Dorothy and Alice exchange picture post
In 1936, Kichizo Ishida, an innkeeper in the Tokyo suburbs, left his wife and began an affair with Sada Abe, one of the prostitutes in his employ. Kichi died in climax and Sada was put on trial for his murder. Nagisa Oshima’s film version of this legendary crime, In the Realm of the Senses (1976) acquired cult status, not least because it was widely banned (Oshima edited the footage in France to evade Japanese censorship laws). As a study in morbid obsession, the film moves relentlessly from sex scene to sex scene, leaving barely any room for narrative; it is repetitive and monotonous, rather than erotic. For me there is one moment in the film that is truly startling. Sada is on a train, parted briefly from Kichi, and she misses him so intensely that she has to go off and wrap herself in his kimono. This re-enactment of the ritual of dressing pierces the film’s vaguer of explicit nudity. Entirely enveloped in her own feelings, Sada wants to lose herself. You could be anywhere and need to put on that kind of kimono.
I ♥ ♥ ♥ Japan
Anglophilia (Kagawa college car park, 2008)
Insigniaphilia: hearts on sleeves (Covent Garden, London, 2000)
Box of love. Osaka yen shop (2008)
my magic Japanese box: there’s nothing in it.
One of the peccadillos among the Aesthetes of the late 19th century was a fetishization of Japanese design. This wave of drawing room Japanophilia boiled down to linear patterning, motifs of birds and branches, dark woods, and highly glazed and lacquered finishes, as seen in screens, paper fans, trays, teapots etc. – masterfully lampooned by George du Maurier in Punch.