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Hitomi Kobayashi

Actress and AV idol Hitomi Kobayashi

Hitomi Kobayashi (小林ひとみ Kobayashi Hitomi, Tokyo, September 2, 1965 -)[1] is a Japanese actress and AV (Adult Video) idol. Her popularity in the mid-1980s, the early days of the Japanese AV, earned her the title "Queen of AV."[2][3][4][5][6]

After making her debut as a non-pornographic photobook and "image video" model, Kobayashi entered the AV field in 1986.[7] Because of her rapid popularity, Nikkatsu, Japan's leading producer of softcore pornography at the time, hired her to appear in theatrical films in 1987.[6] After marriage and a semi-retirement beginning in 1989, Kobayashi fully returned to the AV industry in 1998. She announced her retirement in 2003 with a big-budget, though controversial, two-volume farewell adult video.[8]

Life and careerEdit

Early lifeEdit

According to her official profile, Hitomi Kobayashi was born in Tokyo on September 2, 1965.[1] However, in an interview in the Weekly Post (週刊ポスト) just before her retirement in 2003, she confessed to have actually been born in 1963.[9] Her ambition since childhood was to be an actress. She attended acting school, and registered with a talent agency.[7] Kobayashi was not particularly sexually precocious, claiming at the time of her AV debut, "I lost my virginity at 18, which is probably a bit late, and I wasn't very experienced with men."[7]

This relative sexual conservatism extended into her AV career. The sex scenes in all but her final video were simulated.[10] Even at the end of her AV career, Kobayashi's attitude towards sex remained modest. Interviewed at the time of her retirement, Kobayashi said, "I love sex. But, just because I'm an AV actress, it doesn't mean I'm brim-filled with experience. I've done orgy movies, and lesbian scenes and loads of abnormal stuff, but the world of videos isn't a real world. My normal life is really plain. I couldn't imagine having sex anywhere other than in bed and taking part in an orgy would be unthinkable. I'm happy enough with just the missionary position."[7]

Kobayashi made her debut using the stage name Kaori Matsumoto (松本かおり Matsumoto Kaori) in May 1986 in a photobook and "image video" both titled Tokimeki: Kaori jūkyūsai (ときめき・かおり19歳).[11] However, in spite of these two releases, she believed her career was going nowhere.[7]

AV debutEdit

Not long after her debut in the non-pornographic media, Kobayashi was presented with a new opportunity. She says, "I got this offer to do a movie called Kinjirareta Kankei (Forbidden Relationship) (for the VIP studio). I was told there were nude and love scenes, but nothing steamier than any ordinary movie."[7] Shocked when she found out this was actually an adult video, she was at first reluctant. After a long discussion with her agent she finally agreed to perform in the video only if the sex was simulated. She changed her stage name to Hitomi Kobayashi for the video which was a surprise success, selling 50,000 copies.[7] Her popularity quickly made her the leading AV actress of the mid-1980s, and, not long after her debut, she was known as the "AV Queen".[7]

Japan's censorship laws, which prevent the display of the sexual organs,[12] allowed Kobayashi to continue performing only simulated sex on camera throughout her AV career. She considered her AV performances to be another form of acting and came up with various techniques for appearing to have actual sex. For example, she says, "I used to get the directors to tickle my feet and then tried not to laugh so it looked as though I was climaxing."[7]

A potential threat to her career arose with the circulation of a bootleg, uncensored copy of one of her adult videos. Since it could be plainly seen that Kobayashi was only simulating sex, she feared that her fans would abandon her. These worries proved to be groundless, however, and her popularity continued.[7]

Theatrical careerEdit

By 1987, Kobayashi's popularity had already earned her the title "Queen of AV".[6] Nikkatsu, which had been the leader of Japanese theatrical pornography since the inception of its Roman Porno series in 1971, was rapidly losing its audience to the AV industry. Though the studio had publicly condemned the AVs for years, in an attempt to lure some of Kobayashi's AV fans into the theater, Nikkatsu hired the AV Queen to star in her own series of films. The first of these, Hitomi Kobayashi's Secret Pleasure (小林ひとみ 奥戯快感 艶 Kobayashi Hitomi ougi kaikan: tsuya) was released in January 1987. Thomas and Yuko Mihara Weisser, in their Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films, judge the film as "little more than a Playboy or Penthouse lingerie special."[6]

Hitomi Kobayashi Hard Petting

Hitomi Kobayashi's Heavy Petting

The second, Hitomi Kobayashi's Heavy Petting (ハード・ペッティング Hard Petting), released in March 1987, was part of Nikkatsu's new "Roman X" line, which was purportedly more "hardcore" than the standard Roman Porno. However, Japan's practice of censorship by fogging out genitals made this move into "hardcore" rather pointless, since, as Donald Richie put it in his pioneering essay on the Pink film, "none of the working parts are ever shown."[13] Both of these first two films were judged little more than AVs on film, and were not popular with either AV fans or the critics, who preferred Nikkatsu's older Roman Porno style.

