|Other name(s)||Shirō Sekiya|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, cinematographer and screenwriter|
|Years active||1965 – 1986|
Giichi Nishihara (西原 儀一 Nishihara Giichi , born in 1929) aka Shirō Sekiya (関谷四郎 Sekiya Shirō ) is a Japanese film director, screenwriter, producer and actor best known known for his low-budget and sensationalistic pink films made for his Aoi Eiga studios in the 1960s and 1970s. He has been called both "Japan's sleaziest movie-maker," and "a cult favorite among devotees of extreme cinema."
Life and career
Born in 1929, Nishihara worked as a professional boxer during the early post-World War II years. His success in this capacity led to his entry to the film industry as an actor, playing the role of a fighter in director Kōzō Saeki's 1947 Daiei film, Town Of The Iron Fist or Street of Iron Fists (Tekken No Machi). Nishihara served as Saeki's Assistant Director in the 1949 film, Morning Star Song (歌の明星). In the early years of his career he worked as an actor and freelance filmmaker for several studios besides Daiei, including Shochiku, Mainichi Television and NHK.
Pink film and Aoi Eiga Studios
The first Japanese film to contain nudity, director Satoru Kobayashi's controversial Flesh Market, was released in 1962. It was shut down by the police and censored before it could be re-released, but the film became became a huge box-office success. Even with the limited distribution it received as an independent production, Flesh Market, which was made for 6-8 million yen, took in over 100 million yen. With the success of this movie, the pink film genre-- known as eroductions at the time-- had been born. In the pink-boom atmosphere of the mid-1960s, many small studios were set up to produce these cheap and profitable softcore pornographic theatrical films. One such studio was Aoi Eiga, founded by Nishihara to produce his own films. Some have claimed the company was a "front" for the Osaka yakuza.
Nishihara made his directorial debut with Highway of Passion (1965). In 1966, Tamaki Katori, star of Flesh Market, joined Aoi Eiga and quickly appeared in many films scripted and directed by Nishihara. To Aim at... (January, 1967) was a crime drama, in which Katori is the only survivor after she battles with the three men with whom she has committed a major robbery. Weeping Affair (March, 1967) was a melodrama about Katori's relationship with a middle-aged man and his daughter.
Indecent Relationship (May, 1967) had Katori as a girl who is financially supporting her boyfriend by working at a hostess bar. When she finds out that the woman who owns the bar and her boyfriend are having an affair, she seeks revenge on them both. The Weissers judge this early work, "More back-alley junk from sleaze-meister Giichi Nishihara."
According to the Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films, the main difference between Seduction of the Flesh (July, 1967) and Nishihara's other "cinematic excesses" is that Katori is raped not once, but twice within the film's 72-minute duration. The story had Katori suffering these indignities while her husband is away, and then committing suicide in shame.
Pink Telephone (August, 1967) was an atypical venture into comedy for Nishihara and Tamaki. The story concerns a man whose goal is to become Japan's number-one drunk. Abnormal Reaction: Ecstasy (November, 1967), was an erotic thriller in which Katori co-starred as the mistress of a man who has faked his death. When the "widow" discovers that her husband is not actually dead, she gets her revenge by arranging to have both her husband and Katori impaled on stakes while in bed. Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films calls this a "somewhat restrained early project" for the director, adding, "[t]he violence is fleeting. Even the sex scenes are stilted when compared to Nishihara's later efforts."
Ripped Virgin (1968) had Katori as a high school girl who discovers that the man who raped her is actually her boyfriend. The Weissers judge this film "surprisingly refined" considering that Nishihara is the director. Exploiting the exotic appeal of caucasian actresses, Nishihara co-starred Katori with two foreign actresses in Aoi Eiga's Staircase of Sex (1968).
Nishihara's main actress, Tamaki Katori, left Aoi Eiga studios in the later 1960s, and then retired in 1972. With her, Nishihara had produced countless films for the studio which were profitable, but were not notably successful. It was not until he teamed up with actress Yuri Izumi in the early 1970s, that he began directing box-office hits. According to some Japanese sources, Nishihara and Izumi are married.
In the later half of the decade Nishihara and Izumi began making films for the major pink film studio Shintōhō. Nishihara's films for this studio include such titles as Please Rape Me Once More (starring Izumi) and Grotesque Perverted Slaughter (both 1976). About the latter film, the Weissers, in their Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films report, "This is probably director Nishihara's best film, but that's like choosing from rat-bite fever, jungle rot, or tick-borne typhus. They're all pretty bad." Robert Firsching of Allmovie agrees with the Weisser's assessment, calling the film "Nishihara's most skillful film, as he concentrates on characterization and suspense far more here than in his usual sick rapefests."
