Friday, March 15, 2013

The Very First Issue of 成人映画

Seijin Eiga, issue #1, July 1965, Michi Kanako on the cover
What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is an honest-to-goodness very first issue of the magazine Seijin Eiga (Adult Movies). It's not mine but someone I know was able to get this from Yahoo Auction for a quite reasonable sum, I would say, considering how popular this magazine seems to be.

The mag was first published in July 1965, pretty much at the dawn of the pink movie era. I can't really say when the pink era began (some claim as early as 1962); I guess it depends on your definition of a pink film. But I think it's fair to say that the boom really started around 1965.

Whatever the case, this magazine certainly was a pioneer in its field and it continued publishing for at least 93 monthly issues (or until 1973), however, I don't know exactly when it ceased publication.

Over its lifetime, Seijin Eiga chronicled the ups and downs of the pink film industry, focusing on such actresses as Matsui Yasuko, Uchida Takako, Kano Kazuko, Nitaka Keiko, Katsura Nami, and so on. Top directors such as Wakamatsu Koji were frequently profiled.

Here's a view of the back cover.

Seijin Eiga, issue #1, back cover, July 1965
The publisher of Seijin Eiga was Gendai Kobo and its editor was Kawashima Nobuko.

Ms. Kawashima (born 1936) was, I believe, a film critic before becoming Seijin Eiga's editor. According to SMpedia (J), she continued as editor till the very last issue.

I am also informed that she has written books about pink films as well as AV (adult video), the medium which pretty much killed off pink movies in the 1980s. I believe she once interviewed Tani Naomi though Tani had yet to appear in her first film when Seijin Eiga began publication.

When I first saw this magazine (just yesterday), I was struck by how small it was. I was expecting a digest-sized mag although I was prepared to see a standard magazine format. Instead, what I saw was a rather thin B6-sized periodical that looked more like a pamphlet than a magazine. 

But size isn't important when it comes to Seijin Eiga. Recently, about 20 issues went up for auction and one sold for 30,000 yen, over $300 US. Amazingly, my associate got his collector's item for considerably less. However, it has just come to my attention that another #1 issue has been put up for auction. The starting bid? 37,000 yen!

An interesting thing about this magazine:  before it began publication, a precursor, or a sort of "announcement issue", came out in May of '65. My friend also has this issue which he was able to get for next to nothing (relatively speaking).

The front cover reads: "Seijin Eiga. New magazine is coming. Announcement issue."

The back cover shows the 1965 Wakamatsu Koji film, Taiyo no Heso (Navel of the Sun).

Front cover of the announcement issue
Back cover of the announcement issue
Here's a brief look inside the very first issue of Seijin Eiga. It's possible there is a photo or two from the announcement issue but I think most (if not all) of these photos are from Seijin Eiga itself.

Inside the first issue of Seijin Eiga

007 makes an appearance in Seijin Eiga

There was even a handy guide to theaters in Tokyo showing pink films.

A list of theaters in Tokyo inside Seijin Eiga
Now, I want to mention a website that has a ton of fabulous retro magazines, including Seijin Eiga, although most of these appear to be sold out. The site is Taiyo Yaro and I've seen magazines and books there I never knew existed.

Like this four-volume collection of torture films.

Four-volume collection of torture films
And this anthology of Dan Oniroku films. This is the second volume; I don't see the first one.

Anthology of Dan Oniroku films, 2nd volume
And this very expensive Ike Reiko photo book. If you have to ask...

At least it's available (for now).

Ike Reiko photo book
Here are a few covers of later issues of Seijin Eiga (found on Taiyo Yaro). All of these might be sold out, unfortunately.

A few covers of Seijin Eiga magazine
At the time of my most recent SM Safari (detailed in the previous post), I was referred by the fellow at the shop I visited to a place that specializes in retro movie magazines and books. A check of their website revealed that they had two issues of Seijin Eiga in stock. Not only that but they were selling for peanuts.

So I zipped over to that store just as soon as I could get there only to be told the cupboard was bare. Shit!

Update 2013/06/28: This post has been corrected to replace Uchida Takako with Michi Kanako as the cover girl of the first issue of Seijin Eiga. Ms. Uchida does appear inside, however.

Update 2013/03/16: The pictures at the top of this post of the front and back covers of Seijin Eiga and the announcement issue were all screwed up. Hopefully now fixed. Sorry.

Relevant link(s): Taiyo Yaro

Blog support: 1KGqcTFM6kwyUMMQG8zVChxqdKZLJzRTQx


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. To the commenter above:

    I appreciate the very nice links but I'm reluctant to allow "hotlinking" of images so I have removed them. The homepage of the site containing these images is:

    Once there, the photo links can be found at the top left of the page.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  3. i been looking after Reiko ike photo book... but so expensive everytime. I hope some day i can buy one.