Bitterness of Youth was Kumashiro’s first non-roman poruno, based on a novel with a family resemblance to Dreiser’s An American Tragedy and set in a milieu of imploded student radicalism: A callow law student impregnates the classmate he is tutoring, then dumps her for his wealthy cousin. The most extraordinary scene has the antihero and his ex revisit the ski resort where they began their affair—carrying on in the snow in a long, behavioral sequence that recapitulates their relationship as they roll struggling and screaming downhill toward a raging river. —Village Voice
Tatsumi Kumashiro (神代 辰巳, Kumashiro Tatsumi?) was a Japanese film director best known known for his critically acclaimed, award-winning Roman Porno films, such as Ichijo’s Wet Lust (1972) and The Woman with Red Hair (1979). He was the most highly-acclaimed director of the early Nikkatsu Roman Porno era, with many box-office successes, and films regularly appearing on the yearly Best Ten lists of the mainstream Kinema Junpo and Eiga Geijutsu film journals. Kumashiro has been called, “the most consistently successful director in Japan’s cinematic history,” and Allmovie calls him, "arguably the most important Japanese director to emerge during the 1970s.
In 1971, facing bankruptcy due to a loss of their audience to television, Nikkatsu decided to devote its facilities almost exclusively to theatrical soft-core pornography. Several directors, not wishing to work in pornography, left the studio, opening up vacant positions.
Nikkatsu gave its Roman porno directors a great deal… read more