Masaru Konuma

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Masaru Konuma
Born (1937-12-30) December 30, 1937 (age 76)
Otaru, Hokkaidō, Japan
Occupation Film director
Years active 1971 - 2000
Awards Special Prize, Yokohama Film Festival for Nagisa (2000)
Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix, Berlin International Film Festival for Nagisa (2000)[1]

Masaru Konuma (小沼勝 Konuma Masaru?) is a Japanese pronographic film director known for his Roman Porno films for Nikkatsu during the 1970s.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Masaru Konuma was born in Otaru, Hokkaidō, on December 30, 1937. Konuma retains no memories of his father who was a teacher. Drafted into the army after the outbreak of World War II in 1941, Konuma's father became ill with tuberculosis within a year of the start his military service, and returned home where he died.[2]

After the war, Konuma's mother remarried, and Konuma, then 15, was sent away to live in Tokyo. Konuma recalls, "In those days, there was no TV. I had no idea about Tokyo. It was as distant to me as Africa or Alaska is to kids today. I didn't want to go. I cried."[3]

As a way of dealing with his loneliness and homesickness at this time, Konuma began going to the cinema.[3] He majored in film studies in the Art Department of Nihon University.[4] Soon after graduation, in 1961, Konuma went to work at Nikkatsu Studios, about the same time as producer Yuki and directors Kōyū Ohara and Noboru Tanaka. The quartet were known by their individual characters as, "Diligent Yuki, slovenly Ohara, faithful Tanaka, reckless Konuma."[5] Konuma started as a "fifth" assistant director, which meant he was in charge of the clipboard. He endured this low position at the studio in the hope that eventually he would become a director.[6] In his early career, he was the assistant director on such films as Nikkatsu's venture into the kaiju genre, Daikyojū Gappa (1967), which was released in the U.S. as Monster from a Prehistoric Planet.[7] Seijun Suzuki was one of the few directors who impressed Konuma during these early years at Nikkatsu.[8]

Roman Porno[edit]

During the later 1960s, Nikkatsu began losing its audience to TV, and its film production dropped. At this time, assistant directors moved on to TV or non-film work. In order to find a new audience, Nikkatsu president Takashi Itamochi made the decision to put the company's high production values and professional talent entirely into the "pink-film" (softcore pornographic) industry, which had until then been made by independent and low-budget filmmakers like Kōji Wakamatsu.[9] Many of Nikkatsu's staff either did not return to the studio or left, not wanting to make sex films. Konuma had no such reservations, however, later saying, "The pleasure of becoming a director was greater than anything else at that moment... I was just happy to be making movies."[10]

Konuma's first assignment as director was Call of the Pistil in 1971. Two of his most popular films-- Flower and Snake and Wife to Be Sacrificed—were made for Nikkatsu in 1974, both with Naomi Tani. Though it was Konuma who brought Oniroku Dan's work to the mainstream through Flower and Snake, the author was reportedly never happy with Konuma's interpretation of his work or the SM genre.[11] The success of Flower and Snake introduced the SM style to Roman Porno films as well as inspiring a Flower and Snake series which ran through the 1970s and returned in the mid-1980s.[12]

In Konuma's nunsploitation film Cloistered Nun: Runa's Confession (1976), half-Japanese pop singer Runa Takamura made her Roman Porno debut.[13] For Lady Karuizawa (1982), Konuma worked with the mainstream 1960s star, Miwa Takada in her first starring role in over a decade. The film was a variation on Lady Chatterley's Lover, with some added political intrigue.[14] Corrida of Sex and Love aka In The Realm Of Sex (1977) was Nikkatsu's attempt to capitalize on the notoriety surrounding the domestic release of Ōshima's In the Realm of the Senses (1976).[15]

Commenting on his association with the S/M sub-genre of Nikkatsu's Roman Pornos, Konuma said, "In general, the roman porn audience wants to see something they can't experience in everyday life. These people get excited about seeing acts which they may - or may not want to do to their wives or mates. Things they would never be able to really do without ending up in jail or divorce. For example, I was often assigned to make movies with rape scenes. I am not a person who could possibly perform rape. I want to see a lady's happy face while having sex... Movies are fantasies. Sometimes they might be ugly, but they're still fantasies. I was the dreamweaver."[16]

In 2000, director Hideo Nakata, who had served his apprenticeship at Nikkatsu under Konuma, made a documentary on his mentor entitled Sadistic and Masochistic.[17] In 2001 Konuma was given an award at the Yokohama Film Festival for his career and his film Nagisa.[18]

Partial filmography[edit]

