Thursday, May 7, 2009

Junichiro Tanizaki's short story "Shisei (The Tattooer)" comes to the big screen again

by Chris MaGee

Junichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei (The Tattooer)" has been a favorite of Japanese filmmakers for years. The 1910 short story by the famed Japanese author (Above left) that follows the transformation of a young woman from a meek and mild wall flower to a sultry femme fatale after her back is tattooed with a huge black widow spider was most recently brought to the screen Takahisa Zeze in 2007 and Hisayasu Sato in 2006. Both of these filmmakers played up the erotic overtones of the story which when it revolves around a young woman stripped stripped naked and adorned by beautiful tattoos how can you not?

Now according to Tokyograph director Yukiko Mishima is ready to bring Tanizaki's story to the screen yet again with her film "Shisei: Nihohi Tsuki no Gotoku" and this time around the palate for the tattoo artist's work will be 25-year-old actress Kumi Imura (above right). Imura's previous acting credits include roles in various Japanese TV series and Fuyuhiko Nishi's "High Kick Girl", but apparently "Shisei" will be the first time that actress has been required to do a nude scene. Frankly, when you look like Imura I don't think you have a lot to worry about when you get naked.

"Shisei: Nihohi Tsuki no Gotoku" is set for release in Japan on June 27th. Thanks to Sankei Sports for the above promo shot of Imura. You can see more of her in the film here but you may want to think twice if you're at work.

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