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Ah-01: Onna Harakiri Sakuhinshu I - Fujikikaku Print E-mail
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Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 11 January 2008

AH-01 DVD Cover - SEVERED-CINEMA.COM

Rb-01: Onna Harakiri: Sange
Written by: Yuuri Sunohara
Produced by: Right Brain
Cast: Yuuri Sunohara
Year: 1990
Country: Japan
Color: Color
Runtime: 45 Minutes

Rb-04: Jogakusei: Harakiri
Written by: Yuuri Sunohara
Produced by: Right Brain
Cast: Yuuri Sunohara
Year: 1990
Country: Japan
Color: Color
Runtime: 45 Minutes


Video: NTSC R0
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Distributor: Fujikikaku
Official Website: http://www.fujikikaku.info/

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Seppuku: Ritual suicide by disembowelment formerly practiced by Japanese samurai.  Also called hara-kiri.

Rb-01: Onna Harakiri: Sange

Seppuku was a code followed by samurai warriors to avoid the shame of falling into enemy hands.  The Daimyo (or feudal lords) could also order samurai to commit seppuku.  Dishonorable samurai were sometimes allowed to choose seppuku rather than face a disgraceful death by a normal manner of execution.  The purpose of the act of seppuku was designed to protect and restore the honor of the samurai warrior.

Seppuku lives on today throughout Japanese cinema, from sick fetish films to Yakuza crime.  While the films predominantly do not showcase the ritual suicide of samurai, as it stands, Seppuku is shown as more of a fetishism within modern Japanese culture.  A prime example of this can be found in Fuji Kikaku’s presentation of Ah-01: Onna Harakiri: Sange, produced by Right Brain.

Rb-01: Onna Harakiri: Sange begins with a woman sitting in a dark corner, lighted by nothing other than a small lamp.  She stares at a soldier’s uniform in mourning.  We fade to white.  Thus begins our journey into the cinematic form of ritual suicide.

Crawling at a snails pace, the film continues with the woman sitting on a white sheet, now appearing in a pinkish colored outfit.  In front of her sits a knife in its sheath.  After caressing if for some time she finally begins to remove it from its case.  Taunting the viewer, she decides to place the knife back in its sheath, leaving you wondering when she will even follow through with the inevitable deed.  Boredom is prominent now, and this continues for some time, when we are brought to another fade to white.  We return with the woman, slowly disrobing the upper part of her garment, once again caressing the knife slowly while contained in its sheath.  With breasts exposed, she caresses her body, putting her final plan in action.  When the blade is fully removed, the woman adorns it with a white cloth, for leverage when pressing it through the skin.  The viewer waits some more, she runs the knife down her body, bla, bla, bla, the 20 minute mark hits and we get our initial close up cut scene of her stomach.  Finally!  Once again, at a slow pace, and through additional cut scenes the woman completes her seppuku journey.

As you can tell, the movie spends too much time getting ready for the money shot, that doesn’t necessarily result in much of a payoff.  Rb-01 is pretty much the woman getting ready to disembowel herself, completing the deed, and dying painfully (moaning with pleasure or agony) for the remaining duration.  While the concept and subject matter is disturbing, this isn’t overly graphic.  Rather than the appropriate showing of entrails which would be expected in performing the act of seppuku, the film simply displays a bloody garbed woman, squirming in agony (but not before making the viewer deserve witnessing the experience first, through prolonging the inevitable).

While the film contains amateurish and jerky camera movements, as well as a very basic plotline, the woman’s actions can still be viewed with purpose, since her obvious reason for committing ritual suicide was due to her bereavement over the loss of a loved one (the unknown soldier).  Even though this can be found as a rational for her actions, one can’t help but derive an additional purpose for this films existence.  The fact that the woman takes her time, caressing her body as well as her instrument of death -- while her breasts are exposed -- is a prime example of the additional purpose being Japanese fetishism.

Rb-04: Jogakusei: Harakiri

Rb-04: Jogakusei: Harakiri starts with a pigtailed woman sitting in a traditional Japanese Sailor Moon getup.  The woman sits quietly looking through a black book featuring images of ritual suicide.  Obviously turned on by the images she rubs her face and body (in a ridiculous manor).  We cut to her reaching for the knife, and in true Rb-01 spirit she also puts the knife away, I guess to rationalize her actions further (or to drag out the runtime for another 45 minutes).  When she finally disrobes her upper apparel -- being pleased with herself -- she considers “should I, or shouldn’t I”, as if to bring the viewer suspense (tedium).  This time the woman wraps the knife with paper rather than a white cloth.  After more waiting, she finally commits ritual suicide.

Our first seppuku tale was symbolic of a loss.  Rb-04: Jogakusei: Harakiri cares not for such trivial symbolism, instead punching straight for perversion.  This story’s purpose is to showcase a more prominent arousal in the character.  Her purpose of committing seppuku is for sheer twisted, morbid pleasure.  While Rb-01 shied away from a more gory demise, this time we bare witness to a more gruesome death.  As our female character abdominally digs in, we see the stomach open and close with every slice, this time completed with the forthcoming of entrails.

The historical relevance of seppuku and the samurai warrior is a fascinating one.  Now with the modern portrayal of seppuku in such A-V Horror may not be purely based on honor, but we can still see its significance in such symbolism driven depictions as Ah-01: Onna Harakiri: Sange’s first entry.  That said, the seppuku film can still be considered a fetish to some viewers.  However, when grouped with more unsettling Japanese fetishes such as Japscat or even Unagi, it comes across as a more plausibly accepted sub-genre of Horror or fetish films.  I’ll personally take the seppuku film over Eel Porn any day.

THE DVD

VIDEO:
4:3 Full Frame
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AUDIO:
Dolby Digital 2.0 – Japanese
http://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/full-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpghttp://severed-cinema.com/images/zero-star.jpg

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
- 30 Minute Right Brain trailer


The 30 Minute trailer consists of washed-out footage from all of their titles: Rb-01, Rb-04, Rb-06, Rb-08, Rb-09 (Lost Paradise), Rb-10, Gen-08, Gen-14, Gen-15, Gen-16, Gen-17, Gen-18a, Gen-18B, and Gen-19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
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Barry   |84.190.209.xxx |2009-07-26 18:52:40
we are a young couple having intended to commit a very formal harakiri.
Your film has now convinced us
to proceed with it as fast as
possible.
Happy dispatch!
David Eicher  - Wow! Realy!?!   |99.110.134.xxx |2010-06-24 16:49:55
Did you try? How do I buy a copy of this DVD? Do you know others who are excited
by Seppuku? Any chance you could put me in touch with any of them? I think I
might do it sometime. I come up with lots of money if necessary.
mark   |70.196.233.xxx |2011-06-14 01:43:04
I've thought about this way of going for years. If someone needs/wants company
with a co-seppuku partner to go out with I don't need a lot of convincing to
thrust the blade into my own stomach. having someone to share the experience
with as you go out would be a bonus.
Anonymous   |95.147.1.xxx |2011-07-26 23:53:32
if its women performing that ritual, its called jig-ai
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