Thursday, December 11, 2008

Seijun Suzuki's "Gate of Flesh" comes to the small screen

by Chris MaGee

Here's an intriguing story: Taijiro Tamura's 1947 novel, "Nikutai no mon" which Seijun Suzuki brought to the big screen with 1964's "Gate of Flesh" is being turned into a drama special for TV Asahi. Set to air at 9:00 p.m. on December 27th it will star Arisa Mizuki, Mariya Yamada, Misato Tanaka, Sachiko Kokubu and Rieko Miura as a group of prostitutes who've formed a hardened sisterhood in a bombed out building in post-WW2 Tokyo. The lives of these brutally self-governed women begins to unravel, though, when they take in a wounded Japanese pilot originally portrayed in Suzuki's film by Jo Shishido and who will now be portrayed by actor Shido Nakamura.

Actually to say "originally" is a bit of a misnomer. Suzuki's "Gate of Flesh" adaptation, while probably being the best known version of Tamura's novel is by no means the only screen adaptation. The book has in fact been adapted to film three other times: in 1948 by Masahiro Makino, in 1977 by Shogoro Nishimura and in 1988 by Hideo Gosha, so this latest TV incarnation follows in a long tradition.

Check out the official website for TV Asahi's "Nikutai no mon (Gate of Flesh)" including a full gallery of stills like the one above here. Thanks to Japan Today via Asian Fanatics for the details on this.

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