|Irezumi - Spirit of Tattoo|
Director: Yoichi Takabayashi
Starring: Tomisaburo Wakayama
This is a strikingly visual film about the beautiful young Akane (Utsonomiya), who has her back tattooed to please her lover. Her greatest fear is that she will lose this man, a file clerk with a fetish for beautiful skin and tattoos.
So for two years she commutes from Tokyo to Kyoto, where Kyogoro (Wakayama), a renowned tattoo artist who has come out of retirement for Akane, devotes the remainder of his life to completing this final tattoo.
His method, of which he is deeply ashamed, is unique: Akane lies atop Kyogoro's nude, heavily tattooed young apprentice, moaning from the pain of the pricking tattoo needle and tightly gripping the man beneath her. Kyogoro believes that this brings the tattoo to life, giving it a soul and spirit all its own.
As mysterious and foreign as it is kinky and erotic, IREZUMI explores the yin-yang principle of complete existence emerging from two opposites. While she is tattooed, Akane experiences intense extremes of both pleasure and pain, which breathes life into Kyogoro's art. Later, Kyogoro's apprentice creates his first tattoo--a tiny snowflake--which burns Akane's tender flesh like fire. Director Takabayashi, whose first film, GAKI ZOSHI (The Water Was So Clear) also dealt with spirituality and eroticism, directs with a delicate sense of beauty, his visuals carefully capturing the movements and colors of the tattoo master at work and the living piece of art Akane becomes.
TV Broadcasting Quality
1982 Color Fullscreen
Japanese with English Subtitles.