Tomie Kawakami (川上 富江) is the main character in Junji Ito's horror comics from Japan, and a series of Japanese horror films made between 1999 and 2007. Tomie is played by a different actress in each film, and the role is as coveted by Japanese actresses as "Emmanuelle" is in France. As such, this changing roster of faces has allowed for a range of interpretations and subtle shading to the part, the most popular being Miho Kanno and Miki Sakai.


The original manga series was created and illustrated by Junji Ito. These rather disturbing tales tell the story of a high-school girl named Tomie, who can be seen as a living embodiment of lust and all the negative emotions that go along with it, such as jealousy. Tomie is the ultimate self-destructive entity, yet ironically she survives anything. She is identified by a mole under her left eye, or her right in the American adaptation of the comic.

She possesses an undisclosed power to make all men (and on occasion, some women) fall in love with her. Through sleight of hand, or emotional manipulation, she drives these men into jealous rages that inevitably lead to brutal acts of violence. Men kill each other over her; and girls are sometimes driven to jealous rages as well. Tomie is inevitably killed time and again, only to regenerate. Tomie is cursed to go on forever in this way.

In the first story "Tomie", she returns to school after an announcement that she had died, much to the horror of her friends and teachers. It transpires that during a school trip, her fellow students and favorite teacher murder her and dismember her body.

Each story tells a different viewpoint of how she lived and died, with some recurring characters. The teacher who murders her in the first story returns several times, and though clearly insane, he still is under Tomie's thrall.

Her hair is a major factor in the stories. It kills as well as possesses, such as in the story of a young girl who steals the hair of her father's ex-lover (Tomie) and puts it in a box. The hair grows despite it not being attached to anything. The girl wears it and soon has a lovely head of the longest, straightest and darkest hair. But there is a price to pay for everything in these stories. The stories are gruesome but draw the reader in with horrors that hide just around the corner.

Later it was revealed there are several copies of Tomie roaming around the world, each with an individual mind. Sometimes the two Tomie copies would be jealous of each other and try to have each other killed.

When her body scattered into pieces, each fragment of her body is capable of regenerating into a complete and independent body. When her body is burnt to ash, the ash floats in air with life of its own.

Although her body is mortal and weak against all assaults, her regenerative power makes her immortal. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to regenerate her body if it is greatly damaged.

Ito's "Tomie" stories have twice been released in the United States. The 1997 release by ComicsOne featured "flipped" artwork, whereas the 2005 releases by Dark Horse Comics reprint the artwork in its original right-to left format.


"Tomie" (1999)

The movie introduces Tomie (Miho Kanno) as a severed, living head. She is fed and cared for by a boy with an eyepatch. Her body eventually grows back, limb by limb, until she resembles a normal human being. The bizarre pair have moved next door to the movie's protagonist, a young woman named Tsukiko Izumisawa (Mami Nakamura), who has a past relationship with Tomie that she cannot remember due to post-traumatic-stress-induced amnesia. The beautiful and evil Tomie gradually insinuates herself into the life of Tsukiko, eliminating her close friends and seducing her boyfriend.

"Tomie: Another Face" (1999)

This sequel was a set of three episodes released straight-to-video. In the first episode, Tomie (Runa Nagai) is introduced as a high school student whose body has just been found on the street with several piles of garbage. She comes back to reunite with her former boyfriend, whose ex-girlfriend is considering starting over with as he had previously left her for Tomie. Meanwhile, a man wearing a trenchcoat and an eye patch is following Tomie and photographing her. The ex-girlfriend exposes Tomie's true nature on the school's rooftop to the boyfriend and in the end, Tomie is thrown from the roof. The two go to bury her in the woods in a deep grave and begin making plans to conceal their work, but as they walk to school in the morning Tomie is miraculously there to confront them.

The second episode focuses on a photographer who has lost his passion for photography but regains it when he finds Tomie, this time a model/dancer of a sort at a bar. She resembles the girl from his past who gave him that passion, and proceeds to take several photos of her with her permission. The man with the eye patch is still following Tomie during the photoshoots. While Tomie is sleeping in the photographer's bed, he develops the photographs only to find that each one has two faces: Tomie's face and a ghoul's face nearby. Convinced it isn't his lens, he tells Tomie this and she tells him to kill her so he knows she isn't a ghost. If she was a ghost, she couldn't die. Naturally, she does die, but when the photographer is transporting her body in his car she comes back to life and scares him out of the car. His running takes him to the place where he saw the girl from his past, and he discovers that both are Tomie when the previously-dead Tomie appears behind him. He falls to his death from the cliff and the previously-dead Tomie stands at his body, grinning and making a V sign while the Tomie from his past takes their picture.

The final episode has Tomie as a young woman likely in her early to mid-20s, about to be proposed to by her boyfriend. She is later nearly attacked by the man with the eye patch and sends her boyfriend to kill this man in order to prove his love for her. During his showdown with the man, the boyfriend is tasered into submission and we find out the trenchcoat-wearing man, named Oota, is a former coroner for the police department, and Tomie was one of the bodies he had to perform an autopsy on. She stabbed his eye out in the process and crawled away. Oota shows the boyfriend several other crime scene photographs; all are of Tomie, killed in various places and ways. For losing Tomie's body he was fired, and his wife left him and took their children. For ruining his life, Oota seeks a way to kill Tomie once and for all. He tells the boyfriend to call him if he also seeks a way to kill Tomie. The boyfriend later wakes up in a park, with Tomie asking him where he's been. After finding out he didn't kill Oota, Tomie throws his engagement ring on the ground and walks away. We see the boyfriend take out his knife and follow Tomie. Later, he contacts Oota and brings Tomie's body to an incinerator where Oota is waiting. Tomie's body lies in the back of his van but she is not dead - the boyfriend says he could never kill her. Oota manages to get her body into the incinerator and burns it successfully, but her ashes soon gather together and create her face in the air before Oota. She tells him she will never die and that every single one of her ashes will become a new Tomie.

