A comment and a question

Jasper Sharp jasper_sharp at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 17 09:17:12 EST 2010

Hello Jenna,


Great to have you on the list, and thanks for mentioning the Japan Foundation UK's season - I hope you are enjoying the films.


Just quickly, as I'm on holiday at the moment, but in reply to youre second question, there's a number of Japanese films that feature rapes and revenges (Koji Wakamatsu's films immediately spring to mind), but whether you can describe a distinct Japanese rape-revenge genre is something else. Western books on Western horror have always cited films like Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave as belonging to the horror genre, which is fair enough, as this is how they were marketed at the time, and hence there were a number of releases from both US and Europe that followed the template, and a genre emerged. In Japan, such films that I can think of from around the same period mainly were made for the pink or Roman Porno marketsand I don't think we can describe them as horror films, although many histories of Japanese horror do seem to include them, whereas Japanese histories of Japanese horror wouldn't. The Angel Guts series, all either scripted or based on manga stories by Takashi Ishii, are the best examples of these, and also a number of films directed for Nikkatsu by Yasuharu Hasebe, with titles such as Rape, Raping, Assault etc. I detail all of these in my book Behind the Pink Curtain - some seem to at least bare an awareness to Western counterpoints (many of which would have been released in Japan), if not direct influences. One of the Hasebe ones (forgive me, the titles are all rather jumbled in my mind at the moment, but it was the road movie style one) was actually pretty good, but most fairly unpleasant. The Angel Guts films were released on DVD in the US by Artsmagic (with the exception of the final one, made outside of Nikkatsu), so easy to track down.


Hope this helps,




Midnight Eye: The Latest and Best in Japanese Cinema

More details about me on http://jaspersharp.com/


Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 10:45:40 -0800
From: jennang156 at yahoo.com
To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
Subject: A comment and a question 

Dear all 

I have been lurking for a while and really enjoy the list and its various discussions. Am now raising my head out of obscurity to first make a quick comment and then unabashedly tap the collective wisdom of the list......: 

The comment: there's a marvellous film programme right now at the ICA in London (and advised by Jasper Sharp, whom I know is also on this list). There are Japanese film programmes galore, but this one has a focus on women - "This year’s Japan Foundation annual touring film programme looks at contemporary Japanese cinema made for, about, and by women" - which I thought, apropos to a previous post sometime back about female Japanese directors, or lack of (?), was thus worth a mention. The link for more information can be found here. 

My question is this: does anyone know of any other Japanese rape-revenge film besides "Freeze Me"? For some reason I had thought it a relatively well-represented horror sub-genre in Japanese cinema, but cannot actually find any other titles. ("Audition" is more suggestive of abuse rather than sexual assault, although I can see the same operative structure). Any reading suggestions on this topic and specifically Japanese cinema-oriented (ie, not Carol Clover, Lehman, Read etc) would also be appreciated (I'm already aware of Lafond and Colette Balmain, and the various online articles in sensesofcinema, Asia Pacific Arts Online). 

Many thanks in advance! 

Kind regards

Jenna Pei-Suin Ng, LLB, MA, PGDip, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Humanities
HUMlab / Department of Culture and Media
Umeå University
901 87, Umeå, Sweden
HUMlab: http://www.humlab.umu.se 

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