Supposedly erotica directed at women is “catching on” in Japan according to this documentary. I’m surprised that it wasn’t already there, and maybe it was and the documentary is exaggerating. It could be though that boy idols have finally given way to more explicit sex. If it is true I’m wondering what took so long.
I know a lot of Japanese women have always liked and created their own homosexual male-male erotica. This book is devoted to the subject. https://books.google.com/books?id=EQMyAQAAQBAJ&pg=PP4&lpg=PP4&dq=japanese+erotica+for+women&source=bl&ots=QhFVuk1bH1&sig=ncmKS8POIxOdng-2rSm4MAIjMa0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RztaVZ21JY2VyQSRpYGQCQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=japanese%20erotica%20for%20women&f=false
There is also currently a female artist / activist who is on trial in Japan for distributing uncensored paintings and pictures of her own genitalia; Japan has this weird hundred year law (1907) that bans pornography of genitalia or pubic hair without a mosaic. (There is actually a government branch where a bunch of guys sit around and watch pornography all day together in a big room at computers with headphones to decide what is and is not acceptable censorship in the marketplace.) The conviction rate for those arrested and tried is about 99.6 percent in Japan though, so she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Even if she did get off, it would not make much of a difference because Japan is a civil law country, not a common law country, and her acquittal would not set a precedent.
Japan had a more relaxed sexuality until it came in contact with Westerners in the Victorian age and felt shame and pressure to conform to global standards about a hundred fifty years ago. There used to be mixed bathing at bathhouses, and the folklore was full of sex, weird couplings and inuendos. (Though to be fair Judaism was no different; Japanese having shapeshifting animal wives is no different from giants marrying women in Enoch.) But eventually the tale of genji (written by a woman in the Heian court), or the woodblock print of “a fisherman’s wife”, and woodblock prints of white sailors having sex with Japanese women, and similar old erotica gave way to a period of censorship.
(I wonder if this repression is why there was so much rape in WW2; multiple studies in different countries claim that when pornography is permitted violent crime has decreased. But then again they did enable brothels in Japan and in Asia during the war to give morale to the soliders, which then serviced Americans after the war until McArthur tried to restrict Americans from using them. I don’t remember what happened after that, but I’m pretty sure the government restricted them for a period which led to soaplands and other equivilants. It could be these restrictions were just for show and appeasement, in a shame culture rather than due to actual changes in the way the culture thought.)