|Vintage Pulp||Jun 2 2014|
We said we’d get back to Mari Tanaka and here she is again, sooner than you expected, we bet. This poster advertises her 1973 roman porno movie Koi no karyudo: yokubo, aka Love Hunter: Lust, which was a sequel to an earlier film titled simply Love Hunter. Tanaka had a small role in the first film, but in this one she’s the star, playing a stripper who is at one point arrested on obscenity charges. Nikkatsu Studios was doubtless inspired by its own experience being raided and seeing personnel hauled to court on obscenity charges associated with the first Love Hunter. The notoriety did not hurt, though—both the first and second installments were major successes, and a third was made later.
It’s worth noting, as we often do, that these roman porno films are actually softcore in nature, with no actual sex and no frontal nudity at all. We will admit though, that they can be provocative and even shocking. Or put another way, it’s amazing what a director will elect to show when told he/she cannot show genitalia or pubic hair. Charges loomed over the original Love Hunter for years, until it was finally deemed not obscene by Tokyo District Court in 1978. Below is a lovely image of Tanaka, and we can all agree it’s not obscene either, hopefully. As far as we can tell, this is the first appearance for the above poster on the internet. Koi no karyudo: yokubo premiered in Japan today in 1973.