Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tattooed Flower Vase (1976)


Takako is an aspiring photographer returning home from school to her step-mother, Michiyo.
At first the two women seem exceptionally close. Takako even discusses the possibility of the two remaining together, despite Michiyo's desire for her daughter to get married and start a family.

Takako finds that her mother has made a profitable profession out of making
paper kabuki dolls. Her intricately detailed work has become increasingly popular.
Something her lecherous employer makes a point to capitalize on, by drugging her during
a meeting to discuss production, and having his way with her prone body.
The assault triggers memories of a prior trauma Michiyo experienced as a teenager,
while working at the Kabuki theater.

An underlying jealousy seems to brew between the two women, only to boil over
when Takako accidentally spies on Michiyo being raped by her employer.
Misconstruing the entire scenario, thinking that the acts were consensual.
Takako becomes enraged by the assumed betrayal and thoughtlessly walks into oncoming
traffic where she is struck by a car.

The concerned driver is an attractive son of a former Kabuki actor, named Ogata.

Needless to say Ogata does not waste any time having his way with both
mother and daughter. Further increasing the rift between them.

Three's a crowd ;)


Let me first say that Takako annoyed the shit out of me! I have an extreme dislike for needy, immature and manipulative women. Ogata also became tiresome, regressing into a flagrant opportunist who swayed whichever direction the pussy happened to be coming from. However, his scenes shared with Michiyo seemed really pure and beautiful despite only serving as a catalyst for her downfall.

In fact, the film's saving grace is Michiyo! It's actually kind of sad, that the only likable character in this entire film, repeatedly gets shat on. And all her annoying step daughter has to do is whine and complain to get what she wants. Arggh!

That being said, as infuriating as it was to watch sometimes, I was still genuinely
moved by this film. Opposed to watching it with an air of detachment, I really felt something
for the protagonist. I couldn't help but feel that she deserved better.

Also, Michiyo's full body irezumi at the end of the film is absolutely stunning!

Availability: Despite the Debauched Desires boxset being out of print. I still
recommend searching it out. Being that it has multiple Masaru Konuma titles in it's set.
However, this film can still be purchased individually with little issue.

Price: 16-26$

Screen Captures: (No copyright infringement intended.)

1 comment:

Phantom of Pulp said...

Takako annoyed the shit out of me, too. A little murder (of her) would have warmed up the proceedings. You've knocked the film's virtues and deficits on the head.