Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Second Flower and Snake Poster

The second Flower and Snake film, Yamabe Pro, 1966
In June 1966, Yamabe Nobuo (Yamabe Pro) produced this film written by Dan Oniroku called 花と蛇より - 骨まで縛れ, or Hana to Hebi Yori - Hone Made Shibare, or From Flower and Snake - Bind Me to the Bone.

There are other slightly different translations but they sound weird to me. For one thing, the word shibare appears in the title. Some might think this is a misspelling and the word should be shibari. But the hiragana doesn't lie. Shibare is correct. It is the imperative form of the verb shibaru (to tie).

Now, I don't know if it was meant to read "bind me" or not; maybe it should be "bind her" or "let's bind, er, someone". But I do think my rendition reads better and may come closer to the original intent than some other translations I've seen.

By the way, this "to the bone" business, I'm pretty sure I've seen this expression used in some other films. I'm not sure why this became popular but I do know that a hit song came out, also in 1966, called Hone Made Aishite, or Love Me to the Bone. Here again, I don't know who the subject is supposed to be but it reads better than I Love to the Bone (a translation I have seen) which is in the indicative form, not the imperative as it should be. Then again, maybe it's meant to just read Love to the Bone and the film (which may or may not have had the song in mind) should simply read Bind to the Bone or Tie to the Bone. You decide.

Grammar issues aside, I highly recommend the song. Go to YouTube and type in 骨まで愛して and you will find covers of the song by different artists.

The song was written by Kawauchi Kohan. He wrote it under his wife's name, Kawauchi Kazuko. Kawauchi passed away in 2008, aged 88.

Kawauchi was not only a lyricist but also a screen writer and the creator of Gekko Kamen (Moonlight Mask), a character born in 1958 who became Japan's first TV costumed superhero. This has nothing to do with SM, of course, but I thought I'd mention it since Nagai Go, creator of the sadistic manga, Kekko Kamen, took his inspiration from Kawauchi's earlier work. Somewhere I read that Nagai's Cutie Honey character was based on a Kawauchi character as well.

Returning to the film, if you squint, at the top left corner you can see the name of the magazine Kitan Club. Around this time, Dan's famous Flower and Snake tale was appearing for the first time in installments in Kitan Club. Since the movies never seem to remain faithful to the story Dan penned (and this one is apparently no exception), he wrote an apology to his fans in the Nov. 1966 issue of the same magazine.

Needless to say, I was quite excited to find this poster, if only on the 'net. Kitan Club obviously covered this film (and that seems to be the most important link), but it's always a thrill to see the actual poster.

There are some others between this one and the one I reported on earlier and I've yet to see anything from the very first Flower and Snake film, which came out in 1965.

Relevant Link(s):  Dekkappai

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