Kamakiri Shojo (Japanese Title: かまきり処女) was a collection of 12 short manga stories that were originally serialized in Comic Magazine and later collected into a single volume tankobon published by Sun Publishing under their Joy Comics name on February 1st 1976. Kamakiri Shojo is not only significant for being Toshio Maeda’s first ever published book, but also because it contains his debut work “Crimson Mortarboard Corps” (角帽紅蓮隊 – Kakubō Gurentai). At the time of Kamakiri Shojo’s publication, Maeda was a mere 22 years old.
The first of the 12 stories, “Adultery Teacher” (不倫性教師 – Furinsei Kyōshi) is about a young home tutor called Ryoko Taguchi and her husband Ichiro. Despite being in love, the married couple suffer from a rather unfulfilling sex life due to Ichiro being too busy with his work and, before long, sexual temptation begins to get the better of them both. Ryoko is the first to commit adultery when she visits the home of one of her students, only to discover that she hasn’t returned home yet. The student’s mother apologizes for her daughter’s tardiness and suggests that Ryoko takes a relaxing bath to freshen up whilst she waits for her to come home. Whilst relaxing in the bath, Takeshi, the student’s older brother, arrives home and immediately heads for the shower himself. Surprised to discover Ryoko making herself at home in the bathtub, Takeshi seizes his chance and strips off his clothes to join her. Though startled by Takeshi’s intrusion, Ryoko doesn’t put up much of a resistance when he initiates sex with her. The following day, Ryoko’s husband, Ichiro, leaves for work early in the morning. He too is a teacher and his handsome good looks are a hit with the mothers at the PTA. The head of the PTA, Ms Koyama, asks Ichiro to personally teach her son and is very happy with how much progress her son makes under Ichiro’s tutelage. One evening, Ms Koyama propositions Ichiro and the pair head for the love hotel district to make out. At exactly the same time, Ryoko meets up with Takeshi and heads to the same love district with him. In a cruel twist of fate, the manga ends with both couples running into each other causing both Ryoko and Ichiro to catch each other cheating. Though “Adultery Teacher” is a short story, Maeda has since revisited it, fully colored each page, and even translated it into English where it can be read for free on his official website so definitely be sure to check it out!
The second story is called “Pleasure call” (快楽のテレフォン – Kairaku no Terefon). In this story, the same couple, Ichiro and Ryoko Taguchi appear to be on better terms. It is not clear whether this chapter is set before or after the events of the previous story (or even if the two stories are related at all for that matter) but this time round Ichiro is once again a very busy man who needs to go away on business and leave his wife Ryoko at home alone. The two actually seem to have a very active sex life, unlike in “Adultery Teacher”, since the story begins with the couple making love throughout the night. The following morning Ichiro heads off to work but, before kissing Ryoko goodbye, he apologizes for not being able to make love to her that evening and tells her to await his phone-call. She looks a little confused but her face soon lights up when he tells her that he wants to have phone sex. Later that evening Ryoko steps out of the bath just in time to answer the call from Ichiro. The two immediately start getting down to business but, unbeknownst to Ryoko, an intruder breaks into their family home to steal some valuables. Ryoko is obviously preoccupied with Ichiro to notice the burglar going through their stuff but before long he stumbles across Ryoko playing with herself whilst talking on the phone. Unable to resist his urges, the thief enters the room with her, strips down, and begins to penetrate her. Ryoko is unable to resist the man’s advances and her moans of pleasure over the phone seem all too real to Ichiro. He asks if somebody is with her but she denies it and carries on getting violated. Before long, her moans get out of control and Ichiro is convinced that the she is up to no good but is powerless to do anything about it. Ichiro hears a man’s voice alongside Ryoko’s moans as he hangs up the phone in anger. Ichiro hardly has any right to be angry however as the final page sees him in bed holding the telephone with another woman beside him…
The third story is called “I’ll show you the ways of sex” (性の道教えます- Sei no michi oshiemasu). It’s centered around a young high-school student called Takeshi who is striving to get into Tokyo University with his best friend, Toru. Despite the pair’s lofty goal, only Takeshi seems to be making progress in his studies thanks to his sexual relations with a widowed Ikebana teacher named Kumiko Hanno. According to Takeshi, Toru is still a virgin and his frustration at this is interfering with his ability to concentrate on his studies. For the sake of his friend, Takeshi asks Kumiko if she knows anybody like herself that would be willing to go with Toru and make a man of him. Kumiko agrees to help Takeshi and her first port of call is an older woman called Mrs Kato. Though a feisty candidate, Kumiko decides against introducing Toru to her and moves on to her next candidate, Mrs Kurokawa. When Kumiko visits, Mrs Kurokawa tells her that she is is unhappy with her marriage and that she feels neglected much of the time. Kumiko tells her that the secret to her youthful looks lays in having sex with young men and that she should try it too. Guiltily, Mrs Kurokawa asks Kumiko to introduce her to someone too. A couple of days later Toru comes to the house and Kumiko calls over Mrs Kurokawa and introduces the two to each other. Toru is obviously nervous but she puts his fears at rest immediately by going down on him. The two soon get down to business with the story ending with both couples making out in separate rooms.
The fourth story is called “Introduction to pimping” ( ヒモ学入門 – Himogaku nyūmon). Jiro Shiratori is a swindler of the highest caliber. Making out that he is a member of the Yakuza who needs to pay off a debt within his affiliated family, Jiro hooks up with, and extorts, a young accountant from a large department store by the name of Yuka Saito. With each encounter, Jiro asks her for more and more money to help pay the compensation fees he has incurred towards the Yakuza bosses. Hopelessly in love with Jiro, Yuka agrees to his requests and continues to fiddle her company accounts in order to pay him. Elsewhere, Jiro is also playing along another woman by the name of Yoko Takahashi. Like Yuka, Yoko is also a chief accountant and works for a major university in Tokyo. Though Yoko isn’t as beautiful as Yuka, Jiro enjoys the sex they have and before long, she too falls in love with him. Jiro asks her for money to help him set up a high-end bar in which he promises that she can be the manager of. Delighted at the prospect, Yoko naturally obliges in giving him money by fiddling the accounts ledger at her university. It is soon revealed that Jiro is actually blowing all the money that both women are giving him on horse racing. It is about this time that both Yuka and Yoko’s actions are discovered and they soon get swiftly arrested by the police. They both give the police Jiro’s name by means of explaining their motives but the police can’t seem to find any information on him so they post wanted posters of his face throughout the city. Jiro eventually ends up in a fistfight with a swarthy looking man at the horse races and ends up in a police cell. When his bandages fall off his face, a reporter recognizes him and prints the scandal in the newspaper the following day. Due to being in custody, both Yoko and Yuka are unaware of Jiro’s arrest and continue to believe that he will come and save them but the manga ends with Jiro maniacally grinning behind bars in a cell.
The fifth story, “Nighttime Misconduct” (夜姦非行 – Yakan hikō), is a story of a sex starved housewife called Emiko. One day she catches her daughter Yuki making out with her home teacher, Mr. Sakuma, in her bedroom. Though shocked, she quietly walks away from the door without saying a word. Overcome with feelings of lust herself, she tries it on with her husband but he fobs her off by saying he’s too tired as usual. Unable to suppress her needs anymore, Emiko asks Sakuma to teach her privately too. The next afternoon, Yuki and her father leave for a trip so Emiko seizes her chance to seduce Sakuma. In a twist of fate, Yuki’s flight is cancelled due to unexpected weather conditions so she heads back home with her father. Despite repeated phone calls to the house from Yuki, Emiko ignores the phone and continues having sex with Sakuma without a care in the world. Upon arriving back at the house, Yuki goes to ask her mother if she’s prepared anything for dinner but instead walks in on her having sex with Sakuma.
The sixth story is called “The man who lives on sex” (SEXを喰う男 – SEX wo kurau otoko). When pop sensation Mari Shindo unexpectedly falls pregnant, her manager, Kuroki, takes her to see a scandal protection specialist by the name of Igarashi. Mari has been made to sleep with many people in high places by her manager in exchange for favors. After much research, Igarashi determines that neither her songwriter, Katsuyuki Ooyama, nor prominent T.V. director, Joji Ooshima, are the child’s father but actually that it’s her manager, Kuroki. The chapter ends with Igarashi covering up the scandal by printing a story that she has to go into hospital for an appendix removal during the all important New Year’s pop event on T.V. The final page sees Igarashi laughing at the suggestion that she’ll make a comeback in a year.
The seventh story, “Snow White” (白雪姫 – Shirayuki Hime) is a short manga about two Turkish bath workers called Shirayuki and Emi. Shirayuki is the most popular mistress at the bath and also the most talented when it comes to playing Mahjong. Emi is incredibly competitive and, with the help of one of her regular customers, she is able to even the odds in their ongoing Mahjong rivalry. In the end Shirayuki beats Emi and so Emi must go through with the forfeit of getting a baby turtle tattooed on her crotch. As a sign of good sportmanship though, Shirayuki also reveals that she too got a tattoo on her crotch; the single chinese charcacter for her name “Shiro” (白)
The eighth story “Blackmail & Extortion” (恐喝かつあげ – Kyōkatsu Katsuage) is a two chapter manga with each part being individual stand alone stories revolving around the same main character; a private detective by the name of Saiki. The first story is about Saiki tracking down the person responsible for the murders of a man and young woman called Mari Makimura. After a little research, Saiki pins the killings on Tsuneo Mizukura, an owner of a high-end S&M club. Saiki blackmails Mizukura into paying him 5 billion yen so that he doesn’t go to the police with his findings. Agreeing to Saiki’s demands, Mizukura hands him the money of which Saiki gives 1 billion to the lover of the murdered gentleman as compensation. The second story is centered around a manslaughter case in which metal company employee, Joji Ooshima, (yep, same name as the T.V. director in the sixth story but written in different kanji!) appears to have committed suicide by driving off a cliff. Joji’s widow, Kazuko, asks Saiki to investigate the case where he discovers that it’s actually a manslaughter case and that Joji’s brandy was spiked with sleeping pills. Saiki tracks down the man responsible; Shikawa Metals CEO, Kobayashi, and extorts 2 billion yen from him in exchange for not going to the police. Saiki gets the money and gives the majority to Kazuko but not before taking his own cut first.
The ninth story is called “Red Frost” (赤い霧氷 – Akai Muhyō). It’s the story of a newlywed couple who set off on a mountaineering weekend near the infamous “Devil’s Mountain”. The lodge they stay at is owned and run by a lady called Natsuko who once climbed the Mountain with her partner Jiro, and another man by the name of Katagiri. Natsuko and Katagiri begin to have feelings for each other following the death of Jiro on Devil’s mountain. Since the accident, Katagiri has gotten married to Michiko, the daughter of a very affluent businessman and it’s actually him and Michiko that come to stay at Natsuko’s lodge at Devil’s Mountain for their honeymoon. Professing to still being in love with Natsuko, he explains to her that that he hopes to kill Michiko somewhere on the mountain so that he can gain her inheritance and live a wealthy life together with Natsuko. Agreeing to go along with Katagiri’s plan, Natsuko joins the newlyweds in their expedition to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately for Katagiri, Michiko is smarter than he gives her credit for and she figures out exactly what he’s trying to do. After making it halfway up the mountain, Michiko cuts the safety chord in half causing Katagiri and herself to plummet to their deaths. Game over.
The tenth story is the most important addition to the collection by far since it’s actually Toshio Maeda’s debut piece that he drew when he was only 20 years old. The manga is called “Crimson Mortarboard Corps” (角帽紅蓮隊 – Kakubō Gurentai). Takahashi has been going steady with his girlfriend Reiko Nishimura since their high-school days. Despite their closeness however, he’s never gotten beyond kissing her. Out of frustration, he speaks to his friends Jun and Hiroshi who happen to be part of the Toto University “Crimson Corps” student faction. They decide to help him out by coming up with a plan whereby they pretend to grab hold of Reiko in a park opposite a love hotel when Takahashi comes out of nowhere, fends them off, and takes her to the nearby hotel for some hanky panky. Takahashi goes along with the plan but is unexpectedly called into the teacher’s office after lesson for a chat. Hiroshi is left harassing Reiko in the park waiting for Takahashi to come but he doesn’t. Out of options, Hiroshi ends up taking Reiko to the hotel in place of Takahashi. When the pair finally emerge from the hotel, they are jumped by a gang of punks with cameras who take pics and demand the couple give them money in exchange for the camera film. At precisely this point, Takahashi marches in out of nowhere and beats them all up. He then takes Reiko by the hand and walks her into the hotel for some long awaited loving. When he exits the hotel with Reiko, he is jumped by the same group and they get their own back by royally kicking his ass. Confused due to having believed the punks were merely actors when in fact they were legitimate ruffians, a heavily bruised Takahashi goes to Jun and Hiroshi for help. The three of them once again head down to the park and settle the score by reverse blackmailing the group by taking pictures of them trying to extort money from Takahashi for the camera film. After getting the film back, they then proceed to kick the crap out of the punks all over again. Once the dust settles though, Reiko is far from from impressed by their shenanigans and storms off in a foul mood.
The eleventh story is called “Triple Fighter” (トリプルファイター) and is a pretty amusing tale about a sexless married couple that have their sex life spiced up when a strange man breaks into their home and rapes the wife. Her husband is gagged but gets turned on watching his wife get screwed. The following night, the man breaks in again and does the same thing all over again. the couple agree to keep him around and before long he starts moving his own family into the house too. The manga ends when the couple come home from work to find the man has also invited his wife to come live with them. The couple look at him in disbelief as he suggests they have a foursome that night! Craziness!
The twelfth and final story in Kamakiri Shojo is called “Blood drawing woman” (血を曳く女 – Chi wo hiku onna) and is the story of an overly innocent catholic schoolgirl called Mari who seems to see only the best in people. Mari’s good nature eventually gets taken advantage of however when she is chauffeured out into the woods (by a character resembling Toshio Maeda himself – even down to his name!) and is gang-raped by a group of young men. When she comes home, she tells her powerful Yakuza connected father what happened and the men are swiftly punished by having their fingers removed accordingly. I guess they won’t be doing that again in a hurry then!
All twelve stories contained within “Kamakiri Shojo” are short, completely non-related stories that clearly foretell the type of artwork that Maeda would later go on to produce. Much of the artwork is very clear, bold, and beautifully dark in places too. I have spoken in person with Maeda about Kamakiri Shojo several times in the past and one of the things that is often discussed is the odd choice of title for the book. Kamakiri Shojo in English literally translates as “Praying Mantis Virgin” which has absolutely no relevance to any of the stories contained within. When asked about this, Maeda simply shrugged his shoulders and said “Who knows? I think the editor decided to go with that title because it sounded edgy or something. I didn’t know it was gonna be called that until the book came out. They spelled my name wrong too!” Yep, you read that right, they MISSPELLED his name!! On the cover of Kamakiri Shojo it says “Toshio Maeda” but they cocked up the final character of “Toshio” by spelling it with an “男” instead of “夫”!! How frustrating! His first ever book and they get his name wrong! Jeez…
In conclusion, Kamakiri Shojo is a wonderful look back at the very beginning of Maeda’s illustrious career and is certainly well worth reading. Readers with an eagle eye will also have fun spotting the panels where Maeda draws himself in the background of several of the stories! Unfortunately, the biggest kicker is the fact that this book has been out of print for 40 years and is hands down the hardest of Maeda’s work to find. I’ve been collecting his works for several years but I have only ever seen 2 copies on sale so that should give you some indication!! Yahoo auction is your friend and only hope – even then you’re gonna be waiting a looooong time. Best of luck in your searches!!
Extra special thanks to Toshio Maeda for providing me with the color data for “Adultery Teacher” and for answering all of my questions! Thank you!