Hitomi Kobayashi Young Girl Story

Hitomi Kobayashi's Young Girl's Story

The third in this series, Hitomi Kobayashi's Young Girl's Story (小林ひとみの令嬢物語 Kobayashi Hitomi no reijo monogatari) (released December 19, 1987), came closest to the old Nikkatsu style, in that it had some semblance of a plot.[6] Nikkatsu had reached its end by now, however. It ceased production of Roman Porno in 1988, and declared bankruptcy in 1993.[14]

At the height of her popularity, in 1987, Kobayashi married Toshifumi Yuzawa, who would later become the president of Kobayashi's talent agency.[8] Kobayashi put her AV performances on hold for a few years beginning in 1989 to concentrate on family matters. During this period, she never officially retired, never completely ceased appearing in AVs, and worked occasionally as a stripper.[9] In 1988 she had a major role in the mainstream Evil Dead Trap (死霊の罠 Shiryo no wana). Allmovie describes the film as a "sickening but riveting slasher,"[15] and author and film critic Patrick Galloway calls the film, "...nothing short of a multicultural terror tour de force, featuring gruesome, brilliantly rendered sound and imagery that will stay with you to your last dying gasp."[16] Written by Takashi Ishii and directed by Toshiharu Ikeda, the film inspired two sequels.[15] Japan Home Video, which financed the film, wished to showcase Kobayashi, their top AV star at the time, as the star of the film. Director Ikeda, unsure of Kobayashi's acting abilities, instead put Miyuki Ono in the lead role of Nami, and gave Kobabayashi the supporting role of Rei. The near adult-video style sex scenes that Kobayashi performs in the film have been criticized by horror film purists as the element that prevents the film from attaining genre classic status. Galloway, however, points out that Evil Dead Trap is not pure horror, but a genre-transcending film. About the sex scenes, Galloway comments, "Ikeda handles the steamy segments like a pro, coming as he did from Nikkatsu, where he honed his craft making the studio's signature roman porno (romantic pornography).[17] In 1996 and 1997 Hitomi Kobayashi starred in two films for pioneering Pink film director Satoru Kobayashi.[18] In 1997 she played the role of fictional AV actress Mizuki Mahoro in the 1997 V-cinema film Destroying Mosaic (モザイク崩し).[19] Kobayashi's official return to the AV industry was in the November 1998 video Love Bond or Immoral Bonds.[20]

Later careerEdit

Over ten years after her debut, Kobayashi was by now a "mature woman" model, and her videos began to reflect the new niche for mature models in AVs which began to appear in the mid-1990s.[21] Her June 1999 release, Madame Throat ventured into the incest genre. Kobayashi played the role of a woman who engages in sex with her three stepsons.[22]

Her first video in the popular "documentary" genre of AVs[23][24][25][26] was Extreme Privacy of September 1999.[27] In December she released Nasty Female Teacher, another of her purely fictional videos. This video, filmed by a director using the pseudonym Hattori Hanzo, has Kobayashi playing the role of a female teacher at an all-male school.[28]

The turn of the millennium found Kobayashi still at work, satisfying a "new generation of horny guys" in the Kuki omnibus video, KUKI DVD Buyer Boy 01.[29] In the first of a three-video "Stimulant" series, she played a psychiatrist who administers "drastic treatment measures with wishy washy impotent patients" in Stimulant: Doctor Hitomi Kobayashi.[30] Other post-come-back videos had her playing a spy,[31] an angel,[32] a seductive school teacher,[33] and a housewife with a secret lesbian past.[34]

Kobayashi teamed up with Japan's first hardcore pornographic actress, Kyōko Aizome,[35] in the February 2001 theatrical release, Kyōko Aizome vs. Hitomi Kobayashi: Sexual Excitement Competition (愛染恭子VS小林ひとみ 発情くらべ).[19] Aizome both starred in and directed the film, which was released by Nikkatsu's post-Roman porn distributor of theatrical pornography, Xces.[36][37] An adult video starring the two legendary actresses and also directed by Aizome followed in March. Entitled Lesbian Wives, the video had Kobayashi and Aizome playing the wives of two yakuza bosses who become engaged in a lesbian relationship.[38] The same year, Kobayashi and her husband opened a nightclub in Roppongi.[7]

Hitomi Kobayashi FINALEdit

Hitomi Kobayashi Final 1

Hitomi Kobayashi Final: Volume 1

By 2003, Kobayashi had worked in the AV field for over a decade and a half and appeared in about 70 films.[7] The 39 AVs in which she had starred had sold over 600,000 copies, earning about 6 billion yen.[39] Reflecting on her Adult Video career at this time, Kobayashi commented, "I'm delighted to have led a career where I would be elevated to being called 'AV Queen,' as well as to have lasted in the business until I turned 40."[7]

