In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
"Ai no korîda" (original title)

X  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  1 April 1977 (USA)
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Reviews: 103 user | 81 critic

A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to a sexual obsession which then came to a violent end.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aoi Nakajima ...
Yasuko Matsui ...
Tagawa Inn Manager
Meika Seri ...
Matsuko (Yoshidaya maid)
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Old geisha Kikuryû
Taiji Tonoyama ...
Old Beggar
Kyôji Kokonoe ...
Teacher Ômiya
Naomi Shiraishi ...
Geisha Yaeji
Shinkichi Noda
Komikichi Hori ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Kikuhei Matsunoya ...
Hôkan jester
Akiko Koyama ...
Mansaki Geisha
Yuriko Azuma ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Rei Minami ...
Mitsuwa Geisha


Based on a true story set in pre-war Japan, a man and one of his servants begin a torrid affair. Their desire becomes a sexual obsession so strong that to intensify their ardor, they forsake all, even life itself. Written by Allen Brown <>

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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses  »

Box Office


SEK 1,424,906 (Sweden)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(original) | (2000 re-release) | (DVD) | (final) | (reconstructed version) (R-rated) (reconstructed)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first non-pornographic film to feature scenes of fellatio and an erect penis. See more »


Kichizo: You want to make love all the time, huh?
Sada Abe: You don't think it's wrong, do you?
Kichizo: I think it's wonderful. You're beautiful.
Sada Abe: I was afraid of not being like others. I was so worried about it, I even went to see a doctor. He said I was sensitive where sex was concerned.
Kichizo: Sensitive? I hope it's incurable. Because I adore your oversensitivity.
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Referenced in The History of Hardcore (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Erotic movie examines its society
9 February 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

With his landmark film The Ceremony, Nagisa Oshima became one of Japanese filmdom's leading social critics as he dissected the logic behind ritual suicide, arranged marriages and other activities considered acceptable 'traditional' behavior. Here he examines the story behind a famous Japanese scandal - a prostitute was found wandering the streets of Tokyo out of her mind following the death of her lover by erotic asphyxiation - in terms of what is considered 'acceptable' Japanese social behavior. The principals engage in obsessive sexual activity, and allow the addictive and dangerous aspects of their relationship to get out of hand precisely BECAUSE it was considered so unhealthy and immoral by Japanese standards. In a society in which all sexual activity is viewed as shameful, shame no longer mediates behavior. Limits become meaningless. The film itself is colorfully made, with excellent period detail and production design, and the actors are attractive. The structure is that of an erotic novel, as game playing, obsession and danger escalate to a fitting point-of-no-return climax. It is much better and more socially relevant than similar American films such as Nine 1/2 Weeks.

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