Chusei Sone - Showa onnamichi: Rashomon AKA Naked Rashomon (1972)

As he had done for Rashamen Oman: Ame No Oranda-zaka and its sequels, former Seijun Suzuki disciple Chusei Sone borrowed his master's screenwriter, Atsushi Yamatoya (Koya No Dacchi Waifu) for this fascinating pinku eiga film. Despite the title, the film bears little in common with the classic Rashomon, and only the second half takes place in the Showa era, but it is nonetheless among the most interesting films of its type. Hideaki Ezumi stars as a powerful marquis named Katsuragawa, whose prostitute mistress (Hitomi Kozue) bears him twins. Being that twins are considered bad luck, the babies are separated at birth, with Ezumi raising the boy and Kozue raising the girl. Nineteen years pass, and the blissfully ignorant twins (also played by Ezumi and Kozue) meet and fall in love. By coincidence, Kozue just happens to be a prostitute like her mother, and the cycle continues. Stylish, surrealistic, and often just plain weird, this Nikkatsu release made a star of Kozue and reinforced Sone's position as the studio's most inventive director.


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