Wishing to retire on a high-note, Kobayashi and her manager/husband advertised for investors in one last, 2-volume, two-and-a-half-hour AV opus. Kobayashi sought 35 investors who would contribute 500,000 yen each, for the privilege of a dinner with Kobayashi, having their names listed in the video's credits, and an exclusive viewing of the video.[39] The video was released in two volumes as Hitomi Kobayashi FINAL - Disc1 (December 19, 2003) and Disc2 (December 31, 2003).[40] The first half of the work was subtitled Nostalgic, and contained highlights from videos made during the early part of her career.[41] The second volume of the set, subtitled Love, was promoted as containing Kobayashi's first and last on-screen real sex scene.[42]

Hitomi Kobayashi Final 2

Hitomi Kobayashi Final: Volume 2

Controversy followed in the wake of the release when some of the investors in the video reported they were promised dividends from their investment, but had received none. It was claimed that Kobayashi had got over 50 investors for the project, but that her husband had used the money to pay personal debt and for recreational activities unrelated to the film. Insufficient communication with the investors, the shutting down of the film's website, the company repeatedly changing its name, and changing reports on whether or not the film made a profit added to investor complaints.[8] In 2004, Kobayashi was reported working as a hostess at her nightclub in Roppongi.[8]

LegacyEdit

One of the founding figures of the Japanese AV, according to an adult entertainment reporter for Shukan Shincho, "She laid the foundations for the golden age of adult video."[39] Major AV site, Xcity writes that she is indispensable to a discussion of the history of AV,[43] and Mainichi Shimbun called her "one of the icons of Japanese adult cinema history."[7]

Partial filmographyEdit

Partial listing of print appearancesEdit

GoroEdit

  • January 8, 1987[44]
  • April 23, 1987
  • June 11, 1987
  • June, 1987 "Big Goro"

Heibon Punch (平凡パンチ)Edit

  • March 17, 1986 (as Kaori Matsumoto)
  • August 25, 1986 (4 pages)
  • October 6, 1986 (2 pages)
  • December 29, 1986 (4 pages)
  • February 19, 1987 (5 pages)
  • April 16, 1987 (5 pages)
  • July 16, 1987 (4 pages)
  • August 27, 1987 (6 pages)
  • October 10, 1987 (6 pages)
  • December 31, 1987 (5 pages)
  • March 24, 1988
  • April 28, 1988 (4 pages)

MomocoEdit

  • January 31, 1987 (5 pages)

Sukora (スコラ)Edit

  • October 23, 1986 (5 pages)
  • January 1, 1987 (6 pages)
  • February 12, 1987 (7 pages)
  • March 12, 1987 (2 pages)
  • May 14, 1987 (6 pages)
  • August 13, 1987 (5 pages)
  • October 22, 1987 (7 pages)
  • January 28, 1988 (5 pages)
  • January 1, 1991

Weekly Playboy (週刊プレイボーイ)Edit

  • August 12, 1986 (1 page)
  • November 18, 1986 (5 pages)
  • February 10, 1987 (Pinup)
  • March 24, 1987 (6 pages)
  • May 12, 1987 (4 pages)
  • July 14, 1987 (Pinup)
  • August 4, 1987
  • October 20, 1987 (1 page)
  • January 12, 1988 (3 pages)
  • June 2, 1992

