Looking for Porn in All the Right Places

I'm still out pounding the pavement, visiting Japan's most recognized names in bondage porn.

art smSomeone asked me what the hell I hoped to accomplish with these surprise visits, as it were. I guess I haven't been too clear about that. Actually, I have a few goals in mind.

First, I'm looking to pick up some freelance editing work. I'd eventually like to parlay that into work as a director. This was initially inspired by the fact that it hasn't been easy getting good distribution. If I hook up with a bigger company, I don't have to worry about that part of the equation.

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The other thing is, I'm not too interested in having to perform every little detail when it comes to putting together a full-length DVD production. You need actors and actresses, of course. You need good locations. You need props. You have to design a DVD cover you think will attract customers. And then you have the cost of getting the DVDs made.

We haven't even gotten to the distribution conundrum nor have we yet considered the most important parts: the script and the shooting (followed by the editing).

Getting good distribution isn't just a problem in Japan for the indie filmmaker. It seems to be a fairly global challenge if my research is correct. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The other reason I'm doing this is to get my foot a little further in the door of the SM world in Japan. If for no other reason than to get more news and anecdotes that I think would be interesting material for readers of this blog.

Making DVDs isn't really that expensive in Japan. You can get glass-mastered DVDs made in Japan, of course, but those are fairly pricey. The ones that are outsourced to a certain Asian country are surprisingly affordable. Even so, some "DVD makers" (as they are called here) just burn the things on their computers.

On a per disc basis, this is more expensive but you don't have to make the initial outlay of cash and you don't have boxes and boxes of discs taking up all your closet space.

So once again, with all this in mind, I headed out to pay a visit to one of the venerable companies in Tokyo producing SM porn. This time it was to the offices of Art-SM.

2avsmSome of the first Japanese bondage videos I ever saw were produced by this company. Some of these came out in 1987 but I probably saw them at least a year or two after they first came out in Japan.

This company seems to have gone through a change several years ago, however, although I don't know the details. All I know is that the "look" of the videos changed. It reminds me of how the "old" House of Milan suddenly morphed into the "new" House of Milan, if you're familiar with them. In the case of HOM, it wasn't a change for the better.

Art-SM are located in the western part of Shinjuku. As per usual, I checked out the address using Google's Street View. Once again, Street View was wrong but this time it was only off by one building.

I had the address with me but addresses in Japan are not always visible on the buildings so I entered the building I thought was right, went up to the specified floor, and discovered that I was in the wrong place.

There was a small hotel to the right of this building which didn't look right and another office building to the left, so I tried the office building. Lo and behold, this was the right place.

The Art-SM office didn't seem to be very big at all -- especially compared to SOD and Cinemagic which take up entire buildings. The main door had a speaker with a button to push in order to communicate with someone inside. I don't like these things very much. My Japanese language ability is poor enough when I'm face to face with someone. I didn't feel like pushing the button.

Then I noticed another door a little further down the hallway. It was open. I peeked in and saw several shiny metal racks (the kind you find in home center type stores) filled with DVDs. There were a few shipping boxes on the floor and I tried to see if could make out the company's logo just to make sure I was in the right place.

That wasn't particularly helpful. I looked at the racks of DVDs again. They looked like some type of porn but I couldn't make out anything specific. So I just called out, "Sumimasen!" "Sumimasen!" It took awhile, but I finally got someone's attention.

A slender woman appeared followed by another woman. I stepped inside a bit and noticed a man sitting at the far end of the room at a computer.

Although apparently small, this place was quite neat and tidy. The office had an "L" shape to it but I never got far enough inside to be able to peer down the other side of the space. It may have been bigger than I thought.

The two ladies were quite friendly although their English abilities were roughly even with my Japanese abilities -- which ain't saying much. Still, when you're talking to someone fact to face, it's much easier to get your point across and I think I was successful in doing that. They ended up with my business card so mission accomplished.

Still more places to go.

KabukiJoe





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Isnt it?

Isn't this where Akira Naka did a lot of video out of?

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I think so. I've lost track. I do think they move around a bit.

Here's a link showing Naka, Tohjiro and another bondage artist along with five pretty ladies at a live show. Naka's working with Tohjiro/Dogma:

http://www.dogma.co.jp/info/html/event/2009_sm/report2.html

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Thanks for that link to the footage of the show...at Loft+1 I think. Looks like these guys' event might be worth checking out one time.

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Yeah, that looked like an outstanding show.

10,000 yenners, though.
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