Mandarake ordered to cease selling adult products for six months

Back in May, we reported on the arrests of the head of Japanese secondhand book store chain Mandarake and four of its employees over the sale of sexually explicit old photo books, which the chain apparently sold online and at two of its stores.

Though “hair nude” photo books with full-frontal nudity have been produced and sold by mainstream publishers for decades, the books in question here were so-called “vinyl books,” which are older and more obscure — and less regulated. They constitute a kind of gray zone in terms of adult publications in Japan: hair nude books are “celebrity books” or “art books,” and so tolerated; vinyl books (so named because of their plastic covers) are “porn.” To fans and collectors, though, such vinyl books are a part of Showa Japan’s history.

The police crackdown shocked many, because it was seen as disproportionate given the mainstream availability of hair nudes, and Mandarake was a well-known chain with an international reputation.

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The five men were referred to the public prosecutors on a charge of distributing obscene materials, but were ultimately not prosecuted. The arrests were likely seen as enough of a warning to others to be careful about what they are stocking and selling.

However, the authorities are apparently still keen to set an example and punish Mandarake. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Public Safety Commission has this week ordered Mandarake’s two stores to cease selling all adult items for 180 days. It will be unable to sell adult goods and books from this Friday until May 16 next year. The commission has the power to do this due to the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Business, in which businesses that sell or distribute obscene materials can be penalized with a retail ban. Mandarake called the decision “inexplicable” and “senseless.”

The chain is known for selling doujinshi, merchandise, collectibles, and anime goods. We expect it will shy away from selling adult material altogether in the future. Fortunately, there are other places where you get Japanese adult toys: Kanojo Toys, for instance, is the largest online Japanese sex toys shop, selling and shipping worldwide.

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1 Comment

  • anon November 16, 2022

    Even pixiv are now banning people from selling loli, bestiality, rape, guro, incest artwork…

    2022 sucks so much.

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