Japan has some really strange censorship laws, where porn or other pornographic material needs to be censored at all times.

However, there are uncensored versions of Black Bible available. Apparantly, it's because the original studio licensed it to an American distributor, who in turn could release it outside of Japan uncensored.

This leads to the question: is the actual creation of porn and pornographic material legal as long as it's not distributed? The original creators had to draw the genitalia themselves before they blurred it after all.

I'm just curious to know how that works. Does that mean Japanese studios are fine as long as they don't release their stuff uncensored in Japan? Let's say I wanted to hire a Japanese studio to create a hentai for me (cause I'm super rich and I can do that, apparantly), would they get in trouble for it, even though they themselves wont release it in Japan (and neither will I)?

1 Answer 1


The relevant law, Article 175 of the Criminal Code, says

A person who distributes, sells or displays in public an obscene document, drawing or other objects shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years, a fine of not more than 2,500,000 yen or a petty fine. The same shall apply to a person who possesses the same for the purpose of sale.

Hence production is not illegal.

  • Distribution is, though. Wouldn't that include shipping the work off to someone, even outside the country?
    – cHao
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 16:51
  • An interesting question, which would have to be resolved by reference to Japanese law, how the courts interpret "頒布し".
    – user6726
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 17:04

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