Japan's (And Perhaps The World's) Oldest Porn Star Retires

TOKYO—Perhaps the first thing to understand when talking about the popularity of this country's oldest adult actress, 80-year-old Maori Tezuka, is that just over one quarter of Japan's male population is 65 years old or older—and cute little 18-year-olds just don't interest them when it comes to watching sex on screen. And some of them watch a lot of sex on screen.

"They come to the store first thing in the morning and snap up releases from sale bins for between 50 and 300 yen a pop," a clerk in one Japanese video store DiamondOnline. "It’s not unusual to see a grandpa bulk-buying over 10 releases in one go, and sought-after titles sell out by noon most of the time ... A 74-year-old regular even said there’s 'no point in watching young ones having sex,' and only rents titles featuring mature or super-mature women."

In case you were wondering, for the Japanese, a "mature woman" is at least 50, while a "super-mature" one is 60 or older. Also, the life expectancy of a Japanese male currently exceeds 80, and the video store clerk noted that, "Our oldest customer was a 103-year-old man who bought a title featuring a woman in her 60s."

So perhaps it's no surprise that Tezuka first got into adult video at the age of 71, after having spent several years as an opera singer. But although she still enjoys the sex, part of the reason for her retirement is that there apparently not enough actors who can keep up with her in the sack.

"Once the lights go on, you just do your best," she told DiamondOnline. "I have no regrets, but shooting became difficult when the actor wasn't my type."

According to Tezuka, it was never about the money; she just liked the sex—and she isn't even sure her "retirement" is permanent.

"I've already been asked about returning in two or three years," she said, referring to her producer at Label Ruby, which released her retirement video in January. "I said I'd think about it."

In fact, it may be mature women who are keeping Japan's video industry, which is about one-fifth the size it was during the VHS era, alive.

"A debut of a good-looking actress hitting her 60th birthday will usually hit the top of the charts that month," the Ruby producer Roland Shichijo of the Tokyo Reporter. "More middle-aged women have been inquiring about wanting to appear in AV [adult video] productions, but most are in their 50s. A lot of them weren't saying stuff like, 'I want money.' Instead, they were being urged by their cuckold husbands or had an interest in 'experiencing a pro's skills'. Finding talent is even more challenging once you get into the 70s and 80s."

Part of the reason Tezuka retired was because her on-camera coupling was affecting her off-camera sex life, to the point that her 50-year-old lover began criticizing her about her work.

"I was never in it for the money anyway, so I felt like it was a turning point," she said. "I have no regrets at all because I worked hard, I might say ... It was lively and fun on the set. I mean, it’s work after all; you just have to do your best when you’re in the spotlight."

But with the shortage of reliable male talent—Tezuka recalls shoots being delayed for hours due to erection problems—it just felt like the right time to hang it up. But those interested in watching Tezuka titles like Jyukujyo Cream Pie and Senzuri: Grandma can find them and many more .