This week in Osaka, cops busted uncensored dirty movie sellers. According to The Tokyo Reporter, police seized 140,000 uncensored DVDs. Pixelated porn is the law! And in the past, machines were made to give those rules the shaft.
Note: This story might contain content some readers find objectionable.
During the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), the Japanese government tried to make the country's values align with the Western ones, if anything, so the country didn't appear backwards to outsiders. Laws were passed regarding public nudity and indecency. As Japan Probe points out, after World War II, the U.S. government left those laws as they were.
Thus, censorship continues in the visual depiction of sex. Uncensorsed movies exist in Japan, but are made for export—or produced illegally.
Don't think that everyone in Japan hates the pixels as some enjoy them, saying they leave more to the imagination. And don't think Japan is a country of prudes. It ain't.
For decades now, adult videos have featured pixelated parts. As a workaround, "mosaic removal machines" (モザイク除去機 or mozaiku jyokyo-ki) were developed to screw with the pixels. They've been on sale for years and, in the past, have cost up to several hundred dollars.
The devices feature a bunch of switches and nobs to zoom in on the pixelated area. The machines proudly read, "Made in Japan."
A while back, forum member lolwut on MovieCodec provided an explanation:
Does it work? Erm, yes and no. Yes—that device is hardware video filter that kinda reduce mosaic using nearest neighbor algorythm [SIC] (it reduces mosaic pixel size twice and compare colour with adjacent pixels trying to recover missing data).
And no, it doesn't work, because mosaic is still there. Besides, it's hard using this device with one free hand.
However, some forum members on MovieCodec claim that these machines do as promised. Others say these machines are a scam. Whatever the truth is, using them seems like a lot of work!
The blurs in Japanese adult films are created with an algorithm to prevent them from being unscrambled. But these days, with everything going online and digital, who needs a machine when there is software that claims to unpixel the moving images. Of course, there are questions regarding this software as well.
Those who really want to see want is behind the pixels could always get a part time job at an adult Japanese video company adding mosaics to movies. Publication Shukan SPA! recently reported that part-time mosaic masters can earn around $15 an hour and the equivalent of $500 to $600 a month. Hey, with that kind of money, you can probably buy your own mosaic removal machine!
Mosaic Removal [Movie Codec]
Note: The lede image has loads of added blur that does not appear in the original censorsed film to make it suitable for publication.
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.