Japan’s violent movies (and non-violent society)

Not too long ago I was in a bar (surprise!) and saw a segment from an extremely bizarre looking film on a video screen. It was an ultra-gory, ultra-weird Japanese movie. Days later I managed to track it down as “Tokyo Gore Police.” I still haven’t seen it but it looks awesome: chainsaw battles, severed limbs raining blood, ghastly torture!

As it turns out, there’s been an onslaught of super violent horror films from Japan in the past decade or so. Mutant Girls Squad, Meatball Machine and similar titles have pushed horror and gore to new levels, basically confirming my long held suspicion that the Japanese are insane!

This topic – Japan’s fetish for bizarre hyper-violence – would seem interesting but largely meaningless. But I’m reminded today by this blog post that there are political implications to consider as the U.S. Government is casting a watchful eye on Hollywood and Western video game makers.

[I]f exposure to violent media was a significant determinant of real-world violence, then since media culture is now global, every country would have about the same level of violence, and of course they don’t. Japan would be the most violent society on earth.

Have you seen the crazy stuff the Japanese watch and play? (Two words: tentacle porn. Don’t ask.) But in fact, Japan is at or near the bottom among industrialized countries in every category of violent crime, from murder to rape to robbery. There are many reasons, some of them cultural, some of them practical (like the fact that it’s basically illegal for a private citizen to own a gun there), but the point is that even if all that violent media is having an effect on Japanese psyches, the effect is so small that it doesn’t make much of a difference on a societal level.

Just for guts and giggles, here’s the trailer for Meatball Machine.

1 Response to “Japan’s violent movies (and non-violent society)”

  1. John Saleeby

    I have already written about this matter in Acid Logic and I am sure by now all of my ideas have made their way into the Mainstream of American Thought. Even in the most violent and bloody Japanese Movies there is such a tremendous a respect for the value of Human Life that it makes even Children’s Entertainment here in America seem utterly depraved. Someone dies in a Japanese Movie and it makes you feel like you have been hit on the back of the head with a fuckin’ shovel. Someone dies in an American Movie and you only notice it if the killing was performed in a particularly unusual way or if the victim or the killer is someone you would like to fuck. Otherwise, who cares? America is pretty much over.