|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (October 2011)|
Eirin (映倫) is the abbreviated name for Eiga Rinri Kanri Iinkai (映画倫理管理委員会), Japan's movie regulator. Eirin was established on the model of the American Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America's Production Code Administration in June, 1949, on the instructions of the US occupation force. The original name, Eiga Rinri Kitei Kanri Iinkai (Motion Picture Code of Ethics Committee), was condensed after independence, during reorganizations in 1956, to Eirin Kanri Iinkai, but was already colloquially known as Eirin.
Eirin is similar to the Motion Picture Association of America ratings system in the United States, the British Board of Film Classification in the United Kingdom, and the Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia; it classifies films depending on their suitability for minors, depending on whether they contain sexual or violent material. Such classification has been described as censorship by some[who?], since a film that is denied certification by Eirin is effectively unreleaseable. In practice, films are nonetheless released, with "offending items" fogged or digitally tiled. This is the source of some bemusement in Japan, which has traditionally been liberal in this area.
Same as with equivalent organisations in other countries, Eirin's defenders argue that its independence shields film makers from the more draconian alternative, political censorship by government. In the case of the controversial film Battle Royale, director Kinji Fukasaku seemed to accept this view, when he withdrew an objection to Eirin's R-15 rating of his film, to support Eirin against threats from politicians over the film.
Eirin has in the past denied the release of certain films to theaters entirely, such as Kei Fujiwara's grotesque horror film Organ, which was released directly to video amidst protests from family watchdog groups.
During the opening credits (or in some cases, on the copyright screen immediately following the ending credits) of an Eirin-approved film, the Eirin logo is displayed prominently underneath or beside the movie's title. The Eirin rating system is considered to be not as heavily restrictive.
On May 1, 1998 four rating categories were introduced: R-15 and R-18 are restricted categories and it is forbidden to admit an underage patron to a film with a restricted rating, rent, sell, exhibit DVDs or motion picture releases to underage patrons with restricted ratings. Such violations are a criminal offence and strictly enforced.
- G: General Audiences. All ages admitted. Most films from the Disney catalog and the Doraemon, Detective Conan, Pokémon, Some films from the One Piece , Pretty Cure, Ultraman, and Harry Potter and the Godzilla franchise are rated G.
- PG12 (PG-12): Parental Guidance Requested. Some material may be unsuitable for children under 12. Parents are advised to accompany their children during the film. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Fist of the North Star: The Legends of the True Savior, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, Crows Zero, Gantz, Tales from Earthsea, Princess Mononoke, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Shutter Island, and most Resident Evil, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lupin III, films are rated PG-12.
The R-15+ and R-18+ ratings are age restricted. All Japanese cinemas are legally required to check the age of all patrons who wish to view an R15 + or R-18+ rated film. Admitting underage patrons to such films is a criminal offence and can be punished with fines/imprisonment.
- R15+ (R-15): Restricted to teenagers 15 and over only. Children under the age of 15 are banned from viewing the film. Battle Royale series, the Saw film series, Sweeney Todd, The Descent, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, 300, Kill Bill, The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Doomsday are rated R-15.
- R18+ (R-18): Restricted to adults 18 and over only. Children and teenagers (under 18 years of age) are strictly banned from viewing the film. Lust, Caution, Ai no Corrida, Crank: High Voltage, Eastern Promises, Eyes Wide Shut, Jackass: The Movie, Ichi The Killer, Hostel, Hostel Part 2, Bully, and films of the pinku eiga genre are rated R-18.
- Computer Entertainment Rating Organization – The Japanese rating system for video games
- Motion picture rating system
- Martin, Alex, "EIRIN: All movies subject to rating, even cuts, Independent body screens, and censors, flicks", The Japan Times, March 2, 2010, p. 3.