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Chinese tourists flock to Osaka’s uncensored porn shops as market ‘matures’

Shukan Jitsuwa Nov. 28
Shukan Jitsuwa Nov. 28

Earlier this month, Osaka Prefectural Police announced the bust of four shops in the Nipponbashi district for selling uncensored pornographic DVDs.

Officers took manager Shiro Kuwahara, 56, and four other suspects into custody and seized a total of 190,000 uncensored discs.

Demand for such films, which are illegal since images showing genitalia must be properly censored under Japanese law, is brisk due to firming demand from Chinese tourists, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 28).

The magazine reports that hearing the Chinese language spoken by visitors browsing the shops in the Minami and Nipponbashi areas is not unusual.

“It all started just before the summer,” says a shop owner. “It could be that (shopping here) has been added to a Chinese sightseeing tour list.”

An adult video (AV) writer says that Shanghai and Guangzhou has underground routes in which to import such DVDs. “But outside of the big cities, the discs are considered treasures,” says the AV writer.

The DVDs come from Hong Kong and Taiwan but their quality is inferior to that available in Japan.

“News started spreading that titles are readily available in Osaka,” continues the writer, “and the tourists have flooded the area.”

Helpful to tourists is the fact that the stores are easily accessible. As well, the packaging of the discs is usually such that its contents can be conveyed even though the purchaser cannot read the text or title.

The magazine says that the average Chinese customer is a male who will purchase 10 discs, but some fans will buy five times that figure. The hottest titles feature jukujo (or “mature”) actresses.

With pornography being illegal in China, bringing the material into the country without facing a fine requires a bit of maneuvering, says an industry insider.

“They go back to their hotels and dump the contents of the discs onto memory sticks,” says the source.

The shopkeepers are grateful for the business from China but feel that becoming a tourist destination will only make them ripe for a bust, so to speak.

“That’s the talk that is going around,” says the aforementioned staff member.

And based on the recent activities of law enforcement the party may be about to end.

Source: “Hitozuma mono ga ninki Chugokujin kankokyaku no tairyo kai de boromoke suru Osaka Nipponbashi no uraDVDten,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Nov. 28, pages 48-49)