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 "小林ひとみ" (in Japanese). AV Actress Database. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  2. "Legs open way to 6 billion yen career"; 'Astounding sales of her works in the formative years of the VHS era made her the ruler of the adult video world and led to her being dubbed as the "AV Queen."'
  3. "Hitomi Kobayashi FINAL Disc1: Nostalgic". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21. "Here comes the final works of AV Queen Hitomi Kobayashi"
  4. "Hitomi Kobayashi BOX". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21. "...package DVD of the queen of Adult Video Hitomi Kobayashi..."
  5. "Porno queen seeks investors' plug as she goes out with a bang". Mainichi Shimbun. July 18, 2003. Archived from the original on 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2007-05-19. "Hitomi Kobayashi, long hailed as Japan's Queen of Adult Video..."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Weisser, Thomas; Yuko Mihara Weisser (1998). Japanese Cinema Encyclopedia: The Sex Films. Miami: Vital Books : Asian Cult Cinema Publications. p. 222. ISBN 1-889288-52-7. "the AV Queen Hitomi Kobayashi..."
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 "Legs open way to 6 billion yen career". Mainichi Shimbun. December 13, 2003. Archived from the original on 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Porn star blows wads pumping out final flop". Mainichi Shimbun. March 25, 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2007-05-19.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "小林ひとみ (Kobayashi Hitomi)" (in Japanese). Japanese Wikipedia. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  10. "Legs open way to 6 billion yen career"; "'I finally agreed to appear, but as long as the sex was only simulated. That's how my stance on never going all the way on film started'"
  11. "1986" (in Japanese). AV 研究所 (AV Research Laboratory)]. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
  12. Schönherr, Johannes (December 29, 2006). "Japanese AV - A Short Introduction". Midnight Eye. Retrieved 2007-05-31. "...Japanese porn has the problem that no genitals can be seen in the videos. They are all hidden behind pixels..."
  13. Richie, Donald (1992) [1972]. "The Japanese Eroduction". A Lateral View: Essays on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 156–169.
  14. Macias, Patrick (2001). "Nikkatsu's Roman Porno". TokyoScope: The Japanese Cult Film Companion. San Francisco: Cadence Books. pp. 187–188. ISBN 1-56931-681-3.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Firsching, Robert. "Evil Dead Trap". Allmovie. Retrieved 2007-06-05.
  16. Galloway, Patrick (2006). "Evil Dead Trap: Shiryo no wana". Asia Shock: Horror and Dark Cinema from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 165. ISBN 1-933330-12-0.
  17. Galloway, p.168.
  18. "小林悟 (Kobayashi Satoru)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-10-09. (小林ひとみ 男狂い有閑マダム, released 1996-07-22 and 小林ひとみの快楽熟女とろける, released 1997-07-14)
  19. 19.0 19.1 "小林ひとみ (Kobayashi Hitomi)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  20. "Immoral Bonds". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21. "She made a come back in November with Love Bond..."
  21. "Satomi Shinozaki biography". Shin-Toho History. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-02-18. "...since the middle of '90s when mature women started getting popular in porn movies."
  22. "Madame Throat". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  23. Schönherr, Japanese AV - A Short Introduction "The majority of Japanese AVs employ elements of documentary filmmaking to some degree."
  24. Sharp, Jasper (December 29, 2006). "Every Japanese Woman Makes Her Own Curry". Midnight Eye. Retrieved 2007-05-31. "The similarities between the two genres [documentary and hardcore Adult Video] - the recording of real, non-simulated action with the rawness of the production a testament to its vérité nature - have been picked up on by critics numerous times before. One further documentary-inspired peculiarity of Japanese AV films is the lengthy interviews that usually precede the sex sequences..."
  25. Fornander, Kjell (July 1992). "A Star is Porn". Tokyo Journal. Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2007-05-31. "...the AV cult of amateurism... any plot is shattered when a member of the team suddenly passes in front of the camera, or when the director yells at the actress during shooting for faking an orgasm. Often the viewer witnesses the whole creative process, right up to when the makeup woman cleans up the exhausted actress and she walks into her dressing room for a shower. In other words, the documentary illusion is the story."
  26. Bornoff, Nicholas (1994) [1991]. "Chapter 18 (Naked Dissent)". Pink Samurai: An Erotic Exploration of Japanese Society; The Pursuit and Politics of Sex in Japan (Paperback ed.). London: HarperCollins. pp. 607. ISBN 0-586-20576-4. "...many [videos] exploit their very limitations with a conscious effort at documentary realism: the cinema-verite of pornography."
  27. "Extreme Privacy". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  28. "Nasty Female Teacher". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  29. "KUKI DVD Buyer Boy 01". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  30. "Stimulant Doctor Hitomi Kobayashi". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  31. "Perfect Sniper". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  32. "CRUSH". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  33. "School Teacher". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  34. "Hitomi Kobayashi vs Hitomi Shimizu - Lesbian Love Juice". AV Idol Directory. . Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  35. Koizumi, Shinichi (December 1, 2001). "Porn-star label now a badge of honor for actress". Asahi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2001-12-03. Retrieved 2007-03-03. "Kyoko Aizome is considered the first hard-core porn actress in Japan."
  36. "愛染恭子VS小林ひとみ 発情くらべ" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  37. Firsching, Robert. "Bed Partner 1988: Plot Synopsis". Allmovie. Retrieved 2010-05-04. "...the legendary studio proper [Nikkatsu] (its stepchild, Excess Films, limped along for years thereafter..."
  38. "Lesbian Wives". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 "Porno queen seeks investors' plug as she goes out with a bang". Mainichi Shimbun. July 18, 2003.
  40. "Hitomi Kobayashi". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  41. "Hitomi Kobayashi FINAL Disc1: Nostalgic". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  42. "Hitomi Kobayashi FINAL Disc2: LOVE". AV Idol Directory. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  43. "Topaz". AV Idol Directory. . Retrieved 2010-10-21. "We cannot talk about AV without her. She is a legend of AV. She is like a founder of the AV world"
  44. Print appearances from: http://tisen.jp/pukiwiki/ tisen.jp/pukiwiki

BibliographyEdit

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