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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.[1]


Eirin is similar to other countries' ratings systems; 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 organizations in other countries, Eirin's defenders argue that its independence shields film makers from the more draconian alternative, government censorship. 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.[citation needed]

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.


On May 1, 1998 four rating categories were introduced:[2] R15 and R18 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.
  • 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.


The R15+ and R18+ ratings are age restricted. All Japanese cinemas are legally required to check the age of all patrons who wish to view an R15+ or R18+ rated film. Admitting underage patrons to such films is a criminal offense 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.
  • 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.

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