pink eiga - Superficial Journeys

Roland Domenig roland.domenig
Fri Nov 10 19:36:07 EST 2000

>> Pinku may make up a disproportionately large amount of Japanese >cinematic
>> output compared with other countries, yet
> I've been hearing this for years but wonder what it's based on.  If most pinku
> today are direct-to-video then any comparisons to the US would have to include
> the extremely large output of the American porn industry which I don't think
> is ever included in estimates of American film/video production.  Or are there
> a significant number of theatrical pinku nowadays?

It is important to distinguish between pink eiga and so-called adult video.
The former are made for the cinema whereas the latter are made for the
video-market. Most pink eiga are shot on 35 mm or Super 16mm and
Direct-to-Video is hardly ever used. The number of pink eiga is decreasing
since the mid-1980's, when about 250 movies were released (including
Nikkatsu's roman poruno) (1990: 156, 1995: 122), to a low of 101 films last
year. Some of these 101 movies were re-releases of old films under a
different title, but most were new releases. Considering that last year a
total of 270 Japanese movies had a theatrical release, the number of pink
eiga is quite significant.
The movies are distributed by 4 companies, Okura, Shintoho, Excess and ENK
(the last one specialized on gay films), and they are shown at special
cinemas. Today there are still about 135 cinemas that exclusively show pink
eiga. Some pink eiga are later also released on video, though often under a
different title.   
As for adult video, there are several thousands of them thrown on the market
every year.  

Roland Domenig
Institute for Japanese Studies
University of Vienna

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