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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.




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4 wins. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Aoi Nakajima ...
Yasuko Matsui ...
Tagawa Inn Manager
Meika Seri ...
Matsuko (Yoshidaya maid)
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Old geisha Kikuryû
Old Beggar
Teacher Ômiya
Naomi Shiraishi ...
Geisha Yaeji
Shinkichi Noda
Komikichi Hori ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
Kikuhei Matsunoya ...
Hôkan jester
Akiko Koyama ...
Mansaki Geisha
Yuriko Azuma ...
Mitsuwa Geisha
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>

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


NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realm of the Senses  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.50 : 1
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Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Kichizo: You want to make love all the time, huh?
Sada Abe: You don't think it's wrong, do you?
Kichizo: I think it's wonderful. You're beautiful.
Sada Abe: I was afraid of not being like others. I was so worried about it, I even went to see a doctor. He said I was sensitive where sex was concerned.
Kichizo: Sensitive? I hope it's incurable. Because I adore your oversensitivity.
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Featured in A Primeira Vez do Cinema Brasileiro (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Nagisa Oshima's legendarily explicit powerhouse!
14 July 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Banned in multiple nations around the world, infamous for its unapologetically graphic portrayal of extreme sexual desires and violent imagery, Nagisa Oshima's "In the Realm of the Senses" is a film both beloved and dreaded by many. It has sparked debate and disturbance in equal measure, and remains one of the most fiercely erotic films ever made.

Shot with vibrant colors and often eye popping set design, the film tells a simple and tragic tale of two lustful lovers engaged in a relationship fueled by unstoppable erotic desires. Fearlessly, the film manages to portray acts of masochism and sexual "perversion" in a manner so frequent and provocative there is no wonder why it has caused so much argument and controversy. This is, without a doubt, an EXTREME film that features everything from eating food from a woman's vagina to an elderly lady being f*cked to LITERAL DEATH! This film is not afraid to drag the viewer along, slowly lowering them into the pits of "sexual Hell". It portrays the passionate relationship in a psychologically tormenting manner, one that surpasses the bloodiest slasher flick in terms of true horror. This is not a "fun" film to watch, and is no doubt not for most audiences; but those that can handle and look past the strong and sometimes flat out gross content will find a gemstone of cinematic erotica, psychological drama, and unconventional horror.

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