Japan’s ‘Emperor of Porn’ opens starlet theater in Tokyo

A show at the Happy Hour Theatre in February
A show at the Happy Hour Theatre in February

Over his three decades in Japan’s adult video (AV) biz, Toru Muranishi has done a lot of things.

Most notably, actresses, about 7,000 of them; he’s also directed some 3,000 films; he’s been arrested multiple times; and he once started up a satellite network that failed and left him mired in debt.

But opening a playhouse featuring AV starlets had not been on Muranishi’s resume. That is, until December 19, when the 65-year-old opened the Happy Hour Theatre, located just minutes from JR Oji Station in Tokyo’s Kita Ward.

“We’ve got top actresses and pin-up stars performing erotic song and dance numbers in a variety of costumes in a three-hour stage show,” Muranishi says in an interview with Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 5).

That’s not all. A special corner of the theater is reserved so that customers can engage in conversation with the stars, and, who knows, there may even be a chance for a little hug.

Tickets for Happy Hour Theatre start at 3,000 yen, a price point that Muranishi says is a steal. “If you were to go to a hostess club with AV actresses you’d be paying between 20,000 and 30,000 yen for an hour,” he says.

For those who cannot make it to Tokyo, the playhouse’s Web site includes a link to Internet broadcasts of the performances.

The show ends with a photo session. “It gives guys just what they want,” says Muranishi. “There are no losers.”

After being involved in the publishing and entertainment industries, the native of Fukushima Prefecture joined AV studio Crystal Eizou in 1984.

The upcoming schedule at the Happy Hour Theatre
The upcoming schedule at the Happy Hour Theatre

He went on to work with a number of popular actresses, most notably Kaoru Kuroki. In 1986, the then 21-year-old university co-ed from Kagoshima began appearing in AV productions for the company. She created an immediate stir not only for her personality and acting skills, but for the abundant black bush that blossomed beneath her upper limbs.

In 1988, Muranishi ventured out on his own by establishing Diamond Visual. “As the rental market took off, the annual turnover at Diamond Visual reached over 10 billion yen,” he says. “I had a 100-million-yen Rolls Royce. My house, which included a studio, was worth a billion yen. I also had a 400-million-yen boat.”

He also had problems with the law. All told, Muranishi has been arrested seven times on a variety of charges, including, on more than one occasion, employing an underage actress. In 1986, he was taken into custody in Hawaii for violating the Mann Act — which prohibits the transportation of women for immoral purposes — after he flew over 15 actresses from Japan.

Muranishi’s empire came crashing down in 1992. Under the moniker “It’s Raining Perverts,” he started a satellite broadcasting network that subsequently folded, leaving him five billion yen in debt.

“When I had money, there were staff members who would die for me,” he says “(but later) those were the types who ran away the fastest.”

Muranishi is set to direct and star in a 10-year retrospective for the label Madonna, which specializes in jukujo (or mature lady) features.

Billed under his nickname, “The Emperor of Porn,” Muranishi appears with actresses Yumi Kazama and Yui Hatano. The feature is scheduled to be released next month.

“My little boy downstairs is still ready to go,” he says. (A.T.)

Source: “Ichiji shakkin 50okuen mo AV sakai no teio Muranishi Tooru ha ima mo geneki,” Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 5)

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