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Some convenience stores may remove adult magazines from shelves

36 Comments
By Philip Kendall

Just last week while picking up milk at my local 7-Eleven, I found myself chuckling at the sight of a teenage boy trying to peek at the adult magazines arranged on the rank right beside the comic books. I had to admire his technique as he stood holding a weekly manga collection open in front of him while staring, unblinking and open-mouthed, at the covers of the naughty magazines to his right.

Alas, this young man and thousands like him could soon be reduced to checking out far more explicit and abundant images of girls via the internet as “a certain convenience store” is rumored to be clearing its naughty magazine section away very soon.

Pretty much every convenience store in Japan has a small section dedicated entirely to adult literature. The magazines are usually sealed, thus preventing "tachiyomi" (“stand and read)” and any under-age (20 years or younger) people from rifling through their pages, but publications with covers far more risqué than many countries would allow are openly displayed and in reach of even the shortest horny schoolboy.

Sex is present in some form or other – though often ignored – throughout Japanese society, but it always struck me as odd that publications like Mature and Busty should be positioned just a couple of inches from fashion and cooking magazines, separated by just a tiny strip of card reading “adults only”.

According to Internet chatter, however, these naughty corners may soon be a thing of the past.

“I’ve heard from a source directly associated with the industry that one of the largest convenience stores has begun limiting the number of magazines they carry featuring nudity or sexual content, with some stores making the decision to remove them altogether from their shelves,” came a tweet from a man with close ties to the Japanese publishing industry.

But what has prompted the sudden move? Has one of the big three stores simply decided to throw out the smut and pursue a more wholesome image?

Many suggest that the recent trend of convenience stories stocking fresh foods is to blame.

Although in the past convenience stores mainly stocked simple household items, canned goods, magazines, toiletries and the like, in more recent years many have introduced more and more fresh foods, ready-meals and even fruit and vegetables. These additions have helped the stores through difficult financial times and, in some cases, actually been the catalyst for an increase in profits, resulting in the gradual expansion of fresh foods sections. With adult magazines being a comparatively poor seller, the conbini naughty corner has, according to some Internet users, found itself targeted as shelf space that could be better used.

Others, however, believe there to be much more sinister reason for the removal of the titillating titles.

Writer and adult video director Jin Toriyama, among others suggests that, rather than convenience stores being influenced by public or political opinion, large global conglomerates with capital invested in them are pushing the decision forward, which is worrying to say the least.

The decision to cut sales of adult-oriented magazines in convenience stores is also reportedly having an adverse effect on many publishing houses, who look set to lose a large chunk of their business should convenience stores no longer carry their cheekier publications.

But how are the general public taking to the news that conbini porn shelves may soon disappear?

Some are surprisingly optimistic, suggesting that “If adult magazines are pulled from convenience store shelves, regular bookshops might be able to win back some of the custom they’ve lost over the years.”

Indeed, despite there being so many high quality bookstores in Japan, an estimated 40% of the country’s magazines are believed to be sold through convenience stores. While they’re undoubtedly not quite the type of sales many bookstores would actively seek, patrons unable to buy their copy of Naughty Nurses Weekly may just return to their local book emporium, boosting flagging sales.

Others Internet users, meanwhile, simply feel sorry for the middle-aged men who would be deprived of their "okazu" (“side-dish”, sometimes used as slang to refer to material used to assist sexual arousal), saying: “But what about all those old guys who used to enjoy picking up a little 'okazu' and alcohol on their way home!?”

Whether the rumor turns out to be true, and whatever the real cause, Japan is a resilient country, and we’re sure that people will soon bounce back from the setback, however devastating at first. Besides, as one Twitter user suggests, while waving goodbye to porn mags in convenience stores might well be sad for some, “there’s plenty of filth to be found for free on the Internet.”

Source: アメーバニュース

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©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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Boring story all they need to do is go on the internet for much better porn. All filters do is make kids work to get the porn through work a rounds.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Go ahead and remove those piece of junk.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

guess they got tired of seeing too many creepy looking guys come into their stores and stare at a porn mag for an hour or more :)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Pressure from shady conglomerates? Bah. Citation needed.

