History repeats?

M Arnold ma_iku
Thu Aug 23 17:49:00 EDT 2007

Hi all.

I believe this is the link to the Asahi.com article:

On my last stay in Tokyo I had several drinking buddies who were 
self-proclaimed "mosaic-ers" who made most or all of their income working 
long hours in small rooms full of increasingly obsolete video equipment, 
editing and censoring porno videos. Porno studios would send them uncensored 
videos and they would put blocky patches of "mosaic" over the important 
parts to prepare them for release. (This--along with other adult video 
production duties--seems to be a common part-time job for some of the pink 
film directors I know.) The trick was, I was told, to leave reasonable doubt 
in the minds of the Biderin censors as to whether or not the people in front 
of the camera were actually having intercourse. I asked what that was 
supposed to mean and never got a clear answer. I did find it interesting 
that these directors and editors found it so easy to switch professionally 
between the supposed realism of AV and the supposed artifice of pink, but I 

At any rate, over the months a few of them stopped showing up at the bar, 
apparently because the shift to digitally editing in dirty videos was 
putting them out of business, replacing their bulky, expensive editing 
suites with PCs. If you browse through the porno section of Tsutaya, you 
might notice that a lot of the new DVDs proudly advertise this shift to 
"digital mosaic" or "giri giri mosaic", or "even more giri giri than 
girimoza" and so on. It seems that the market is trying to push things 
closer and closer to the edge (maybe a presumed or imaginary edge) of 
representability in porn, probably spurred on by digital technology and the 
proliferation of explicit materials available to Japan-based viewers on the 
Internet. However, people who invested heavily in pre-digital editing 
equipment years ago are now finding it hard to stay afloat.

I wonder about the political background to this incident though. I was told 
that in the past, Biderin would encourage editors to censor more of the 
picture during times of social or political unrest. I also wonder about 
sales figures for AV in the last five or ten years.

I'll have to get on Mixi and find out what some of my friends think about 
the Police's move. If there are any other reports in the media please let us 

Michael Arnold

>From: Aaron Gerow <aaron.gerow at yale.edu>
>Reply-To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
>To: KineJapan <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
>Subject: History repeats?
>Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 09:25:29 -0400
>In what sounds like a curious repetition of the Nikkatsu Roman Porno 
>censorship case, in which inspectors for Eirin, the film ratings board in 
>Japan, were indicted in the early 1970s along with Nikkatsu filmmakers for 
>violating censorship laws, the Asahi and other papers reported that Tokyo 
>police have raided the offices of Biderin (Nihon Bideo Rinri Kyokai), the 
>video industry's self-censorship arm, for aiding in the distribution of 
>obscene materials by relaxing guidelines for applying mosaic to sex scenes 
>in videos.
>We'll see what happens, especially with regard to the police tactic of 
>arresting the censor for not censoring enough. But since AV doesn't have 
>the critical and intellectual support Roman Porno does, I doubt we will see 
>the uproar there was in the 1970s.
>Aaron Gerow
>KineJapan owner
>Assistant Professor
>Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
>Yale University
>For list commands, send "information kinejapan" to
>listserver at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
>Kinema Club: http://pears.lib.ohio-state.edu/Markus/Welcome.html

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