by Chris MaGee
I've avoided discussing the recent election in Japan and the historic voting out of the Liberal Democratic Government after 54 years in power mostly because I don't live in Japan and am not comfortable discussing its domestic politics, just its domestic film industry. That being said when a story comes up that crosses the recent unseating of the LDP in favor of Yukio Hatoyama and the Democratic Party of Japan and Japanese films, well I havbe to jump at the chance, especially when it mixes in a sex scandal as well.
As part of the recent election DPJ politician Ichiro Ozawa sent young, attractive female candidates out to run in smaller constituencies I'm assuming because he believed that a pretty woman would get more votes than stodgy old men. It seemed that the strategy had a certain amount of success, so much so that one of these "Ozawa Girls", as the Japanese press dubbed these candidates, won a seat in Ishikawa Prefecture. The the newly elected representative, 34-year-old Mieko Tanaka (above left), was described during the election as a "former temporary worker". Sounds good. There's lots of temp workers in Japan that want a greater voice in governemnt, but no one in the DPJ specified what kind of temporary work Tanaka had been involved in.
Recently it's been revealed that Tanaka not only used to wroter a column titled "Beautiful costume play writer Arisu interviews sex workers: a real battle of beauties" in an adult magazine under the pen name Arisu Shibuya, but she also appeared in ero-guro filmmaker Teruo Ishii's final film, 2001's "Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf"... topless. The offending scene has been posted on YouTube (you can check it out below, but with Tanaka's breasts edited out).
Everyone has a past, I guess, and as Tanaka put it during a recent public apology “I was making a living under difficult financial conditions. I had to work hard to make a living and I tried a lot of different things.” Taking your top off isn't the worst thing you can do, especially when it's in a Teruo Ishii film, not a very good Ishii film, but still.
Thanks to The Tokyo Reporter for this piece of news.