Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Love triangle between a Japanese married couple and another woman.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1964
Duration: 91 min
Language: Japan/Japanese
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Yasuzo Masumura
Writer: Kaneto Shinducirc, Junichirhcirc, Tanizaki
Starring: Ayako Wakao, Kyôko Kishida, Eiji Funakoshi

Manji Trailer

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ManjiQuite a surprise that this was made in 1964 Japan! Sonoko (Kyôko Kishida) is a married woman who takes art classes. While sketching a nude model, she replaces the face with that of Mitsuko (Ayako Wakao), the woman she considers her ideal of beauty. When Mitsuko hears about it, she offers to pose nude so that the body of the sketch is hers as well.

Sonoko seems obsessed with Mitsuko, and they become lovers. Sonoko’s husband Kotaro (Eiji Funakoshi) knows about the affair and attempts to keep them apart, so to get his sympathy, the two women fake their suicides by taking sleeping powder. To Sonoko’s horror, in a haze she listens to Mitsuko and Kotaro making love in the bed next to her.

Now Mitsuko keeps both husband and wife as her lovers and makes them take sleeping powder every night to ensure that they do not make love together. Mitsuko has total control over the situation, while the jealousy between the spouses only grows. Who will win her affections, or will she destroy them all first?

This is an over the top drama with big 1960s hair, interesting as camp these days. The film was recreated in a Nazi Germany setting in 1985’s The Berlin Affair. (What looks like a swastika on the Manji dvd cover is a Buddhist cross.) (AB)