Irezumi’ (Masumara, 1966)

How might we consider ‘Irezumi’ as a film that targets a specific audience and addresses issues of a specific time period?

At the begging of the film men are represents men as abusive as the Tattoo artist Seikichi drugs Otsuya  and forcefully draws a tattoo on her back without consent. In this scene sonic perspective is used when the needle is digging into her back this makes the scene more intense and brutal. Also i think this scene could also be a metaphor for rape as the needle is entering the girl but the man, this represents men as being controlling. In the opening  of this film there is alot of signs to indicate danger such as the mise en scene of her clothing being the color red also the dietetic sound  the bell and the pathetic fallacy of the snow reflecting how  Otsuya is cold hear-ted.The camerawork used  is close up shots  to showing the intensity of pain  through  Otsuya  facial expressions, this also reflects the theatricality of the scene which is commonly used in Japanese films.  Also Tight framing has been used this is to reflect  the main theme of ‘being trapped’,  At the begging of this film women are represented as weak and in the ownership of men. This addresses the is issue of  the time as in japan at the time of this film being published there was a  post-war economic miracle this is when  Japan rapidly became the world’s second largest economy (after the United States) by the 1960s. However although the   welfare society maintained a   high total of employment, it included many part-time workers who  did not enjoy the workplace benefits and had very low pay, and were largely women. These people oftern worked for small companies that did not provide benefits such as lifetime employment as big companies started to do therefore there was a lot of unemployment in these small companies. This idea of women not getting good jobs and men benefiting more from society at the time is represented in this film, even though Otsuya gets kidnapped into prostitution, she has no other option as the society at the time does not allow her to get high payed job so has to earn money through prostitution. There is a lot of  low angle shots of Otsuya showing her leadership through the film, her higher status, however i think this only due to the fact her farther is of a high status.She trys to control certain men in the film through black mail such as Shinsuke, this due to the spider tattoo on her back.

 In the middle sequence sequence there is alot of tight framing, dialogue changes from the opneing to the middle as she becomes more confident. Also shinsuke dialogue becomes more confident as he says “what a horrible women youve become”, this is the first time in the film when he stands up to her and blames her instead of his self. However her resonses are just passing the blame onto the fact she has the spider on her back she says “he was devoted by the joro spider on my back”. When ever she is doing something horrible she is wearing the color red, annotates danger.  There is always the same dramatic music playing when theres close up of the spider on her back aswell as the pathetic fallacy of thunder. The Sumari  and Otsuya  are both negative characters this is shown through their dialogue such as “i dont care about money, when you can kill me in my sleep” and “between men and women its a fight to the death anyway” but characters are  cynics this negative theme is continue theme through out the film. In the ending of the film theres this continuous pathetic fallacy of death and danger reflecting the genre of gothic horror. The two characters Otsuya and shinsuke begin to fight there is alot of tight framing in this scene which reflects the closeness of the characters, also there is a lot of theatrical and over the top fighting in this scene, which is a typical feature of a Japanese film.  Shinsuke says “i kill you because i love you” this suggest of no happy ending fitting in with the negative theme of the film. The music volume incresses this is to highlight the intensity of the film. Otsuya and shinsuke rolses reverse as shinsuke becomes the more violent and dominant one, as he trys to stand up to her by trying to stab her, this shows how the deaths he has committed has made him go mad.  “forgive me” shinsuke says still till the end of the film he is shown to be  a pathetic character. Tattoo artist Seikichi comes and stabs otsuya in the back this is a metaphor for the theme of the film because everyone in the film is stabbed in the back by her, its also ironic becuase she finaly gets stabbed in the back. The graphic scene involves the blood of her pouring into his mouth this shows how the spider has stolen the blood of men. I think the target audience for this film is teenagers as the message of this film is that lessons arn’t learn t, and teenagers are known for growing up and making mistake i think this film is suppose to teach teenagers a overall lessson to learn from your mistakes dont continues to make mistakes, also i think they would be interested in the love affair of teenager romance.






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