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Tokugawa Onna Keibatsu-shi

Shogun's Joy of Torture
The Joy of Torture / Female Punishment of the Tokugawa / Punishment of the Tokugawa Women / Tokugawa History of Women Punishment

Japan 1968
produced by
Shigeru Okada, Kanji Amao for Toei
directed by Teruo Ishii
starring Teruo Yoshida, Masumi Tachibana, Fumio Watanabe, Reiko Mikasa, Miki Obana, Yukie Kagawa, Shinichiro Hayashi, Asao Koike, Kichijiro Ueda, Tamaki Sawa, Mie Hanabusa, Keiko Kojima, Yuko Minakaze, Ryota Minowada, Kinji Nakamura, Naomi Shiraishi
written by Teruo Ishii, music by Masao Yagi

Joys of Torture

review by
Mike Haberfelner


Three tales of torture in Japan of the 1600s, as reviewed by Yoshioka (Teruo Yoshida), interrogator in all three cases:

  • Shinzo (Teruo Yoshida) is in bad need of medical treatment, but lacks the means to pay for it, so Master Minosuke (Kichijiro Ueda) coughs up the money, but not out of generosity, but because he longs for Shinzo's sister Mitsu (Masumi Tachibana), whom he expects to have his way with in return. Shinzo outrightly refuses, but when Mitsu sees her brother on the verge of death, she gives herself to Minosuke behind his back. Hearing that, Sinzo confesses his undying love for Mitsu, and the two have incestuous sex - which Minosuke witnesses, so he rapes Mitsu right in front of Shinzo's eyes. Shinzo kills himself upon, that, which leads to Mitsu trying to kill Minosuke in revenge, but ultimately he accusesher of incest and she's brutally tortured ...
  • Reiho (Yukie Kagawa), the new abbess of the convent, witnesses Shunkai (Shinichiro Hayashi), priest from the neighbouring monastery, having sex with one of her nuns, Myoshin (Miki Obana), which somehow turns her on. She orders him to do repentance under a waterfall, and uses that as a ruse to seduce him. But after sex, he tells her he only let her have her way with him to protect Myoshin - to little avail, as Reiho soon has Myoshin brutally tortured, and tells Shunkai she'll only stop if he gives Myoshin up - and his refusal to do so drives her literally insane ...
  • When Lord Nanbara (Fumio Watanabe) criticizes tattoo artist Horicho's (Asao Koike) latest work of torture as unrealistic, Horicho asks Nanbara, one of the chief torturers of the gouvernment, to take him with him to his torture dungeon so he can see actual pain and pleasure. Horicho gets more and more obsessed with creating the ultimate torture tattoo, to an extent that insanity takes over ...

Available on DVD !

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One thing's for sure, this film is not for the squeamish, it's very explicit in its depiction of violence, and the stories that accompany the violence are not exactly kids' stuff either, especially since torture is a centerpiece of each of them. And from today's point of view, the film isn't really politically correct, either. But that's really hardly the point of this movie that's more of a trip to the dark corners of the mind, via well-structured (if at times blunt) stories and a very stylish direction. And the violence, unpleasant as it might be, is actually there for a reason other than just as an end in itself. The outcome is very disturbing, but if you're able to swallow what's thrown at you also very fascinating.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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love and death and everything in between,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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directed by
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written by
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