Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 583–594 | Cite as

Nudity in Japanese visual media: A cross-cultural observation

  • James F. Downs


The depiction of nude human beings in Japanese print, film, and electronic media is reported. Modern practices are then related to traditional Japanese culture. The various contexts in which nudes are regularly presented are described and various types of nude presentations are classified. It is suggested that the nude body evokes different responses in Japanese culture and is not always intended to convey sexual or erotic meanings. Sentiment, particularly that evoked by the family and motherhood, and nonsexual humor, are other responses that nudity is intended to elicit. The Japanese situation is compared to presentation of nudity in the United States.

Key words

nudity erotica Japanese culture law pornography 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Downs
    • 1
  1. 1.RockvilleUSA

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