119 user 100 critic

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Ai no korîda (original title)
NC-17 | | Drama, Romance | 1 April 1977 (USA)
A passionate telling of the story of Sada Abe, a woman whose affair with her master led to an obsessive and ultimately destructive sexual relationship.


Nagisa Ôshima


Nagisa Ôshima
3,161 ( 283)
4 wins. See more awards »




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

More Like This 

Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A married woman and her lover murder her husband and dump his body into a well. After a while, his ghost comes to haunt them while the local gossip grows stronger.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Tatsuya Fuji, Kazuko Yoshiyuki, Takahiro Tamura
Taboo (1999)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The new member of a samurai militia unit causes disruption as several of his colleagues fall in love with him, threatening to disturb the rigid code of their squad.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Takeshi Kitano, Ryûhei Matsuda, Shinji Takeda
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During WWII, a British colonel tries to bridge the cultural divides between a British POW and the Japanese camp commander in order to avoid bloodshed.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto
Boy (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young boy reluctantly aids his swindling father in a threatening scam.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Fumio Watanabe, Akiko Koyama, Tetsuo Abe
The Ceremony (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Upon receiving a shocking telegram from his cousin, a man recounts his early life, as a member of a broad family full of dark secrets that slowly reveal themselves through the clan ceremonies.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kenzô Kawarasaki, Atsuko Kaku, Atsuo Nakamura
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ivan is a writer who can not tear himself away from the city of Manila. He likes to hang out melancholy and flirt with pretty women. One day, he meets Mari.

Director: Pierre Rissient
Stars: Féodor Atkine, Eiko Matsuda, Gloria Diaz
Naked Youth (1960)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A harsh young man seduces a freeloading young woman and eventually takes advantage of her knack for hitch-hiking to rob middle-class men.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Miyuki Kuwano, Yûsuke Kawazu, Yoshiko Kuga
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Korean man is sentenced to death by hanging, but he survives the execution. For the following two hours, his executioners try to work out how to handle the situation in this black farce.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kei Satô, Do-yun Yu, Fumio Watanabe
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Eros Eterna tells the story of a legendary immortal nun who wanders around encountering several people of various conditions.

Director: Kôji Wakamatsu
Stars: Eiko Matsuda, Osamu Sakuta, Atsuko Asano
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A metaphysical mystery involving a university student's camera getting stolen, and the thief then committing suicide. Looking back upon the event, the situation comes to be questioned if it happened at all.

Director: Nagisa Ôshima
Stars: Kazuo Goto, Sukio Fukuoka, Kenichi Fukuda
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, Maria Michi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A woman employs a gay man to spend four nights at her house to watch her when she's "unwatchable".

Director: Catherine Breillat
Stars: Amira Casar, Rocco Siffredi, Alexandre Belin


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 <browna@ohsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Sensation of Cannes, London, Berlin, Chicago and Los Angeles See more »


Drama | Romance


NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Demand to see the film at its first appearance at the Cannes Film Festival was so high, 13 screenings were arranged. See more »


Kichizo: [talking to Sada] A girl like you can stab a man's heart without a knife, huh?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version ran 108 minutes. Producer Anatole Dauman received Oshima's permission to recut the film, resulting in a shorter 102-minute edit. This version has been distributed theatrically in some countries (such as France) and is available on video in Australia, the UK, the United States, and France. The French DVD includes both versions (via seamless branching), while the U.S. Criterion DVD features the cut footage as an extra. The PAL releases run 97 minutes. This shorter version makes the following changes:
  • An early scene in which Sada has sex with Ishida while playing a shamisen has been cut by about a minute and a half. In the original version, Sada seemingly goes unconscious and Ishida checks for her heartbeat.
  • A brief shot (12 seconds) of Ishida and Sada on a bridge has been added to the scene in which the couple goes out walking at night.
  • A later scene (in which the geishas assault one of their own with a dildo) is cut by 14 seconds to remove a shot of Ishida and Sada's faces in mid-copulation.
  • An entire two-minute scene is deleted about an hour into the film. This scene features Sada and Ishida having sex behind a thin screen, while Ishida speaks of the "darkness" he feels inside Sada.
  • The scene in which Sada first strangles Ishida is cut by just over one minute. In the short version, the scene ends when Ishida starts coughing and Sada releases his throat. In the original version, Ishida asks her to resume, which she does (only to stop when he begins coughing again).
  • The scene in which Ishida becomes drowsy while having sex with Sada is edited differently. The original version has slightly different dialogue and has an additional minute of footage where Ishida actually does fall asleep for a short time.
  • The scene in which Sada wakes up after her final night with Ishida is cut by one minute. The original version shows Sada lying on the floor and apparently panicking, walking around the room and opening doors for no obvious reason. The short version cuts straight from Sada waking up to the shot of her standing over Ishida's body.
See more »


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »


Ume wa saitaka (aka: Is the plum blooming?)
Japanese traditional
See more »

User Reviews

You should see this film if you're interseted in sex and good movies
21 June 2002 | by roerkavSee all my reviews

I saw this film the first time in the movies in holland about 78; I was sitting next to a nice girl wiht her boyfriend and felt terribly upset. I knew this was very real. Not romantic at all. It shows what sex can do to people and although in the ending the dramatics are overdone to my taste; this is a classical tragedy. The acting is incredible; i think the one big problem making movies showing real sex that the actors can't cope with it. These actors could. Everybody who can't see through the pornografic explicities is sexually unfree and morally limited. This film isn't a happy one and doesn't show us the freedom that sex can bring us; it shows the slavery which sex can bring about; it's problably the best film ever about sex addiction there is. It's a problem that is hardly publicly debated; or if in the hands of Christian crusaders, who want to take us all the fun. In other critics you read about th Art question : "is this Art?" Not an important question, but for me it is; it has learnt me very much about the human condition and how we cope with it.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 119 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



Japan | France



Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed