21

Why are there no hair drawn down there or anywhere apart from FEMALE character's heads in anime? I heard it was illegal from my friend. Were they making it up?

  • 4
    Page 143 of "Geisha" by Liza Dalby, written in 1983, says that obscenity laws (of real-life photos) ban the depiction of pubic hair. – Andrew Grimm Dec 23 '15 at 12:19
  • 3
    "How would the minimal censor bar appear on a girl?" seems irrelevant to the original question posed. Perhaps if this subject interests you asking a new question might be appropriate, however such a question is borderline and the community might close it. – Michael McQuade Dec 28 '15 at 9:52
  • 3
    The banana provided by Toushinou Kyouko is an example of how mangaka's make their own interpretation of censorship. Edits to questions should be used for clarification purposes, not to change the original question. Changes to the original question invalidate current answers, that's why I recommended asking a new question. – Michael McQuade Dec 29 '15 at 1:33
  • 2
    It has nothing to do with Japanese language – Darjeeling Dec 31 '15 at 8:00
  • 4
    Someone (the OP?) recently asked the same question of Answerman. animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2015-12-28/.96983 – Torisuda Jan 1 '16 at 2:09
33
+150

I believe Japan's obscenity laws have some particular rules regarding pubic hair. Also, often hentai artists prefer a hairless body for their particular demographic / fetish / etc.

Up until the mid 1990s, pubic hair had to be censored in Japanese media. The law has been relaxed since, but as it had been common to do without hair, many artists continued with it.

Saying that, there are some hentai works that contain pubic hair - but whether they are complying with the law is another topic, as mangaka's regularly 'interpret' the law loosely. Such as opting for a very minimal censor bar:

enter image description here

A female version would be similarly censored to a minimal interpretation of the law. Unfortunately I don't have any appropriate pictures of fruit on hand.

Further Reading

An Overview of Censorship in Anime (This is my own article on the subject, broadly covering the topic)

"Obscenity, Pornography, and the Law in Japan: Reconsidering Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses" (Heavier in content, but perhaps more specific for your question)

  • 1
    This has nothing to do with Japanese obscenity law afaik. – senshin Dec 23 '15 at 13:35
  • 2
    @senshin Perhaps it is not that particular law, but up until the mid 1990s, pubic hair had to be censored in Japanese media. The law has been relaxed since en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_in_Japan – Toshinou Kyouko Dec 23 '15 at 13:54
  • 10
    Cool banana!!!! – Anthony Pham Dec 23 '15 at 16:48
  • 2
    Related: anime.stackexchange.com/questions/4940/… – nhahtdh Dec 24 '15 at 4:51
  • 1
    @Jen As krazr has mentioned elsewhere it's pretty broad and both context and artist dependant. Some artists use bars and vary on the styles/sizes used. The thing is, censorship is often hard to enforce with many artists being self-published, and the rules are vague enough as is, so there's no exact minimum - artists just try their luck. (I can talk about this more on chat if you would like) chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/6697/maid-cafe- – Toshinou Kyouko Jan 1 '16 at 2:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.