Naomi Tani (谷ナオミ, Tani Naomi, born 20 October 1948) is the screen name (real name unknown) of a Japanese actor and director best known for appearing in pornographic SM (meaning sadism and masochism) films.
She took the “Tani” part of her screen name from part of the name of the novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki (谷崎 潤一郎, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō), and the “Naomi” part of her screen name from the central character in his important early work A Fool’s Love. “Tani,” or “valley,” is also a Japanese slang word for the cleavage between the breasts, which may have influenced her choice.
Tani’s first experience with an SM film was acting in one episode of the omnibus film Memoirs Of A Modern Female Doctor (1967), and her first full-fledged SM leading role was in director Masanao Sakao’s Cruel Map of Women’s Bodies (1967).
In 1972 Tani directed two SM films, Sex Killer and Starved Sex Beast, of which she said, “I accentuated scenes with a lot of torture and bondage.”
In 1974, after years of negotiations, Nikkatsu finally succeeded in recruiting Tani as an actor for their Roman porno series by agreeing to her request that her first film for them be based on Oniroku Dan‘s Flower and Snake. Dan and Tani objected to departures from Dan’s story made in the film’s script by director Masaru Konuma and script-writer Yozo Tanaka, but the film, Flower and Snake (1974), became a major hit for the studio and, together with the later Wife to be Sacrificed (also directed by Konuma in 1974, and starring the same female and male leads) is credited with starting the SM Roman Porno series which helped save Nikkatsu from financial collapse during the 1970s.
Later in 1974 Tani was the leading lady in the SM film Wife To Be Sacrificed, which was Nikkatsu’s biggest hit of 1974, and remains one of their top five successes of all time.
Tani retired as an actor in 1979.
In 1996 she opened “Yours Naomi”, a video store near Hakata which specializes in erotic cinema, especially Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno films.
- Flower and Snake (Hana to hebi) director: Masaru Konuma; starring: Naomi Tani (1974)
- Oryu’s Passion: Bondage Skin (Oryū jōen: shibari hada) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Naomi Tani (1975)
- Lady Moonflower (Yugao fujin) a.k.a. Flower of the Night director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Naomi Tani (1976)
- Fairy in a Cage (Ori no naka no yose) director: Kōyū Ohara; starring: Naomi Tani (1977)
- Fascination: Portrait of a Lady (Gensō fujin ezu) director: Kōyū Ohara; starring: Naomi Tani (1977)
- Skin of Roses (Dan Oniroku Bara No Nikutai) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Naomi Tani (1978)
- Rope Hell (Nawa jigoku) director: Kōyū Ohara; starring: Naomi Tani (1978)
- Rope Cosmetology (Dan Oniroku nawa geshō) director: Shōgorō Nishimura; starring: Naomi Tani (1978)
- Lady Black Rose (Kurobara fujin) a.k.a. Madam Black Rose director: Shōgorō Nishimura; starring: Naomi Tani (1978)
- Rope and Skin (Dan Oniroku nawa to hada) director: Shōgorō Nishimura; starring: Naomi Tani (1979)
Tani was nominated for best actress by the Japanese Academy (the Japanese equivalent of Best Actress from the Academy Awards) for two of her Nikkatsu Roman Porno films from 1978, Lady Black Rose (director Shōgorō Nishimura’s first film in the SM genre), and Flesh of the Rose.
Four of Oniroku Dan‘s stories, originally published in Japanese in 1997, were published in English in 2010 by Vertical, Inc. The collection is titled Season of Infidelity and the stories have “loosely biographical” elements, and the last story Bewitching Bloom is a telling of his (professional) relationship with Naomi Tani, also including notes about three subsequent Nikkatsu “Queens”; Junko Mabuki, Izumi Shima, and Miki Takakura.