Kan Mukai (1937-2008)

Jasper Sharp jasper_sharp at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 11 06:33:38 EDT 2008

I just heard the news that the director Kan Mukai, also known as Hiroshi Mukai, has just died, although I have no further details.

Born 16 October 1937, Mukai was a major figure in the world of pinku eiga and a contemporary of Kôji Wakamatsu and Mamoru Watanabe. He began directing in the field of PR and documentary, making his debut in 1962 with the education film, Two Boys (Futari no shônen). His first pink film, an omnibus of three sexually-themed stories entitled Flesh, was distributed by Kokuei in 1965, and fairly widely screened abroad during the 60s in countries including Britain and Germany. The jmdb list 144 directing credits to his name, although there were probably more. His best–known titles were Continuing: Chronicle of an Affair (Zoku: jôji no rirekisho, 1966) (an unofficial sequel to the film by Kôji Wakamatsu), Blue Film Woman (Burû fuirumu no onna, 1969), Deep Throat in Tokyo (Tôkyô dîpu surôto fujin, 1975), and the wonderfully titled Flesh Futon (1971).

Kan Mukai is particularly significant for founding the production house Shishi Production in the late 70s, which made films for Nikkatsu, Shintoho and ENK among other companies. The name was apparently intended as a pun based around the double repetition of the character shi meaning ‘four’, signifying his ambition to foster sixteen directors who would go on to achieve success in their own right. This duly happened, with filmmakers to pass through Mukai’s company including Yojirô Takita, Hisayasu Satô, Takuaki Hashiguchi, Shinji Imaoka, Minoru Inao, Shûji Kataoka, Hirotake Mukae, Saburô Naitô, Yûji Tajiri, Kaoru Umezawa, Mototsugu Watanabe and Takahisa Zeze.

Kan Mukai had not been active in the pinku eiga field for much of the 90s, but had moved on to more personal projects with his most recent work including Going West (1997), described on his website as “Japan’s first granny road movie”,  Hometown (1999), Last Dance (2001) and School Reunion (2004). 

For more details on Mukai's career, see www.kuruma.org/mukai/profile.html

Midnight Eye



More information about the KineJapan mailing list