His films of this period are noted for their "twisted plots delivered in an unnerving matter-of-fact style." A typical plot of one of Nishihara's "staggering sleaze-fests" of the 1970s can be found in Abnormal Passion Case: Razor (1977). The heroine of this film, Reiko, is worried about her father because he recently had a near-fatal heart attack while the two of them were making love. Out of concerns that he may have a stroke if their sexual relations continue, she goes to a lawyer for advice. The lawyer suggests that she get married so that her father will have to stop having sex with her. The lawyer then proceeds to rape Reiko. The rape is interrupted by a call from the lawyer's girlfriend. The lawyer then tells Reiko she can leave, as he doesn't need to rape her anymore-- his girlfriend is coming over. Reiko persuades the lawyer to pretend to be her fiancee so that she can convince her father she's really going to be married. The ruse works only too well. The father believes her, and, in shock and grief, dies of a heart attack on the spot. Reiko then kills the lawyer with a butcher knife.
Nishihara retired from the film industry in 1985. In 2002 he published Yakuza Director (やくざ監督 Yakuza Kantoku ), his memoirs which recounted his eventful life and encounters with criminals. In September 2009, the 1960s careers of Nishihara and actress Tamaki Katori-- working together and separately-- were the subject of a retrospective at the Kobe Planet Film Archive. Summarizing Nishihara's career, Allmovie writes, "No one ever accused Nishihara of being the most subtle filmmaker in the world, but at least he manages to keep the tawdry proceedings lively."
| Mad Passion Highway|
Gekijō no Haiuee
|August 1965|| Mayumi Aoi|
|Aoi Eiga|| 66 min.|
Nishihara's directorial debut(?)
| To Aim At...|
|January 21, 1967||Aoi Eiga|
| Weeping Affair|
|March 28, 1967||Aoi Eiga|
| Indecent Relationship|
|May 9, 1967|| Tamaki Katori|
| Seduction of Flesh|
aka Temptation of the Flesh
Nikutai No Yūwaku
|July 11, 1967|| Tamaki Katori|
|Aoi Eiga|| 72 min.|
| Pink Telephone|
|August 26, 1967||Aoi Eiga|
| Abnormal Reaction: Ecstasy|
Ijo Na Hanno: Monzetsu
|November 21, 1967|| Tamaki Katori|
| Female Trap|
|December 1967|| Tamaki Katori|
|Aoi Eiga|| 66 min.|
| Staircase of Sex|
Sei no Kaidan
|May, 1968|| Tamaki Katori|
|Aoi Eiga|| 71 min.|
| Ripped Virgin|
|August, 1968|| Tamaki Katori|
| Betrayal of Affairs|
Uragiri no Irogoto
|December, 1968||Aoi Eiga|
| Sexy Angel|
|February, 1969|| Tamaki Katori|
|Aoi Eiga|| 74 min.|
| Ghost Story of Sex|
Sei No Kaidan
|1972|| Maki Kirikawa|
| The Devil Dwells in a Woman's Valley|
Onna no Tani ni Akuma ga Sumu
|September 1972|| Hirimi Naka|
|Aoi Eiga|| 70 min.|
Directed as Shirō Sekiya
| Grotesque Perverted Slaughter |
aka Present-Day Bizarre Sex Crime
Gendai Ryoki Sei Hanzai
|August, 1976|| Keiko Sugi|
| Aoi Eiga|
| Abnormal Passion Case: Razor|
Ijojochi Jiken: Kamisori
|1977|| Yuri Izumi|
| Please Rape Me Once More|
Mou Ichido Yaru
|January, 1979|| Yuri Izumi|
- ↑ "西原儀一 (Nishihara Giichi)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/person/p0218030.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
- ↑ Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. pp. 351. ISBN 1-889288-52-7.
- ↑ Firsching, Robert. "Midareta Kankei". Allmovie. http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:240390. Retrieved 2007-03-09.
- ↑ "「やくざ監督 東京進出」 (Yakuza Director: Advance on Tokyo)" (in Japanese). Webcat Plus. http://webcatplus-equal.nii.ac.jp/libportal/DocDetail?txt_docid=NCID%3ABA63402931. Retrieved 2007-07-03.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Weisser, p.36.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Sharp, Jasper (2008). Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. Guildford: FAB Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-903254-54-7.