Access to free stuff on the 'Net - it's hitting newspapers and magazines hard, and porn more than anything.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do you know, I don't think Natural Lawson even has a magazine rack... (Will have to check that).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good or bad this will serve as the final fatal blow to many in the publishing and printing industry. Also an indication that sales of these were declining in any event with everyone going on the net. Good or bad this will further accelerate the business to go completely underground ie fully cyber-based from here onwards. Would suggest stronger restrictions on the net as otherwise things can only go too far victimizing the youth more than anyone else.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

About time. As the father of young children, I can tell you that Japanese convenience stores are very unwholesome places to bring children. And it doesn't stop with the porn: The wall of cigarettes behind the cash register, with their weak and ineffectual warning labels, is even worse than the porn. Japan is so behind the times on this. Even in some developing countries in Southeast Asia, there is no porn on display and the cigarettes are hidden behind shutters.

Let's not even get into the guys prowling around on the main streets in large shopping districts carrying sandwich boards saying things like: "Fantasy Three-Way Only Y10,000!"

Sadly, the conbeni is just another way in which Japan is shockingly behind the times. For those with children I say: Get out. It's not going to get any better any time soon.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Toru, are you responsible for this?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not only on Convenience stores, Video rental shops, Book stores, etc etc.. These are the causes of too much perverts, hentai's, porno bizness by the underground gangs, pedophiles and whatever you may call them in Japan. But I guess it's never too late to teach and train the new generations from now.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Looks like Busty will soon be going bust.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Damn. Well okay I just will have to go else where.. ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"With adult magazines being a comparatively poor seller,..."

"The decision to cut sales of adult-oriented magazines in convenience stores is also reportedly having an adverse effect on many publishing houses, who look set to lose a large chunk of their business should convenience stores no longer carry their cheekier publications."

Well, which is the case here? Do these magazines sell or not?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who actually buys porn any more? If I were a kid, though, I'd certainly be oggling at the covers or even leafing through the mags not in sealed bags (or with those weird yellow elastic bands around them). Hell, I STILL glance at the covers, although that's mainly due to location. I don't think convenience stores need to stop selling porn, but I DO think they could section it off or just relocate the shelves. I mean, why is the porn ALWAYS next to the ice cream -- one of the first things kids go after -- and next to the comic books (the second thing they go after)?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

lol! omg! i was shocked when i read this removing?! wow japan finally changing xD

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtaniNov. 16, 2012 - 08:06AM JST

Boring story all they need to do is go on the internet for much better porn. All filters do is make kids work to get the porn through work a rounds.

Yup, taking away "legal" means always leads to "illegal" means. All these kids would have is an excuse to go to international porn sites that don't scratch off/blur lady parts (not even a joke, check out playboy).

Though perhaps with less okazu, they can actually try to make "friends" to have the real thing.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Porn mags being sold at combini's do seem to be an anchronism, especially now that more and more combini chains are trying to position themselves as a family shopping experience. But, I guess if there's a market for them, there's no way to stop them from selling them.

However, the more explicit stuff should be placed behind the counter (just like they now do with cigarettes) and wrapped up so that you have to buy them to read them. It's kind of creepy seeing some dude (it's almost always a dude) standing there browsing through one of those mags like obvious to the others around them. Personally, I just couldn't do it. But, then again, I wouldn't start reading a Playboy on a JR train or bus, no matter how interesting the articles might be.

I'll just stick to buying my straight forward tuna fish sandwiches and my pizzas without corn on them from my local combini and leave the porn to others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ha ha! Moving from flesh food to fresh food. Many of the combo is have the books bound so they can't be opened, but removing them from the main shelves is a positive thing. I actually got in trouble from my ex-wife once cos I was looking at the covers while I was waiting to use the ATM. She would accept my excuse of trying to work out the kanji. If the nudie mags weren't they I wouldn't have got in the shit!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm sure these kids are aware that there is way better porn on the net!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I've never been able to understand is why the majority of the combinis have the porn located right beside the comic books that kids are going to be looking at. Wouldn't it make more sense to have comics at one end, regular adult oriented magazines in the middle and then porn at the other end? Or do they not want to make the regular adults feel uncomfortable being beside the porn area? Guess it is no problem to have the kids there though...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

basroil: "Yup, taking away "legal" means always leads to "illegal" means."

