The 50th Anniversary of Nikkatsu Roman Porno: Why You Need to See It Now | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The 50th Anniversary of Nikkatsu Roman Porno: Why You Need to See It Now

Sanae Kameyama reports, "The story of 'living' gushes vividly from the wet scenes.

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One of Nikkatsu Roman Porno’s masterpieces, The Woman with the Brilliant Hair, directed by Tatsumi Kamishiro (1979). Starring Junko Miyashita. On the right is Renji Ishibashi.

It was much more interesting than I had expected. I thought it was much more interesting than I expected. It’s called pornography, and there are a lot of sex scenes, but I thought it was cool that the heroine was standing straight up on the black-and-white screen.

These are the words of a female office worker in her 20s who saw the movie, “Shikijo Mesu Ichiba” (1974, directed by Noboru Tanaka and starring Akika Serin). The film, set in Nishinari, Osaka, depicts a woman who sells her body while spouting the famous lines, “I want to defy you,” and “I’ll make money on my own.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Nikkatsu Roman Porno, an event called “Our Favorite Roman Porno” (38 films to be screened until December 17) is being held in Shibuya, Tokyo, where movie lovers and Roman Porno enthusiasts gather every day. Both men and women, the elderly and the young are there.

The first two films, “Danchizuma (Apartment Complex Wife): Afternoon Affair” and “Iroki Ooku: Secret Story” were shown on November 20, 1971. Since then, about 1,100 “roman-porn” films were produced and released in the 17 years until 1988.

At a time when the film industry was in the doldrums, Nikkatsu, Japan’s oldest major film company, took on the challenge of changing the course of the industry. As long as they adhered to the rules of “one wet scene every ten minutes” and “a running time of about 70 minutes,” they could shoot their films relatively freely, and up-and-coming creators participated. This allowed up-and-coming creators to participate in the festival, and they were able to explore and challenge themselves to make various kinds of films within the limited production budget.

This was the birthplace of famous directors such as Tatsumi Kamishiro, Masaru Konuma, Akira Kato, Noboru Tanaka, and Nakao Sone. Directors who started their careers in roman pornography include Tohru Murakawa, Shinji Aime , Kichitaro Negishi, Toshiharu Ikeda, Shun Nakahara, Hiroyuki Nasu, Shusuke Kaneko, and Takashi Ishi . It was a gateway to success for young filmmakers.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the Security Treaty struggle and the student movement were thriving, but their dreams of revolution were eventually dashed and they went out into the world. As Japan entered a period of rapid economic growth, it entered an era of consumption, but these young people were unable to fill their hearts with satisfaction and were called the “Shirake Generation. Romantic pornography must have stimulated the intellectual excitement of these young people.

Yumiko Naito, the manager of Cinema Vera Shibuya, says that she hopes this project, “Our Favorite Roman Porno,” will be seen by women and people who have never experienced Roman pornography.

I think it’s a personal preference to use sex as a cutting edge, but more than that, Roman Porno has many great films. For example, “The Annunciation” is the original title of “The Annunciation”, but it is a work of such depth that it could be made into a 120-minute film.

Naito’s favorite works are “OL Diary: Wet Wads of Cash” and “Climax Sisters: Falling. Both of these films were made in the 1970s and depict women in a difficult position in a society of disparity, but they have a strong contemporary feel. And in Roman Porno, women do not remain vulnerable.

For this special feature, I would like to talk about a woman who loves Roman Porno and has been watching it in every way possible, including going to theaters and using streaming services. ORGASM”, a booklet about the film, is also a special selection. The 12 films selected are fresh and new, and are not just the classics that everyone knows. The representative of the group, Ms. Rinko Endo, says that she loves movies and also Roman Porno.

She says, “I don’t say ‘recommended for women’ because at that time it was an adult film made for men, a fantasy . I don’t know what kind of sexual trauma they might have . I think people who want to watch it should watch it.

However, we at like Roman Pornography very much. I think all the actors are very good , and not only the lead actors, but also the people who support the film on the side have their own good taste. It’s fun to discover that this actor is playing such a role in this movie. There are many films that are quite outrageous, but that is also interesting.