Title[19] Cast Release date
Call of the Pistil
花芯の誘い
Kashin No Izanai
Keiko Maki
Hajime Mitamura
1971-12-18
Love Hunter: Hot Skin
ラブハンター 熱い肌
Koi no karyudo: atsui hada
Mari Tanaka
Ken Yoshizawa
1972-03-29
Headlights In The Rain
雨のヘッドライト
Mari Tanaka
Shusaku Muto
1972-05-17
Secret Wife
隠し妻
Kakushizuma
Yuko Katagiri
Kiyoshi Yoshida
1972-07-19
Three Wives: Wild Nights
妻三人 狂乱の夜
Tsuma San-nin: Kyoran No Yoru
Akemi Nijo
Hidemi Hara
Mari Tanaka
1972-10-28
Afternoon Affair: Kyoto Holy Tapestry
昼下りの情事 古都曼陀羅
Hirusagari no joji Koto-mandara
Yuri Yamashina
Morio Kazama
1973-04-04
Erotic Journey: Love Affair In Hong Kong
色情旅行 香港慕情
Shikijo Ryoko: Hong Kong Bojo
Setsuko Ogawa
Yuko Katagiri
Junko Miyashita
1973-08-04
Female Teacher: Sweet Life
女教師 甘い生活
Onna Kyoshi: Amai Seikatsu
Ayako Ichikawa
Aoi Nakajima
Nozomi Yasuda
1973-12-05
White Whore
白い娼婦 花芯のたかまり
Kashin No Takamari
Yuri Yamashina
Misa Aoyama
Toru Ohe
1974-03-02
Lost Love: Oil Hell
ロスト・ラブ -あぶら地獄-
Lost Love: Abura Jigoku
Akari Uchida
Tetsuo Tomikawa
Kazuko Tajima
1974-05-04
Flower and Snake
花と蛇
Hana to hebi
Naomi Tani
Yasuhiko Ishizu
Nagatoshi Sakamoto
1974-06-22
Wife to Be Sacrificed
生贄夫人
Ikenie fujin
Naomi Tani
Nagatoshi Sakamoto
Terumi Azuma
1974-10-26
Lesbian World: Ecstasy
レスビアンの世界 -恍惚-
Lesbian No Sekai: Koukotsu
Mihoko Arikawa
Maki Kawamura
Naomi Oka
1975-02-19
Female Teacher: Boy Hunt
女教師 少年狩り
Onna Kyoshi: Shonen-gari
Maya Hiromi
Akira Takahashi
Kiyoyasu Adachi
1975-06-04
Great Edo: Secret Story Of A Female Doctor In Trouble
大江戸 (秘)おんな医者あらし
Oedo: Maruhi Onna Isha Arashi
Yuko Katagiri
Moeko Ezawa
Junko Miyashita
1975-10-18
Cloistered Nun: Runa's Confession
修道女ルナの告白
Shudojo Runa no kokuhaku
Luna Takamura
Aoi Nakajima
Kumi Taguchi
1976-01-08
Wet Vase aka Wet Tattooed Vagina
濡れた壺
Nureta tsubo
Naomi Tani
Hirokazu Inoue
Hiroko Fuji
1976-03-19
Getting Raped aka Raped
犯される
Okasareru
Junko Miyashita
Maki Mizuno
Akira Hanagami
1976-07-31
Tattooed Flower Vase
花芯の刺青 熟れた壺
Kashin no irezumi: ureta tsubo
Naomi Tani 1976-09-25
Erotic Diary of an Office Lady
aka Office Lady Lusty Journal: "Ah, There's Something Inside Me!"
OL官能日記 あァ!私の中で
OL kanno nikki: Ah! Watashi no naka de
Asami Ogawa
Morihira Murakuni
Katsuo Yamada
1977-02-22
In The Realm Of Sex
性と愛のコリーダ
Seito ai no corrida
Asami Ogawa
Natsuko Yashiro
Naomi Tani
1977-04-23
夢野久作の少女地獄
Yumeno Kyusaku no shoujo jigoku aka Kasei no onna
Asami Ogawa 1977-08-20
団鬼六「黒い鬼火」より 貴婦人縛り壺
Kifujin shibari tsubo
Naomi Tani 1977-12-10
Wandering Lovers: Dizziness
さすらいの恋人 眩暈 めまい
Sasurai no koibito: memai
Toshiyuki Kitami
Kei Ogawa
Akira Takahashi
1978-03-04
Friday Bedroom
金曜日の寝室
Kinyo-bi no shinshitsu
Reiko Kayama
Yuki Nohira
Hiroshi Unayama
1978-04-29
Sometimes... Like A Prostitute
時には娼婦のように
Toki niha Shoufu no youni
Rei Nakanishi
Eri Kanuma
Erina Miyai
1978-09-23
College Girls On Friday
泉大八の女子大生の金曜日
Izumi Daihachi no joshidaisei no kinyobi
Minako Mizushima
Yumi Fukazawa
Megu Kawashima
1979-03-31
Mr Dilemma Man (Dilemman): Lunatic For Lust
Mr.ジレンマン 色情狂い
Mr- Dilemman: shikijo-garu
Akira Emoto
Yukiko Tachibana
Yuka Asagiri
1979-10-06
Image Of A Bound Girl
団鬼六 少女縛り絵図
Dan Oniroku shoujo shibari ezu
Kumiko Hayano
Hide Ezumi
Yuko Asuka
1980-03-01
Uptown Lady: Days Of Eros
山の手夫人 性愛の日々
Yamanote fujin: seiai no hibi
Izumi Shima
Ryuichi Nagashima
Yoichiro Sanada
1980-05-31
Wife's Sexual Fantasy: Before Husband's Eyes
妻たちの性体験 夫の眼の前で、今・・・
Tsumatachi no seitaiken: otto no me no maede ima
Yuki Kazamatsuri
Hiroshi Unayama
Rika Takahara
1980-10-22
Woman Who Exposes Herself
見せたがる女
Misetagaru onna
Maiko Kazama
Izumi Shima
1981-01-09
Woman Who Is Used
あそばれる女
Asobareru onna
Maiko Kazama
Asami Ogawa
1981-06-12
Fallen Angel Gang
悪女群団
Akujo gundan
Yuki Kazamatsuri
Jun Izumi
Eiko Yanami
1981-10-23
Slave Contract
奴隷契約書
Dorei keiyakushu
Nami Matsukawa
Asami Ogawa
Jun Hongo
1982-01-22
Lady Karuizawa
軽井沢夫人
Karuizawa fujin
Miwa Takada
Takayuki Godai
Yumi Yoshikawa
1982-08-06
Rope and Breasts
縄と乳房
Nawa to chibusa
Nami Matsukawa
Izumi Shima
1983-01-07
ブルーレイン大阪 Kiriko Shimizu 1983-01-07
Female Prisoner: Cage
女囚 檻
Joshuu ori
Mina Asami
Nami Matsukawa
1983-09-16
Madam Scandal - Final Scandal: Madam Likes It Hard
ファイナル・スキャンダル 奥様はお固いのがお好き
Final scandal: okusama wa okatai no ga osuki
Midori Satsuki
Kaori Okamoto
Takashi Shikauchi
Kate Asabuki
1983-12-23
スチュワーデス・スキャンダル 獣のように抱きしめて
Stewardess scandal: kemono no youni dakishimete
Tomoko Ai 1984-03-16
柔肌色くらべ Mariko Nishina 1984-12-08
Woman In The Box: Virgin Sacrifice
箱の中の女 処女いけにえ
Hako no naka no onna: shojo ikenie
Reiko Aoi
Saeko Kizuki
Kojiro Kusanagi
1985-09-07
いんこう
Inkou
Kaori Asou 1986-07-26
Bed-In
ベッド・イン
Miki Yanagi
Rie Kitahara
1986-12-20
輪舞 <りんぶ>
Rinbu
Kaori Asou 1988-01-09
Woman In The Box 2 aka Captured For Sex 4
箱の中の女2
Hako no naka no onna II
Ryouta Nakanishi
Shihori Nagasaka
Miyuki Kawamura
1988-02-27
ドラフト 1991-04-01
雀鬼 裏麻雀勝負! 20年間無敗の男 1992-12-01
蕾のルチア 1992-12-19
雀鬼2 白刃を背に 1993-10-22
雀鬼3 治外法権麻雀 1994-02-25
XX: Beautiful Hunter
雀鬼3 治外法権麻雀
XX: Utsukushiki karyuudo
1994-08-12
雀鬼4 麻雀代理戦争 1994-10-21
雀鬼5 完結篇 ひとりだけの引退試合 1995-02-24
快楽殺人女捜査官 囮
Kairakusatsujin: onna sousakan
1996-06-07
雀鬼外伝 東海道麻雀無宿 1996-09-06
真・雀鬼 1998-11-27
真・雀鬼2 麻雀無法地帯 1999-08-27
Nagisa
なぎさ
2000-06-10
女はバス停で服を着替えた  鹿追映画製作委員会 2003-03-15

