Netflix's 'The Naked Director': How Japanese porn pioneer Toru Muranishi sparked a sexual revolution

Takayuki Yamada stars as the audacious protagonist Toru Muranishi, the man who revolutionized the adult video industry in Japan during the 1980s


                            Netflix's 'The Naked Director': How Japanese porn pioneer Toru Muranishi sparked a sexual revolution

The Japanese porn industry is a highly intertwined business—one that is so unique to its land that it has distinctive characteristics that distinguish it from Western pornography.

Reflective of Japan's views on sexuality and culture, the country's porn industry delves into a wide spectrum of heterosexual, homosexual and transgender sexual acts, in addition to unique fetishes and paraphilias. 

The workings of the porn industry—whether it is the Western porn industry or the Japanese—are very rarely known to those outside.

 

Netflix's Japanese original 'The Naked Director' explores the massive industry and its history.

Centered around the controversial filmmaker Toru Muranishi, the film profiles his unusual and dramatic life.

Murinaishi revolutionized the adult video industry in Japan with a very unique eye that sparked a sexual revolution.

Based on Nobuhiro Motohashi’s non-fiction book 'Zenra Kantoku' ('The Naked Director'), the 10-episode series will chronicle the director's rise to fame, his big ambitions as well as the spectacular setbacks he faced in his unflinching attempt to turn Japan’s porn industry on its head.

The show will also be a portrait of an ensemble of characters who experience success and failure in Japan’s “bubble” era of the 1980s, a time that gave rise to unprecedented splendor and excess.

Takayuki Yamada stars as the audacious protagonist Toru Muranishi, the man who revolutionized the adult video industry in Japan during the 1980s. 



 

But as peppy as the trailer looks, Toru Muranishi was, in reality, a far more troubled person.

In fact, he was so controversial that, in a 1992 story in the 'Tokyo Journal', Kjell Fornander called him "the dirtiest of the industry's dirty old men". 

In Japan, Muranishi is known as the "Emperor of Porn"— this was also the title of the Netflix original before it was changed.

He is credited to be one of the creators of the quasi-documentary style that is found in Japanese adult videos, which also remains to be one of the most popular genres in the history of the adult industry. 

In 1984, he joined the then-newly formed AV studio Crystal-Eizou and was given credit for launching one of the first adult stars of Japan, Kaoru Kuroki.

When at Crystal, Muranishi made some pioneering developments in the adult video field, some that Japan had never seen before.

His 'Face Shower' series culminated in a facial. 'F**k Lunch' satirized contemporary food-oriented TV programs. And in the 'Conch Shell' videos, actresses blew into a conch shell—just like in some Buddhist rituals—in order to signify that she has reached orgasm. 

His colourful life, however, often had run-ins with the law. He was convicted seven times of criminal violations. In June 1986, he was arrested for violating the Japanese Child Welfare Act by featuring an underage actress in videos. 



 

Later that very year, Muranishi brought his crew to Hawaii in a "legendary session" where he filmed 30 videos in 30 days.

He then flew in more than 15 actresses from Japan for the filming. In December 1986, he was arrested in Hawaii for passport violations and was indicted under the Mann Act.

While the controversial director was released in July the following year, he was once again arrested and fined for using a 17-year-old actress in August 1988.

Following this, in September 1988, Muranishi left Crystal-Eizou to form his own company, Diamond Visual.

Under this banner, he released several movies and, in the early '90s, the company was AV's largest production company. 

Despite its popularity, the company went bankrupt in 1992 with a debt of 5 billion yen (about $40 million). 

This spelled doom for Muranishi. 

The ups and downs of his life are chronicled in 'The Naked Director' that released on Netflix on August 8.

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