Why the Mosaic? – The Origins of Censorship in Japanese Pornography
It may surprise you to know that Japan, home to hentai, tentacle porn and bukakke, has had strict laws censoring its pornographic films for decades. In spite of easy access to uncensored images, thanks to the Internet, usage of the ubiquitous mosaic to blur images of genitals still persists.
Japan is the 5th largest producer of pornography in the world. In 2010, the revenue from the Japanese pornography industry was almost equal to the revenue from the video game industry, no mean feat for a country that consumes video games at a fantastic rate.
So why is it, then, that Japanese pornography is censored? Surely, all the people paying hard cash for pornography want to see the sexy bits that are covered by mosaic censoring? And if some part of the sexual act is objectionable, why not censor the whole screen instead of a tiny patch? Why is filmed Japanese pornography censored today, and what brought about the practice of censorship in the first place?