115 user 94 critic

In the Realm of the Senses (1976)

Ai no korîda (original title)
NC-17 | | Biography, Drama, Horror | 1 April 1977 (USA)
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.


Nagisa Ôshima


Nagisa Ôshima

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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 Akiko Koyama ... Mansaki Geisha
Yuriko Azuma Yuriko Azuma ... Mitsuwa Geisha
Rei Minami 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 <browna@ohsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one under 17 admitted See more »


NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Japan | France



Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actress Eiko Matsuda, who played Sada Abe, received hostile treatment from the public in Japan after the film came out. She eventually decided to move to France. Her co-star, Tatsuya Fuji, eventually regained his career after a period of two years without any job offers. See more »


Kichizo: I've got to pee. Okay with you?
Sada Abe: There's no need to leave. Do it here.
Kichizo: Where?
Sada Abe: Inside of Sada, all nice and warm.
Kichizo: You're mad! It's impossible to do both at the same time.
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Alternate Versions

When UK censor James Ferman first saw the film in 1976 he suggested that it could be shown in licensed cinema clubs after the scene where a young boy's penis is yanked by Sada had been removed completely to comply with the Protection of Children Act. It was not officially submitted for UK cinema release until 1991 due to the film's graphic sexual nature and, although this print was fully uncut in terms of sexual footage, it featured an optical edit during the scene with the boy. Instead of removing the scene Ferman cropped off the bottom and far right of the screen, thus allowing the audience to realize the instability of Sada's character while removing the offending shot. The film first received a home video/DVD release in 2000 by Nouveaux and this print retained the optical edit, though the print itself was a shorter version and missed 6 minutes 15 secs of assorted dialogue and footage (the sexual footage remained uncut). The 2009 UK cinema reissue again featured the shorter print though this version cuts out the scene with the misbehaving child completely. See more »


Spoofed in Pure (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

15 August 2002 | by Beast-5See all my reviews

IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES explores sexual obsession and the extremes to which it drives the characters. I saw the uncut version,readily available at the Cleveland Public Library. It was indeed sexually graphic,reaching a point where the act seems to be driven by a kind of symbiosis that can only culminate in one way. The ending is one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen in a movie. Do not confuse

this movie with the vastly inferior IN THE REALM OF PASSION.

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