Sex sells! And nowhere in the world does it sell quite as well as in Tokyo — or so it can seem.
Pornographic magazines by the armful can be picked up in most convenience stores, not to mention “exciting comics for men” boasting adult-themed manga and sections devoted to “delivery health” and other sexual services. Touts brazenly beckon passersby into neon-lit “soaplands” and other risqué establishments in the capital’s seediest areas, and Japanese-produced Internet porn offers up some of the filthiest, weirdest fantasies out there.
Japan comes in a distant second in per-capita spending ($157 in 2011) on pornography after voracious South Korea ($527), but when it comes to comparing the sizes of the countries’ homegrown porn industries, there’s no contest. So prominent is Japanese porn online and on DVD that claims of Japan, with a population less than half that of the U.S., producing twice as many adult movies as the States are not hard to believe.
One prominent actor — going by the moniker of Mumin, and with 2,000 titles to his name featuring upward of 1,500 girls — backs claims that 14 full-length porno movies are churned out daily in Japan. Mumin (the name is derived from his birthday, June 3) single-handedly adds an average of six titles a week to the national tally.
That overseas producers of videos and magazines now drop in Japanese terminology when describing the action on their product is telling, with a handful of obscene terms now part of the English-language porn lexicon.
The cultural exchange goes both ways, according to Mumin, who lists a veritable United Nations of girls he has worked with over the course of 10 years in the industry.
From Americans to Nigerians and South Koreans, not to mention more than a few Russians and other Eastern Europeans, the girls on the receiving end of Mumin’s talents have ranged from unknown newbies to globally recognized names.
But it is not just the nationalities of his co-stars Mumin sees as behind the growing market for Japanese porn overseas.
“We tend to go with more day-to-day storylines featuring regular guys, unlike on American-made DVDs,” he says. “There are few, if any, steroid-fueled actors in Japan’s AV (adult video) industry. Our dramas are far more realistic.”