- ↑ "鉄拳の街" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/1947/bw000400.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ Domenig, Roland (2002). "Vital flesh: the mysterious world of Pink Eiga". Archived from the original on 2004-11-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20041118094603/http://188.8.131.52/cecudine/fe_2002/eng/PinkEiga2002.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-19.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Connell, Ryann (March 2, 2006). "Japan's former Pink Princess trades raunchy scenes for rural canteen". Mainichi Shimbun. http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/archive/news/2006/03/20060302p2g00m0dm014000c.html. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- ↑ Domenig, Roland (2002). "Vital flesh: the mysterious world of Pink Eiga". Archived from the original on 2004-11-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20041118094603/http://184.108.40.206/cecudine/fe_2002/eng/PinkEiga2002.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-19. "The term pink eiga was first coined in 1963 by journalist Murai Minoru. But it did not come into general use until the late 1960s. In the early years the films were known as 'eroduction films' (erodakushon eiga) or 'three-million-yen-films' (sanbyakuman eiga)."
- ↑ Cowie, Peter (editor) (1977). "Japan". World Filmography 1967. London: Tantivy Press. pp. 387–388.. ISBN 0-498015-65-3.
- ↑ Cowie. World Filmography 1967, p.385.
- ↑ Fentone, Steve (1998). "Immoral Relationship; A Rip of the Flesh: The Japanese 'Pink Film' Cycle". She 2 (11): p.28.
- ↑ Cowie. World Filmography 1967, p.383.
- ↑ Weisser, p.209.
- ↑ Weisser, p.203
- ↑ Weisser, p.372.
- ↑ Cowie. World Filmography 1967, p.391.
- ↑ Cowie. World Filmography 1967, p.384.
- ↑ Firsching, Robert. "Ijo Na Hanno: Monzetsu". Allmovie. http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:240389. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ Cowie. World Filmography 1967, pp.361-362.
- ↑ Weisser, p.36-37.
- ↑ Cowie, Peter (editor) (1977). "Japan". World Filmography, 1968. London: Oak Tree Publications. pp. 376.. ISBN 0-498015-69-6.
- ↑ Weisser, p.351.
- ↑ Sharp, p. 182.
- ↑ Weisser, p.139.
- ↑ "GENDAI RYOKI SEI HANZAI". at The Complete Index to World Film. http://www.citwf.com/film128872.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ Weisser, p.188.
- ↑ Firsching, Robert. "Gendai Ryoki Sei Hanzai". Allmovie. http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:160353. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ Weisser, p.181.
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 Firsching, Robert. "Ijojochi Jiken: Kamisori". Allmovie. http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:160354. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ Matsumura, Kiyoshi. "「やくざ監督 東京進出」 (Book review: Yakuza Director: Advance on Tokyo" (in Japanese). nifty.com. http://homepage3.nifty.com/ccp/eigabon/eigabon127.html. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- ↑ "６０年代・独立プロ伝説 西原儀一と香取環 前編 (1960s Independent Films: Giichi Nishihara & Tamaki Katori retrospective)" (in Japanese). Kobe Planet Film Archive. 2009-09-12. http://www.kobe-eiga.net/program/2009/09/post_28.php. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
- ↑ Filmography from "Giichi Nishihara". Allmovie. http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:283662. Retrieved 2007-07-01. , "Giichi Nishihara". at The Complete Index to World Film. http://www.citwf.com/person60662.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-01. , Giichi Nishihara at the Internet Movie Database, and "西原儀一 (Nishihara Giichi)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/person/p0218030.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- ↑ Jasper Sharp names Mad Passion Highway (August 1965) as Nishihara's directorial debut, but Japanese Movie Database lists a July 1965 Nishihara/Aoi Eiga release, Sexy Hell (いろ地獄 Iro Jigoku )
- "Giichi Nishihara". Allmovie. http://allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=2:283662. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- "Giichi Nishihara". at The Complete Index to World Film. http://www.citwf.com/person60662.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- Giichi Nishihara at the Internet Movie Database
- "西原儀一 (Nishihara Giichi)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. http://www.jmdb.ne.jp/person/p0218030.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-01.
- Nishihara, Giichi (2002) (in Japanese). やくざ監督 東京進出 (Yakuza Director: Advance on Tokyo). Wise Publications. ISBN 4-898301-31-2. (Nishihara's autobiography)
- Sharp, Jasper (2008). Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. Guildford: FAB Press. pp. 52, 61, 182, 204, 353, 378. ISBN 978-1-903254-54-7.
- Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. ISBN 1-889288-52-7.
- "６０年代・独立プロ伝説 西原儀一と香取環 前編 (1960s Independent Films: Giichi Nishihara & Tamaki Katori retrospective)" (in Japanese). Kobe Planet Film Archive. 2009-09-12. http://www.kobe-eiga.net/program/2009/09/post_28.php. Retrieved 2009-12-02.