Former Japanese Porn Director Wins Oscar

Mar 7, 2009 12:00 PM PST
TOKYO — Porn stars crossing over to achieve mainstream success isn’t just limited to the ranks of performers, or America. At the 81st Academy Awards held last week in Hollywood, Calif., a former Japanese porn director took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Yojiro Takita won the award for his film “Departures,” which chronicles the life of a cellist-turned-apprentice undertaker, but his salad days were spent in Japan’s adult film industry.

According to, Takita directed “a popular series of porn comedies about commuter-train molesters.” His first title, in English, translates to “Female Teacher Molestor,” and others translate into “The Tightly Bound” and “Molestor Train: Peach Buttocks.”

The 60-minute softcore films are called pinku eiga in Japan. Takita started making such films in 1981 and continued until his first mainstream feature in 1986.

"There may be pressure on me because of the Academy Award," Takita told reporters. "But I'll just keep doing what I do, trusting in my own instincts. I want to continue to make good movies — I don't want to go through life as a has-been."

Takita became the first Japanese filmmaker to receive the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in more than five decades.

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