It may not be necessary for a woman to say something like, “With a strong will, no matter what difficulties she encounters, she overcomes them all and makes her way through life. Just watch it because it’s interesting. That is the simplest and best way to enjoy it.

The first film I myself saw in real time was “Crazy Fruit” (1981, directed by Kichitaro Negishi), which is also being screened here. At the time I was a university student, I was living a very nihilistic life with no hope for the future. That’s why I felt sympathy for Tetsuo in the film. I was shocked to see him tumbling down a straight line toward destruction when he was played by a rich girl. From there, I was drawn to roman-porn films and began to watch revivals of films from the 1970s.

The first film, “Danchizuma: Afternoon Affair” (directed by Shogoro Nishimura and starring Kazuko Shirakawa), which has become synonymous with Roman Porno, is reminiscent of “Day Face” starring Catherine Deneuve. However, although the wife of the apartment complex is not poor, she is not as wealthy as the heroine of “Noon Face. Set in a housing complex that was rapidly growing in number at the time, these frustrated wives fall into all sorts of degradation, and the end result is a tremendous tragedy. In general, the social background of the time is well depicted in Roman Porno.

The nudity of the actresses is beautifully shot. In the sex scenes, both the director and the actors put a lot of effort into making the actresses look good. I once talked to Naomi Tani, the first SM queen, and she told me that she lived without even wearing underwear for several days before the shooting. She said that she lived without even wearing underwear for several days before the shooting, because if there were traces of underwear on her skin, she would not look pretty. Because of the endless efforts and ingenuity of the actors and staff, the wet scenes are beautiful.

As long as the film is called “roman-porn,” wet scenes are important to the viewers. Even though most of the films are adult films, they are now considered R15, but at that time, there were probably many men who were excited by romance porn.

The film I always recommend people to watch is “The Woman with the Bright Hair” (1979, directed by Tatsumi Kamishiro and starring Junko Miyashita). I always recommend people to watch it because it is the origin of the relationship between men and women. Mitsuzo (Renji Ishibashi), a truck driver, picks up a woman with shining hair in the rain and takes her into his room. He does not know anything about the woman’s background or past. In the film, the woman does not even have a name. However, they have sex in the small room.

A languid song by the blues band “Gloom and Gloom” plays in the damp, small room, where rain blows in from outside. The woman can barely make instant noodles. She sometimes talks about the husband and children she left at home. I don’t even know if it’s true or not. When Kouzou is not around, she sleeps in his underwear and yells at him for being a pervert, but Kouzou begins to love her.

Whenever Kozo picks up a woman, he always “shares” her with his colleague Takao. Even if the woman is his own. That was the agreement between them. The woman with the bright hair is also shared with Takao, and for the first time in his life, Kouzou feels jealousy. This is the moment when the man learns to love. The process by which a clumsy man and an unidentified woman acquire a “love” that no one else can imitate requires neither fancy words nor money. That is why I think it is the origin of men and women.

I have seen “The Woman with the Brilliant Hair” many times, but this time I was moved to tears. The scene where the woman with the shining hair, upon learning that Takao and the young woman (the daughter of the president of the company Kozo and his friends work for) are going to elope, cries out in a desperate voice, “It’s nice to be young. It made me cry as I thought back to the youth I had lost. Even as she says this, the two people in the film immediately mingle. It is as if they are gushing with their own life. It was as if they were filling in the missing parts of each other.

I wonder how the young men of the time would have viewed the sex scene in which Junko Miyashita devours her partner. Did they want to be devoured by such a woman, or were they afraid of a woman who was faithful to her desires? Today, most men would probably say the latter, but back then, it must have been a man’s duty to fight back against a woman’s lust.

Now that the times have changed and society has become harsher, men have become bored to the bone, and many women are irritated by such men. Romantic pornography is eternal.

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Nikkatsu Roman Porno, “Our Favorite Roman Porno” is being held at Shibuya Cinema Vera in Tokyo until December 17.

Kishida’s 1975 film “Black Rose Ascension” (directed by Tatsumi Kamishiro) is a must-see. Mori is a must-see. Don’t miss Naomi Tani.
The film was a shock to the Japanese film industry. Heroine Seri Akika is a holy mother.
  • Interview & Text Sanae Kameyama Photo by Nikkatsu

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