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Erotic scene in cult flick adds to troubles for DPJ’s Tanaka

Friday Sep. 25
Friday Sep. 25
Last week’s revelations by weekly tabloid Friday regarding the freelance sex-writing fun had by newly elected Democratic Party of Japan representative Mieko Tanaka are being superseded by evidence that the politician also acted in semi-nude scenes in a cult film and used her profile for a matchmaking article in a sub-culture monthly.

The latest issue of Friday (Sep. 25) provides photos of Tanaka having her chest exposed in cult-director Teruo Ishii’s “Blind Beast vs. Killer Dwarf” and appearing as a dupe in a hook-up feature for Uramono Japan magazine for which she pretends to be looking for a boyfriend.

This is the second blow to Tanaka, a native of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture and one of “Ozawa’s girls” — referring to the group of attractive female candidates dispatched to minor constituencies under the guidance of DPJ politician Ichiro Ozawa. For the August 30 election, the 33-year-old Tanaka fell short of former Prime Minister Yoshihiro Mori in Ishikawa Constituency No. 2. Yet she wound up qualifying for a house seat through the proportional representation (PR) system.

Adding the latest developments to the previous report, Friday wonders whether her character should be called into question given that she is holding a government office.

“Blind Beast” was the last feature for Ishii, who specialized in grotesque and erotic themes, before his death in 2005. Produced under a tight budget in 2001, the film did not get released until 2004, the year it screened at the Pia Film Festival.

The ninety-five-minute picture, which is graced by mystery writer Lily Franky in his first starring role, adapts two stories by Edogawa Rampo, “Blind Art” (1931-1932) and “The Dwarf” (1926-1927), into a twisted tale of seduction and torture to be unraveled by a detective named Akechi Kogoro.

Tanaka plays one of four widows named Reiko, and she first appears sixty-eight minutes into the film. The ladies are initially seduced by the blind beast, who in reality is a killer, and succumb to his sensual massage, for which Tanaka is seen writhing in ecstasy as the beast fumbles with her breasts beneath her robe.

The politician then reappears at around the eighty-three-minute mark, when she tricks the sightless creature into thinking a doll is her body and subsequently flees in desperation.

Her last name is listed in the credits as Kikuchi. A person associated with DPJ explains to the weekly: “Tanaka-san was married to a bureaucrat from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications named Kikuchi from 2004 to 2007. When the movie was out she changed her name. In fact, she kept that name post-divorce and it was around last summer when she decided to participate in the election that she went back to her maiden name.”

Entertainment Web page Iza (Sep. 12) reports that there has been a surge in demand for copies of the “Blind Beast” DVD. The site says that 1,000 copies were ordered over a three-day period last week.

Furthering her woes is a feature story that appeared in the February, 2005 issue of underground publication Uramono Japan. The article featured the profiles of thirty girls along with their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, all of which appear to be fake.

Tanaka’s name is listed as Emi Shibata; her blood type is in fact A but it is stated as O; and her astrological sign is incorrect. Ironically, her profile indicates a fondness for former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, a member of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party — the party she would run against four and a half years later. The images from the magazine show her grinning as she shops for clothes.

Friday cautions that much of this could be considered as something of a joke, but the same individual close to the DPJ says that what cannot be easily dismissed is that the Uramono Japan appearance probably coincided with her tenure as a secretary to Kenji Hirata of the Upper House. “Now that her history as more than a fuzoku writer has been revealed,” the source says, “some DPJ executives are a bit disappointed that she didn’t share this in advance.”

On September 16, the day that Yukio Hatoyama took office as prime minister, Tanaka said to an assembled press corps that she was deeply sorry for the trouble these scandals have caused. “I was making a living under difficult financial conditions,” she said. “I had to work hard to make a living and I tried a lot of different things.” (K.N.)

Source: “Tanaka Mieko ‘hatsutosen bijin daigishi no binyu nude,’” Friday (Sep. 25, pages 5-8)