The ‘Queen of SM’ is Born: the star image of Tani Naomi in Nikkatsu Roman Porno

Mio Hatokai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The subject of this article, Tani Naomi, is one of the most famous stars of Roman Porno, appearing in 30 films in its heyday in the 1970s. Nicknamed the ‘Queen of SM’, she is still remembered for her performances in SM-mono, that is, SM-themed films. Academically, however, she has never received the attention she deserves. This article is arguably the first attempt to shed light on Tani as a unique star of Roman Porno. It first focuses on her early career development as she had been a prominent figure in pink films since the late 1960s with a strong connection to Japan’s underground SM circle. It then discusses her first two SM-mono in Roman Porno, namely, Flower and Snake and Wife to Be Sacrificed (both 1974), arguing that the screen persona she created through these two films constitute a substantial part of her star image. Close reading of both films and analysis of pink film/Roman Porno paratexts will give an account of how her star image as the ‘Queen of SM’ was constructed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-32
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Japanese and Korean Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 2


  • Nikkatsu Roman Porno
  • SM
  • Tani Naomi
  • pink films
  • star image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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