|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Japan's former Pink Princess trades raunchy scenes for rural canteen 2006,03,02
Shukan Shincho (3/2) By Ryann Connell
Where the West has blue movies, Japan goes pink.
But the woman who became Japan's Princess of Pink gave up acting in softcore flicks decades ago and is now in the pink, running a company canteen in rustic Kumamoto Prefecture, according to Shukan Shincho (3/2).
Tamaki Katori became known as the Pink Princess following appearances in over 600 softcore movies, including the first of the genre ever to be made in Japan.
Now, the weekly notes in one of its segments to mark 50 years in publication, Katori has washed her hands of the dirty movie caper in favor of washing dishes in the canteen.
Katori was born in Kumamoto in 1938, the fourth daughter of the president of a pharmaceuticals company.
While in high school, she was chosen as Kumamoto's representative in the Miss Universe Kumamoto beauty contest before going on to secure a contract with Nikkatsu, then one of Japan's biggest movie companies.
In the early '60s, Katori managed to get some bit parts in hit movies alongside huge stars such as Yujiro Ishihara, but that didn't necessarily mean she was on easy street.
"At the time, the average company worker was getting about 18,000 yen a month, but a bit part in a movie was only worth around 4,500 yen.
I was living in an 18-square-meter flat in (student district) Takadanobaba, where the rent was only 6,000 yen a month, but I still only barely made enough to pay that," Katori tells Shukan Shincho, adding that she walked as much as possible to cut down on traveling expenses so she would have enough money to survive.
Katori's struggles were compounded when Japan's movie industry suddenly fell into a slump, forcing Nikkatsu into bankruptcy and taking away nearly all of Katori's work.
It was then that she got the offer that changed her career.
She was asked to appear in a "pinku eiga (pink movie)," the name given to pornographic movies made in Japan by independent filmmakers.
"They offered me 20,000 yen a movie.
It was an incredible sum in those days.
I hadn't been able to make it in mainstream movies because people said with my baby face and big boobs I was unbalanced, but those attributes turned out to be exactly what the pink movie business was looking for," she says.
"I didn't have to get fully nude and it let me live a decent lifestyle, so I got right into it."
Katori's pink movie debut was in "Nikutai no Ichiba (The Flesh Market)," which wasn't without controversy.
The Metropolitan Police Department deemed the flick to be obscene and censors slashed seven scenes.
Nonetheless, the movie that cost just 8 million yen to make was a huge box-office hit, reaping over 100 million yen.
Katori became a huge star and was the face of the pink movie industry.
By the time she retired in 1972, she made over 600 softcore flicks.
Despite her huge success attained basically while lying flat on her back, Katori was far from being a fan of sex, which made her feel guilty considering there were others forced to sleep their way to the top in an entirely different manner.
"There were so many young girls out there who couldn't get a job unless they slept with a director or producer.
One director thrust a huge wad of cash at me and offered it to me for a one-night stand.
He got me roaring drunk and was dragging me off to a hotel before I got away," Katori tells Shukan Shincho.
"I enjoyed my acting, but I never really got used to the atmosphere of the pink movie business."
Katori married minor actor Jun Funado, only for the union to end in divorce after seven years.
She later wed a movie director, but that marriage collapsed too.
A third wedding seemed promising for a while, especially after it resulted in a child and the family moving back to Katori's native Kumamoto.
"My husband went back to work for a relative's pharmaceuticals company, but there were a few people he didn't get on with and, because of that, he left me.
I didn't have very much luck with guys.
My family used to tell me that was because I'd been in so many dirty movies," Katori tells Shukan Shincho.
"That got me really mad, so I went out and got some proper qualifications.
First, I learned how to run a gasoline station.
Then, I took some hygiene qualifications and now I run a canteen for a company run by a relative.
I've got no regrets about my time in the entertainment world.
I'd still go back there now to perform if there was a part for this old girl." (By Ryann Connell)
March 2, 2006