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Awards for Masaru Konuma". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  2. ^ Masaru Konuma quoted in Hideo Nakata (2000). Sadistic and Masochistic (included with Wife to Be Sacrificed DVD) (Motion Picture/DVD). Event occurs at Chapter 1, 5:30. 
  3. ^ a b Konuma quoted in Sadistic and Masochistic, Chapter 1, 7:20.
  4. ^ Masaru Konuma biography at NAGISA at berlinale.de (pdf file)
  5. ^ Konuma quoted in Sadistic and Masochistic, Chapter 3, 15:34.
  6. ^ Konuma, Masaru. (1998). Interviewed by Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser on November 6, 1998, in Asian Cult Cinema, #22, 1st Quarter, 1999, p.19.
  7. ^ Daikyojû Gappa (1967) at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ Konuma Interviewed by Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser, p.19.
  9. ^ Macias, Patrick. (2001). "Nikkatsu's Roman Porno" in TokyoScope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion. Cadence Books, San Francisco. ISBN 1-56931-681-3, p.187-188
  10. ^ Konuma Interviewed by Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser, p.23.
  11. ^ Sharp, Jasper (2008). Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema. Guildford: FAB Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-903254-54-7. 
  12. ^ Sharp, p. 127.
  13. ^ Sharp, p. 144.
  14. ^ Sharp, p. 142.
  15. ^ Sharp, p. 191.
  16. ^ Konuma Interviewed by Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser, p.26.
  17. ^ Sharp, p. 236.
  18. ^ "Yokohama Film Festival: 2001". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  19. ^ Filmography from "小沼勝 (Konuma Masaru)". Japanese Movie Database (in Japanese). Retrieved 2007-03-04. 

Bibliography[edit]