Nagisa Oshima

In the Realm of the Senses

In the Realm of the Senses

In the Realm of the Senses (Ai no corrida), by the always provocative Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, remains one of the most controversial films of all time. Based on a true incident, it graphically depicts the all-consuming, transcendent—but ultimately destructive—love of a man and a woman (Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda) living in an era of ever escalating imperialism and governmental control. Less a work of pornography than of politics, In the Realm of the Senses is a brave, taboo-breaking milestone, still censored in its own country.

Film Info

  • Nagisa Oshima
  • Japan
  • 1976
  • 102 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • Japanese
  • Spine #466

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer of the complete, uncensored version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring film critic Tony Rayns
  • Interview from 2009 with actor Tatsuya Fuji
  • A 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda, and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura
  • Deleted footage and U.S. trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and (Blu-ray only) a reprinted interview with Oshima

New cover by Neil Kellerhouse

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • Restored high-definition digital transfer of the complete, uncensored version, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring film critic Tony Rayns
  • Interview from 2009 with actor Tatsuya Fuji
  • A 1976 interview with director Nagisa Oshima and actors Fuji and Eiko Matsuda, and a 2003 program featuring interviews with consulting producer Hayao Shibata, line producer Koji Wakamatsu, assistant director Yoichi Sai, and film distributor Yoko Asakura
  • Deleted footage and U.S. trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by Japanese film scholar Donald Richie and (Blu-ray only) a reprinted interview with Oshima

New cover by Neil Kellerhouse

In the Realm of the Senses
Cast
Eiko Matsuda
Sada Abe
Tatsuya Fuji
Kichizo
Aoi Nakajima
Toku
Yasuko Matsui
Inn manager
Meika Seri
Yoshidaya maid
Kanae Kobayashi
Old maid
Taiji Tonoyama
Old beggar
Kyôji Kokonoe
Patron
Credits
Director
Nagisa Oshima
Producer
Anatole Dauman
Screenplay
Nagisa Oshima
Line producer
Koji Wakamatsu
Consulting producer
Hayao Shibata
Cinematography
Hideo Ito
Lighting
Kenichi Okamoto
Production design
Jusho Toda
Music
Minoru Miki
Editing
Keiichi Uraoka
Editing
Patrick Sauvion
Sound
Tetsuo Yasuda
Costumes
Jusho Toda
Costumes
Masahiro Kato
Makeup
Koji Takemura

From The Current

Let’s Talk About Sex
Let’s Talk About Sex

As an online companion piece to W magazine’s annual Best Performances issue, the magazine’s editor at large, Lynn Hirschberg, sat down with thirty-one Hollywood actors for a series of off-the-cuff video interviews. This year, Hirschberg asked the…

/
Tim Forbes’s Top 10
Tim Forbes’s Top 10

Tim Forbes is chairman of Forbes Digital and a former independent producer and screenwriter.


Oren Moverman’s Top 10
Oren Moverman’s Top 10

Like any top ten list in any discipline by anyone privileged enough to be asked to catalog his professional indulgences for public viewing, the following list is deeply meaningful and truly meaningless.


Nagisa Oshima on
In the Realm of the Senses

The following article, based on an interview with Nagisa Oshima conducted by Katsue Tomiyama in April 1983, first appeared, in slightly longer form, in the Japanese magazine Image Forum. Tomiyama is a film producer and cofounder of Image Forum, and s


In the Realm of the Senses:
Some Notes on Oshima and Pornography

The concept of “obscenity” is tested when we dare to look at something that we desire to see but have forbidden ourselves to look at. When we feel that everything has been revealed, “obscenity” disappears and there is a certain liberation. Wh…

By Donald Richie


IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES: TWO WOMEN

These profiles of the real-life Sada Abé and the actress who portrayed her in Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses first appeared in Donald Richie’s 1987 book Different People: Pictures of Some Japanese, and can also be found in the 2006 J…

By Donald Richie


Explore

Nagisa Oshima

Writer, Director

Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima

Japanese cinema’s preeminent taboo buster, Nagisa Oshima directed, between 1959 and 1999, more than twenty groundbreaking features. For Oshima, film was a form of activism, a way of shaking up the status quo. Uninterested in the traditional Japanese cinema of such popular filmmakers as Kurosawa, Ozu, and Naruse, Oshima focused not on classical themes of good and evil or domesticity but on outcasts, gangsters, murderers, rapists, sexual deviants, and the politically marginalized. He began as a studio filmmaker, and had a hit with the jazzy Cruel Story of Youth (1960), but left Shochiku when the powers that be there pulled his politically incendiary Night and Fog in Japan (1960) from circulation. Oshima then struck out on his own, becoming an independent director and even starting a production company, Sozo-sha, where he made such popular and aesthetically diverse films as the pinku eiga, or “pink film,” Pleasures of the Flesh (1965); Violence at Noon (1966), which contains more than two thousand cuts; Sing a Song of Sex (1967), a dreamlike investigation of libidinous, politically confused youth; and Death by Hanging (1969), a surreal, meditative film about social injustice. With his late-seventies international coproductions, the sexually graphic In the Realm of the Senses (1976) and the visually raw ghost story Empire of Passion (1978), Oshima became an art-house sensation in Europe and the U.S., riling moviegoers there much as he had at home. Made in 1999, Oshima’s final film, Taboo, a portrait of homosexual longing among samurai, is the perfect expression of his continued desire to provoke.