Oniroku Dan (団 鬼六, Dan Oniroku) (1931 – 2011) was a Japanese author who has been called, “the most celebrated writer of popular SM [meaning sadism and masochism, also called S/M] novels in Japan.” Many of his stories have been filmed, most notably by Nikkatsu studio in their Roman Porno series. Dan had a close professional association with actor Naomi Tani throughout her career. He died May 6, 2011.
Dan established a SM magazine, SM King, in 1972; it was active until 1974.
Oniroku Dan’s SM novel Flower and Snake is the work that made him famous. This novel was first serialized in the SM magazine Kitan Club under a pseudonym, Kyotaro Hanamaki (花巻京太郎), that Dan used during his early career. In addition to a popular film, also called Flower and Snake, released in 1974, this novel inspired a series of nine books, and a new series of Nikkatsu Roman porno films released between 1985 and 1987, as well as a remake of the 1974 film in 2004. Go Arisue did the rope work for and appeared in the 2004 remake movie Flower and Snake, a soft-core classic which starred Aya Sugimoto and was directed by Takashi Ishii.
In 1974, after years of negotiations, Nikkatsu finally succeeded in recruiting actor Naomi Tani for their Roman porno series by agreeing to her request that her first film be based on 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.
Still offended by the changes in his story for Flower and Snake, Dan refused to participate in the follow-up to that film, Wife to be Sacrificed. In interviews, Dan claimed that this second film, which proved even more successful than Flower and Snake, was based on a story he had written, but that he had insisted his name be removed from the credits. Director Masaru Konuma, however, says that it was an original story by Yozo Tanaka.
Nevertheless, Dan and Nikkatsu were able to settle their differences, and Dan later gave the studio exclusive rights to his novels, many of which were filmed with Naomi Tani. Dan’s association with Nikkatsu continued for more than ten years, even after Tani’s retirement from the screen. Though the films were sometimes criticized for their predictability, the formulaic structure he developed for most of his film scripts became the model for Nikkatsu’s successful and long-lived SM Roman porno series.
Flower and Snake and other works of Dan published in various SM magazines, such as the magazines Kitan Club, Fuzoku Club, Uramado, and Abu Hunter, were made available to a large public. Moreover, he influenced many subsequent writers who took up the theme of sadism and masochism later, such as Murakami Ryu, for example. Thus, although Dan’s works are generally not considered high-brow literature but soft pornography, his influence on certain works of Japanese popular fiction and film industry is considerable.
In the early 1990s, having by then written over two hundred SM novels, Dan ceased writing and embarked on an ultimately unsuccessful business venture. After a break of nearly ten years, he returned to writing, publishing his autobiography, The Flower Must Be Crimson: The World of Oniroku Dan. Soon after he came out of retirement, his popularity was such that he was involved in eight serialized magazine novels and the writing of another book.
Four of 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.
- 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)
- Bridal Doll (Dan Oniroku hanayome ningyō) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Asako Kurayoshi (1979)
- White Uniform in Rope Hell (Dan Oniroku hakui nawa jigoku) director: Shōgorō Nishimura; starring: Junko Mabuki (1980)
- Blazing Bondage Lady (Dan Oniroku joen fujin) a.k.a. Madam Rope Flame director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Junko Mabuki (1980)
- Image of a Bound Girl (Dan Oniroku shōjo shibari ezu) director: Masaru Konuma; starring: Kumiko Hayano (1980)
- Secretary Rope Discipline (Dan Oniroku onna hisho nawa chokyo) director: Hidehiro Ito; starring: Junko Mabuki (1981)
- Office Lady Rope Slave (Dan Oniroku OL nawa dorei) a.k.a. Oniroku Dan’s OL Rope Slave director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Junko Mabuki (1981)
- Female Teacher in Rope Hell (Dan Oniroku onna kyōshi nawa jigoku) director: Shōgorō Nishimura; starring: Junko Mabuki (1981)
- Girl and the Wooden Horse Torture (Dan Oniroku shōjo mokuba-zeme) director: Fumihiko Kato; starring: Serina Nishikawa (1982)
- Blue Woman (Dan Oniroku aoi onna) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Izumi Shima (1982)
- Dark Hair Velvet Soul (Dan Oniroku kurokami nawa fujin) a.k.a. Black Hair Velvet Soul, and Rope Lady Black Hair director: Mamoru Watanabe; starring: Izumi Shima (1982)
- Female Beautician Rope Discipline (Dan Oniroku onna biyoshi nawa shiiku) director: Hidehiro Ito; starring: Junko Mabuki (1982)
- Beauty in Rope Hell (Dan Oniroku bijo bawa jigoku) director: Genji Nakamura; starring: Miki Takakura (1983)
- Beauty Rope Cosmetology (Dan Oniroku bijo nawa geshō) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Miki Takakura (1983)
- Snake Hole (Dan Oniroku hebi no ana) director: Katsuhiko Fujii; starring: Izumi Shima (1983)
- Best of S&M (SM Daizenshu) a.k.a. Oniroku Dan Presents The Best Of Nikkatsu SM director: Fumihiko Katō; (1984)
- Rope Torture (Dan Oniroku nawazeme) director: Ikuo Sekimoto; starring: Miki Takakura (1984)
- Female Bondage Torture (Dan Oniroku reijō nawazeme) a.k.a. Hanging Lust director: Satoru Kobayashi; starring: Yui Maisaka (1984)
- Double Rope Torture (Dan Oniroku kinbaku manji-zeme) director: Ikuo Sekimoto; starring: Miki Takakura (1985)
- Beautiful Teacher in Torture Hell (Oniroku Dan: bikyoshi jigokuzeme) director: Masahito Segawa; starring: Ran Masaki (1986)
- Snake and Whip (Dan Oniroku hebi to muchi) director: Shogōrō Nishimura; starring: Ran Masaki (1986)
- Wife to be Molested (Dan Oniroku hitozuma naburi) director: Shuji Kataoka; starring: Shihori Nagasaka (1987)
- Sisters to be Sacrificed (Dan Oniroku ikenie shimai) director: Shogoro Nishimura; starring: Minako Ogawa (1987)
- Exotic Mask in Hell (Dan Oniroku yoen nomen jigoku) director: Fumihiko Kato; starring: Yoshimi Kashiwagi (1988)
- The Slave Ship (Dorei-sen) director: Satoshi Kaneda; starring: Kyōko Aizome (2010)
- Flower and Snake: Zero (2014)