Translated News, Interviews, Blogs, and More From Japan's Other Side

Tooru Muranishi, the Emperor of AV Interview Part Two

Salitoté - Original Japanese Date: February 10th, 2011
English Translation Published: August 5th, 2015

One of the longest running Japanese AV directors in the industry talk about his past where he produced uncensored titles along with his jail sentence in Hawaii.

(Translator's note: This post is a continuation of a previous entry.)


Salitoté: It seems like the era and what you could provide it finally saw eye to eye.

Tooru Muranishi: Yea, there were about 500 adult video rental shops in Japan around then. These were the golden years for Japanese AV rentals. The sales from these shops kept coming in and I made serious bank well into the multi-millions (USD).

SA: You went from dreaming of pigs feet to making millions very quickly. That's what I call a success story. As you amassed riches, did you feel the world around change?

TM: I lived in a 5 story building with a helipad on top. My daily driver was a Rolls Royce. I was mad with money and didn't view my lifestyle as strange.


SA: How old were you during this period?

TM: 33 years old give or take. I'd spend money like crazy. Hundreds of thousands of dollars (USD) would be gone in a blink of an eye! Anytime I'd run out I'd just hop over to the office and ask for some more money.


SA: Was this all in cash?

TM: Of course. We kept millions on hand in the office. We were pulling in yearly revenue many times that so it simply made sense at the time. All that money in my possession really changed me.


SA: Going through money that fast would probably change anyone.

TM: It sure will. It'll take some to the grave! I went to town with gifts as well. My wife had a one-of-a-kind watch and I had apartments all over town for women I was seeing on the side.


SA: Did you feel like the party would never end back during that extremely successful period of your life?

TM: I thought so. I thought I'd be larger than life and grow according to the success of my business.


SA: And during this time, how were the prospects of Japanese AV directors?

TM: It had its ups and downs even back then. Sometimes what I thought would sell like no tomorrow ended up not doing so well. I assumed money would keep on pouring in which was what did not end up happening. I actually felt some of my desire to create something beautiful ebb away around this time.


SA: You also brushed with the law, correct?

TM: I tried to make what I did the best in Japan and in the world. That didn't always end up being the best way to go about things. I mentioned this earlier I think, but I was still very new to creating adult video back then. This was way before DVDs were even designed. I wanted to put on picture things people would normally never even dream of doing. I thought it was all good and proper, but that wasn't always the case.


SA: So no middle ground then? That sounds normal when hearing it from a director. On that note, how did you begin directing again after your temporarily imprisonment in Hawai`i along with that massive fine you had to pay? I hear you entered loan shark hell for awhile.

TM: I was weirdly confident. Then again, even before directing AV I was involved in sales and then there was my uncensored movies stint as well. I knew how to get back up on my feet quickly. I had a lot of debt after that, but I made do. However, even with my confident and ability to give it my all, it still took around 20 years to pay it all back.


To be concluded...


(Translator's note: loan shark hell is no laughing matter. Those behind it—you know, certain chivalrous organizations—will go to great lengths to ensure what's owed to them is returned. Props to Mr. Muranashi for avoiding that nightmare.)

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