In the 1960s, while the world was dominated by sexploitation film genres, Japan watched nudity and sex appear in the cinema in an unusual way, inaugurating what came to be called pinku eiga or eroductions. Pinku eiga (Pink film), a term that film production companies used to promote sex appeal films, usually involved an independent production, shot on 35mm by a professional or semi-professional crew. The first movie considered pinku eiga is Flesh Market (Nikotai no Ichiba, 1962) by Satoru Kobayshi.
100 Million Yen
Shortly after its debut, Flesh Market had its copies confiscated by the Tokyo police, which led the crew to put together a new version without the offending parts. The new film was an immediate success due to press coverage of what had happened. Flesh Market, which cost 6 million yen to produce, took in over 100 million yen.
Godfather of Japanese Porn Cinema
According to Jack Hunter, “In many ways. Daydream was the logical culmination of a growing trend for films with increasingly lurid, provocative titles and subject matter. This trend originated in the late '50s with taiyozoku ("teenage rebel") films such as Taiyo No Kisetsu (Season of Violence), Shokei No Heya (Punishment Room), and Kurutta Kajttsu (Crazed Fruit), and led to exploitation movies like Zekkai No Rajo (Naked Island) and Nihiki No Mesuinu (Night Ladies)”.
Daydream had two versions, also directed by Tetsuji Takechi. The 1981 version has the same plot as the 1964 film, but with more sex scenes. For Jack Hunter, “With or without these sequences, the second Daydream is a striking film; stylish, sexy and surreal, with a remarkable debut by actress Kyoko Aizome who, naked for most of the movie, looks phenomenal throughout Daydream 2 (also known as Captured for Sex, 1987), is the sleaziest version of all, climaxing with a veritable orgy of misogynistic torture, yet retaining an impressive oneiric charge”.
For some scholars, the way in which these sado-masochistic characteristics are exploited is what makes Daydream the first pinku eiga. Daydream, today, is seen as a milestone in Japanese cinema, breaking with certain rules imposed by Japanese censorship and establishing a genre that allowed the Japanese film industry to exploit the public's fascination with nudity, sex and violence.
Click HERE for an article about the controversial film on the troublemaking prostitute Sada Abe
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