Michael McCaskey mccaskem at
Thu Aug 18 07:41:45 EDT 2005

Prof. Thornton presents excellent insights re origins. In the same connection, you may want to look at Akutagawa Ryunosuke's work--lots is available in Western lang. translations. He based a lot of graphic descriptions on both types of materials Prof. Thornton referred to.

In addition, if I did not miss mention of him, you should probably look at Suzuki Seijun's early films. Tokyo no nagaremono, aka Tokyo Drifter, is a good example of the successful intro of violence, s&m, etc., into mainstream films. I believe he was fired early on--but then other film companies realized he was a real moneymaker. Unless he died quite recently, he's still at it--a recent one was I think called Pistol Opera--which I watched and in my opinion is none too great, but has the sort of scenes Seijun fans look for.

Lastly, if you did not mention it already, Mark Schilling's "Yakuza Movie Book," ISBN 1880656-76-0, is an excellent reference (as are all his other books).

Best Wishes,

Michael McCaskey
Georgetown Univ.


Also cf. Kurosawa's Drunken Angel (1948), for the pretty grim fight scene at the end.

----- Original Message -----
Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 8:14 pm
Subject: Re: question/favour

> Hello,
> The answer to your question is quite easy.  These scenes of 
> violence are in the 
> line of Buddhist pictures and descriptions of hell.  You should 
> read some of 
> the descriptions of battlefields in epics of the middle ages.
> Cheers,

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