And now for their next trick they'll turn the tide of war.
First off, the cross you see at the bottom of this poster is not a swastika but a much older Japanese symbol. It's usually seen oriented as above, or, rarely, reversed like the Nazis used it, but in all cases has religious, historical, or pop culture meanings. We've talked about it. The poster was made for the period roman porno flick Kunoichi ninpo: Hyakka manji-garami, known as English as Female Ninja Magic: 100 Trampled Flowers. The movie is set in a time of warring clans during the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan beginning in 1603, and as the title suggests, a female ninja clan uses sexual magic to try and turn the tide of war between the powerful Tsunayoshi shoguns and the Akizuki clan. Working for the shogunate are the Iga and Kouga ninja clans, while aiding the Akizuki are the Fumi, the women of the title.
That's a more elaborate set-up than usual for a roman porno movie, and indeed, this one will require more than the usual level of attention to keep straight. It takes its historical trappings seriously, with a convincing pre-industrial look, elaborate period dress, and a focus on succession by birth. But don't fret, fans of the genre—the movie is weird as hell, as roman pornos must be, and you'll be pleased to know that a virtual who's-who of Nikkatsu Studios stars feature, including Junko Miyashita, Hitomi Kozue, Yuko Katagiri, Kyōko Kanō, Maya Hiromi, and Yuri Yamashina. What exactly is sexual magic? Let's just say there's plenty of vaginal fluid involved, of varying viscosities, used in numerous ways. There's other bizarreness too, including an umbilical cord that strikes like a cobra. We don't think the Tokugawa era actually unfolded this way, but to paraphrase the immortal Wooderson, it'd be a lot cooler if it did. Kunoichi ninpo: Hyakka manji-garami premiered in Japan today in 1974
Maya Hiromi gets Onna roll and just can't stop.
This poster was made for the Japanese roman porno flick Onna kyôshi: Shônen-gari, known in English as Female Teacher: Boy Hunt. Nikkatsu Studios had already made two Female Teacher movies, but they're unreleated. This one did, however, spawn a sequel called Onna Kyoshi: Dotei-gari, or as it's known in English, terrifyingly, Female Teacher: Cherry Boy Hunt. We won't go there. Anyway we queued this up, and our first thought was: Wow, another roman porno film where a woman gets turned on by having her teeth drilled? Well, these movies explored every possible fetish. Having her teeth pried at turns her on so much she starts digging around her mouth herself with a fork. See the second screenshot below.
In any case, the sizzling hot Maya Hiromi plays a horny biology teacher who takes advantage of her position to indulge in some sexual extracurriculars. She shaves a student's pubes, gives a classroom lesson pantyless, has a nice little threesome, masturbates in a library, and engages in other activities that would get any teacher outside a roman porno movie arrested and placed on the sexual offender registry. We won't tell you what develops from all Hiromi's crazy academic activity, but trust us—you can expect it to be twisted. In the end Onna kyôshi: Shônen-gari is another Nikkatsu Studios humpfest where eroticism turns to something darker, and the final message—to the extent that it's comprehensible—is dubious at best. Can't recommend this one. Just can't. It premiered in Japan today in 1975.
But here's something we can recommend: a nice shot of Hiromi originally published in 1978. Just don't let it make you watch the film. It ain't worth it.
Some say being a big fish in a small pond is better than being a small fish anywhere. They may be wrong.
Hakkin nikubuton, aka Banned Book: Flesh Futon, for which you see a poster above, has one of those strange titles you come across occasionally in Japanese cinema. “Banned book” seems straightforward enough. But “flesh futon”? Hmm… Based on an erotic novel by Chinese writer Li Yu and starring Hajime Tanimoto, Maya Hiromi, Terumi Azuma, and Rei Okamoto, the movie tells the story of a poor writer named Mio who unexpectedly authors a bestselling erotic novel called—and this will clear up the title weirdness—Flesh Futon. See? Mio takes to fame quite easily, living in the fast lane and generally having a good time.
But his wonderful life begins to fall apart due to various unexpected misfortunes. These run the gamut from having a prostitute spread a rumor that his penis is “like a guppy,” to having to his house robbed and (now that we understand the title, we know this next part is coming) his book banned. When Mio later encounters the house thief this dodgy character reveals that it’s possible to have one’s penis enlarged. How? Let’s just say it’s a pretty ruff procedure. Mio opts for the surgery, but alas, quickly learns that being a big fish isn’t everything, as his previous misfortunes turn out to be only a taste of what is to come. Hakkin nikubuton premiered in Japan today in 1975.
Something to take your breath away.
Above, a poster for the erotic drama Kyoran no aegi, aka Morning Frenzy, Panting Frenzy, and Frantic Wheezing, none of which sound the least bit sexy. But we wouldn’t know because we haven’t seen this one. It’s apparently an effort to mix roman porno with film noir and wasn’t well recieved. Kyoran no aegi starred Maya Hiromi and Hitomi Kozue, and it premiered in Japan today in 1974.
Can’t break free from the things that you do.
Vintage poster for Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku, aka True Story of a Woman Condemned: Sex Hell, directed by Kôyû Ohara and starring Hitomi Kozue, who you see below. The movie is a women-in-prison flick, which means tough conditions, worse inmates, and the very worst guards imaginable. Obviously, all such movies were mainly excuses to show a lot of skin on flimsy pretexts—shower time!—and indulge in same sex eroticism and vicious catfights. As a genre, women-in-prison movies were a global phenomenon. Nearly every country with a film industry made them, none more copiously than the United States. But the Japanese entries tend to be very provocative. Jitsuroku onna kanbetsusho: sei-jigoku premiered in Japan today in 1975.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1969—The Krays Are Found Guilty of Murder
In England, twins Ronald and Reginald Kray are found guilty of the murder of Jack McVitie. The Kray brothers had been notorious gangsters in London's East End, and for their crimes both were sentenced to life in prison, and both eventually died behind bars. Their story later inspired a 1990 motion picture entitled The Krays.
1975—Charlie Chaplin Is Knighted
British-born comic genius Charlie Chaplin, whose long and turbulent career in the U.S. had been brought to an abrupt end when he was branded a communist and denied a residence visa, is bestowed a knighthood at London's Buckingham Palace. Chaplin died two years later and even then peace eluded him, as his body was stolen from its grave for eleven weeks by men trying to extort money from the Chaplin family.
1959—Lou Costello Dies
American comedian Lou Costello, of the famous comedy team Abbott & Costello, dies of a heart attack at Doctors' Hospital in Beverly Hills, three days before his 53rd birthday. His career spanned radio and film, silent movies and talkies, vaudeville and cinema, and in his heyday he was, along with partner Abbott, one of the most beloved personalities in Hollywood.
1933—King Kong Opens
The first version of King Kong
, starring Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray, and with the giant ape Kong brought to life with stop-action photography, opens at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The film goes on to play worldwide to good reviews and huge crowds, and spawns numerous sequels and reworkings over the next eighty years.
1949—James Gallagher Completes Round-the-World Flight
Captain James Gallagher and a crew of fourteen land their B-50 Superfortress named Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, thus completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight. The entire trip from takeoff to touchdown took ninety-four hours and one minute.
1953—Oscars Are Shown on Television
The 26th Academy Awards are broadcast on television by NBC, the first time the awards have been shown on television. Audiences watch live as From Here to Eternity wins for Best Picture, and William Holden and Audrey Hepburn earn statues in the best acting categories for Stalag 17 and Roman Holiday.
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