - Almost always not
Cum shot - Sometimes
You'd be surprised how easy it is to fake a jizz explosion.
On the other hand, almost all amateur videos are real.
Also, most indie AV directors insist on real sex.
2005 NOTE: Most video release after end
2003 is wtih real action - all sexual acts. Also, new
production houses such as "S1" and "REAL"
utilitize "GIRI GIRI MOSAIC" - thin small pixel
Why is Japanese adult video censored?
This is probably the most perplexing question about AV
and the most frustrating since it's hard to pin down exactly
what the roots of censorship of erotic materials in Japan
are. There are many parts of the world which exercise
much greater control on the display of adult media (India,
the Middle East and Mainland China).
Japan's present day stance against the display of nudity
(particularly genitalia) seems to be in stark contrast
to it's artistic tradition. Whereas India had its Kama
Sutra, Japan has it erotic shunga or woodblock prints
which graphically displayed intercourse with the participants
contorted into virtually spine-bending positions. Indeed
both the ancient Japanese literary and dramatic arts were
no strangers to exploring the sexual realms both in traditional
and perverse forms.
One might expect that a country so steeped in religious
tradition as Japan to have a moral issue with sexual promiscuity.
However, the Buddhist and Shinto faiths lack the exhortations
against lust and adultery that are so common in Christianity.
In fact, fertility and sex are more apt to be thought
of as natural and even celebrated rather than denounced
as is so often the case in the puritanical West. Take
for example the annual Jibeta festival which is a Shinto
celebration of fertility in which statues and carved wooden
representations (some of them huge) of both the male and
female genitals play a prominent and public role.
It's also interesting to note that the sight of women's
breasts are not considered to be a big deal as in the
United States. The Japanese response is much like that
of Europeans. Bare-chested women are a common sight on
television as well as general audience newspapers and
magazines. Even comic books and animation produced for
a teenage or younger audience is apt to have the occasional
depiction of a half-naked woman.
Despite all this, the image of male and female sexual
organs are restricted in modern day Japan. Note that I
used the phrase "modern day" because it was
the process of modernization of the Japanese culture which
brought about the issue of censorship. You see, back at
the tail end of the Tokugawa era in the mid-1800s, Japan
was suddenly forced out of isolation by the influx of
trade with American and European nations.
From the perspective of a Western visitor, Japanese culture
must seem primitive but also barbaric. Public baths and
brothels were commonplace, as were the aforementioned
erotic art and fertility imagery in religious shrines.
Japan's political leaders must have felt a great deal
of shame over this because around 1900 they began banning
materials "injurious to public morals." In 1907
there came Article 175 of the Criminal Code which basically
made those restrictions into law. In 1918 came a law that
specifically dealt with censorship of the genital region
in public media. The language of the law is actually quite
vague stating, "... the pubic area need not be hidden
but there should be no anatomical details to draw the
In the aftermath of World War II, occupation forces drew
up a new constitution for Japan and it included an article
which would seem to negate previous attempts at banning
free speech. Article 21 reads in part, "No censorship
shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means
of communication be violated." Unfortunately, with
the end of the occupation in 1952 came the re-enforcement
of those old obscenity laws and they have been in use
There is evidence that a reinterpretation of these laws
by liberal government officials has meant a less stringent
enforcement of censorship regulations in the past decade.
Unfortunately, until the Japanese government chooses to
officially retract those 80 year old anti-obscenity laws
or the legal system deems the restrictions unconstitutional,
it's unlikely that we're going to be enjoying legally
produced and sanctioned Japanese adult video without mosaic
is the girl's profile always include blood group?
Most people have likened the Japanese interest in blood
types to the American obsession with astrology. The argument
for this is that a person's blood should have more direct
influence on him/her than the alignment of the stars and
planets. Unfortunately, having only four different blood
types to work with makes for some very broad statements
about these groups.Type A - Calm, serious, hardworking,
finicky, not emotional.
Type B - Curious, aloof, excitable, cheerful, unpredictable.
Type O - Charismatic, decisive, generous, authoritarian.
Type AB - Delicate, cautious, strict, sentimental.
This superstition is completely Japanese in origin having
been set off by Furukawa Takeji's article "The Study
of Temperament Through Blood Type" published in 1927.
Despite the fact that his credentials and research were
dubious at best and the work of supporters and skeptics
over three-quarters of a century, Takeji's conclusions
still form the basis of modern Japan's belief in blood
as a determining factor towards character.
AV girls in American or European porn's production
A few ... e.g. AV star Mai Hoshino filmed a More Dirty
Debutantes 188 with Ed Powers which was released in the
Spring of 2001. It's just one scene at the end of the
video in which she participates in a menage-a-trois with
Powers and another girl.
Japan nude models
Most of the nude models who appear in men's magazines
and photobooks are AV stars as well but there have been
notable exceptions such as Mai Hagiwara, Mari Ayase and
AV actress recruitment
AV actress isrecruited by studio representative or AV
talent agency. Some are sex industry workers (employee
of soapland, bath house, or self-employed fuzoku girl)
but just as many are literally scouted out on the streets,
where young girls hang out like Shibuya, Roppongi and
Harajiku with their signs and clipboards. In America one
would be arrested for solicitation for doing this, but
in Japan it's common place. JAV generally gets so many
actresses and better looking, though probably less "professional"
than their American porno counterparts. Walk-ins and cattle
calls with girls who are eager to get into the business
are not as common as in the U.S.