There's nothing legal at all about kids looking at porn, be it magazines, the internet, or otherwise -- won't stop them, though, and rightly so. There's also nothing illegal about most porn sites, blurred or not. Many Japanese sites advertise 'no mosaic', and 99% of Asian porn or more is from Japan.

"All these kids would have is an excuse to go to international porn sites that don't scratch off/blur lady parts"

Lady parts are human parts, and why they should be blurred when other parts are not is beyond me. Said parts should instead be celebrated -- perhaps not with giant floats and flaunts in public, but they shouldn't be hidden in prudery either.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Naughty Nurses Weekly"

My friend says he only buys that for the medical articles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

will they cut dodgy mangas as well...been in the conbini a few times with my kids and there are mangas with a womens legs spread dripping with juice etc etc,whats with that???

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm a naught magz reader myself and I think it's an assault on my freedom if you take away my porn magz from the shelf. Healthy porn should be encouraged in order to stimulate peoples will to want to have sex. The country needs it. .

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Times and media are changing. Not taking away much of your freedom; you just have to look further down the road for your fix. When I was in senior high school, Suzanne Somers did a spread in Playboy. Every place I went, I was asked for ID and walked away with a red face. Until my 6 foot, low voiced classmate offered to buy it for me for a 5 dollar cut. That was money well spent!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I often wonder why anyone would ever look at mucky mags any more, with the magnificent profusion of free, much more accessible fodder online.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Healthy porn should be encouraged in order to stimulate peoples will to want to have sex"

Maybe I just have super high testosterone levels or something .... but I'm amazed anyone would need any extra stimulation. I avoid looking at those mags to try and DE-stimulate.!

Makes me remember when I first came to Japan and saw people standing and reading so intently and I innocently wondered why all the guys were at a certain section. At first I thought it must be car magazines cos I didn't think anyone would be so brazen to just look at girlie magazines for so long. Esp not in your own neighborhood. But, I've learned a lot since then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's about time, really. Nver should have had such imagery in such public display, the 'adult' manga being particularly graphic and demeaning of women. Is that how little Taro should imagine women? Sure, if you're an adult and want some self-indulgence, knock yourself out but not where any child can see what they shouldn't have to deal with and become knowledgeable of and enjoy until, well, they're older.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I personally don't look forward to it if its true. The perverted magazines are what makes the average Konbini Japanese!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please get rid of the smut and bring the prices down in convenience stores! I think the smut is now in plastic cover, but junior high kids walk in the 'reading' area all the time. I am sure they can see the covers of this stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If any kind of store wishes to sell porn mags then they should have the common courtesy and common sense to put them up high on a shelf in a secluded area where youngsters don't go but sadly this is japan and even little wee tots can inadvertently gaze their eyes upon women in promiscuous poses yet it is good that is has been thought about in japan even decades after advanced nations have been doing it. Better late than never. japan's style no doubt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They also need to ban ojisans from reading them on the train! I've seen a lot of them. I was even seated next to an old geezer watching AV on his phone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

About time. I find it disgusting that they're right there for all to see - and take up half the rack (snicker). The less sukebi old guys "reading" this on the train and in shops the better.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

smithinjapanNov. 16, 2012 - 05:04PM JST

There's nothing legal at all about kids looking at porn, be it magazines, the internet, or otherwise -- won't stop them, though, and rightly so. There's also nothing illegal about most porn sites, blurred or not. Many Japanese sites advertise 'no mosaic', and 99% of Asian porn or more is from Japan.

Apparently you don't understand the meaning of quotes and sarcasm.

But yes, uncovered genitalia is in violation of censorship laws and can result in heavy fines and jailtime if put into print or web, or now downloaded from the web. Possession itself is debated, but selling and purchasing of those goods (as well as import) is illegal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

guess they got tired of seeing too many creepy looking guys come into their stores and stare at a porn mag for an hour or more

Actually, they are sealed shut with tape so you can't look at them in the shop. Don't ask me how I know :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"a certain convenience store"

Must be Family Mart! While I don't mind seeing the mags in the stores and even in the windows outside, I found it ironic that Family Mart peddled porn.

Well, which is the case here? Do these magazines sell or not?

Comparing different entities. One is "shelf space that could be better used" by stores. The other is sales for "publishing houses".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Who actually buys porn any more?"

Ho ho ho!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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