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Product Details

  • An MVD Exclusive
  • SKU: AV359
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • UPC: 760137600886
  • Street Date: 06/22/21
  • PreBook Date: 05/18/21
  • Label: Arrow Video »
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run Time: 86 mins
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Audio: STEREO
  • Year of Production: 1966
  • Region Code: A
  • Box Lot: 0
  • Territory: US
  • Language: Japanese


Cast & Crew

  • Actor: Ayako Wakao
  • Actor: Akio Hasegawa
  • Actor: Gaku Yamamoto
  • Actor: Kei Satô
  • Actor: Reiko Fujiwara
  • Actor: Fujio Suga
  • Director: Yasuzo Masumura


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  • List Price: $39.95  
  • Your Price: $39.95
  • In Stock: 354
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Drawn from the pen of one of Japan's foremost writers of the 20th century, Junichiro Tanizaki (A Fool's Love, The Makioka Sisters), Irezumi is a stylish tale of lust, betrayal and revenge directed by Yasuzo Masumura (Giants and Toys, Blind Beast).

Masumura's muse Ayako Wakao (The Blue Sky Maiden, Red Angel) stars as Otsuya, the daughter of a rich merchant, who is tempted by her lover, Shinsuke, a lowly employee of her father's, to elope. During their flight, Otsuya's beauty attracts the gaze of Seikichi, a mysterious master tattooist who sees her pristine white skin as the perfect canvas for his art. The image of the large demonic spider that he emblazons across Otsuya's back marks her as the property of another man, radically altering her relationships with all around her as her personality transforms under its influence.

Available for the first time outside of Japan in a new 4K restoration, Irezumi sports some of Japanese cinema's most respected talent of its day both in front of and behind the camera. The bewitching cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu) captures the sensual atmosphere of the period setting, while the script by Kaneto Shindo (Onibaba, Kuroneko) lends a modern twist to this feverish meditation on obsession and the act of creation.


Watch trailer »

Bonus Materials

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation from a new 4K scan
  • Original uncompressed Japanese mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Brand new audio commentary by Japanese cinema scholar David Desser
  • Newly filmed introduction by Japanese cinema expert Tony Rayns
  • Out of the Darkness, a brand new visual essay by Asian cinema scholar Daisuke Miyao
  • Original Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tony Stella
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collectors' booklet featuring new writing by Thomas Lamarre and Daisuke Miyao

Sales Points

  • Gorgeously shot tattoo fetish film for fans of I Spit on Your Grave
  • Influential classic from the director of Blind Beast that inspired Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and several remakes

Press Quotes

A beautifully shot celebration of Japan's seediest underbelly

     —Anton Bitel, Film4

Masumura goes for the jugular

     —Virginie Sélavy, Electric Sheep Magazine

A clash of sexuality and violence which, although heady and certainly extreme, feels naturally portrayed through its emotions, yet visually very stylish

     —Screen Anarchy

A visually arresting, supernaturally tinged tale and yet another fantastic performance from its talented leading lady

     —Hayley Scanlon, Windows on Worlds

There's a kind of relentless tragic trajectory to the story in Irezumi, despite some narrative flourishes that kind of rely on different kimonos to establish timeframes the way some other films might use something like hairstyles. Those who have seen any Teruo Ishii films, or any other films featuring women and tattoos, will find this a really interest companion and/or contrasting piece. Arrow is offering a disc with solid technical merits and its usual supply of well done supplemental material. Recommended.


A showcase of Daiei film company's golden-era powers, Yasuzo Masumura's Irezumi is a worthwhile reflection of Japan's changing post-war attitudes toward sex, art, and liberation.

     —Slant Magazine


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