Sunday, February 26, 2017

AN EVENING WITH A NIKKATSU STAR! Breaking Bread with Mari Tanaka!

Nikkatsu actress Mari Tanaka. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Mari Tanaka is a Nikkatsu actress with no connection to special effects or tokusatsu whatsoever. But her involvement in the Japanese film industry is particularly fascinating to me. She became popular at Nikkatsu during the 1970s, during which the studio produced many of its more "exotic" films that have since become notable around the world. 

More specifically, she starred in the controversial Love Hunter (1972), which was accused of obscenity by Japanese authorities, though the charges were eventually dismissed by the courts after a lengthy legal battle.  

Looking at Tanaka-san today, it's hard to believe that she starred in anything that could have been categorized as obscene. Still, she has many admirers who fondly remember her work at Nikkatsu to this day. Admittedly, I haven't seen any of her films, but I hope to change that someday.

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