"Tomie: replay" (2000)

"Tomie: replay", technically the first sequel to the original "Tomie", begins with a six year-old girl being rushed into a hospital ER with an unusually distended stomach. Doctors begin to operate and find a disembodied head, Tomie's head, alive and growing inside the girl's belly. The head is placed in a tank of alkaline solution in the basement of the hospital for further observation. Soon after, all five of the hospital workers present during the operation mysteriously leave the hospital or disappear entirely, including hospital Director Morita.

Meanwhile, a few nights later, Takeshi visits his friend Fumihito, who is recovering from some ailment in his hospital room. While visiting, Takeshi is confronted by a naked Tomie (Mai Hosho), now fully grown and escaped from the basement, who asks him to get her out of there. Takeshi takes Tomie to his apartment, and leaves Fumihito by himself, with no explanation. Later, Fumihito calls Takeshi to find out why he left. Takeshi reacts very defensively and irrationally, telling Fumihito that "Tomie belongs to me," already under Tomie's evil and seductive influence.

The next morning, Yumi, Director Morita's daughter, visits the hospital in search of her father, missing since the operation. She meets Dr. Tachibana, the only doctor present during the young girl's operation who hasn't yet left the hospital. Tachibana gives Yumi a journal recently written by her father, and soon after giving it to her he kills himself.

Through the journal we learn that during the operation, Director Morita and another doctor were accidentally infected with Tomie's blood, and that through that blood Tomie is regenerating within the doctors, taking over their bodies and driving them mad. Yumi reads in her father's journal about him wanting to kill a girl named "Tomie".

Later, Yumi and Fumihito meet at a party and realize they are both looking for a girl named "Tomie". They join forces to find out what happened to Yumi's father, and to Fumihito's friend.

The next day, Yumi visits the family of the six year-old girl who had had the operation. She learns that prior to that operation, the girl had received a kidney transplant from a girl named "Tomie". From this kidney, Tomie had begun to regenerate inside the girl's body. Meanwhile, Fumihito visits his friend Takeshi, who had gone mad after killing and decapitating Tomie in a fit of jealousy, then watching her come back to life, regenerating a new head. Takeshi soon after is committed to a mental hospital, and Fumihito becomes Tomie's new prey.

That night Yumi has a short and strange run-in with her missing father, during which he babbles about needing to kill Tomie. The following day his dead body is discovered in the hospital basement, bloated and deformed. At his funeral Yumi receives a note from Tomie, asking to meet her that night at the hospital, seemingly for a final show-down.

Yumi arrives at the hospital to find Tomie there to taunt her, and Fumihito, now under Tomie's spell, there apparently to kill her. At the last minute Fumihito decides to kill Tomie instead, chopping off her head and burning the remains. Yumi and Fumihito leave the hospital in relief.

"Tomie: Re-birth" (2001)

An artist is painting his girlfriend Tomie (Miki Sakai), but she dismisses it as a poor painting and he kills her in a jealous rage with an art knife and his two friends help him bury her. When the three friends are at a party Tomie shows up and the artist kills himself in the bathroom. Tomie latches onto his friend and his mother kills Tomie and they cut her up together in an unnatural ecstasy. They then burn her head, which has already started to regenerate and has some crude limbs for locomotion. The portrait of Tomie allows for her regeneration, as her supernatural blood mixed with the pigments. The friend's girlfriend becomes possessed by Tomie, in a rather viral fashion. In a fit of jealousy, the two Tomies try to eliminate the other. The girl doesn't want to become a monster, and so they decide to commit suicide. However, when at a waterfall, about to commit suicide, Tomie's head grows on the side of the girl's neck next to her head. They all die and then the sister of the friend comes and throws flowers into the water. A small facial mole can be seen directly beneath the sister's left eye, suggesting that, because her brother gave her the portrait of Tomie, she was also possessed by her. Thus, the sister is the newest Tomie.

"Tomie: The Final Chapter -Forbidden Fruit-" (2002)

Tomie Hashimoto (Aoi Miyazaki) is a dreamy teen who writes homo-erotic horror fiction in which she imagines herself as Ann Bathory, vampire. Introspective and lonely, she is picked on and bullied by her classmates at school, and lives alone with her loving, but distant widower father, Kazuhiko Hashimoto. One day, while admiring an ornate, jewel encrusted cross necklace in an antiquities shop, Tomie meets a strange, beautiful girl (Nozomi Ando) with a mole under her left eye. The mysterious stranger says her name is Tomie Kawakami. The girls become fast friends, but it soon becomes clear that theirs was not a chance meeting. Tomie Kawakami has an agenda, and it involves Kazuhiko.

"Tomie: Beginning" (2005)

This straight-to-video movie is a prequel to the rest of the series, shot on HD. It deals with the chain of events that occurred right before the first film takes place. Tomie (Rio Matsumoto) shows up as a transfer student at a high school, quickly enchanting all the males, and raising the ire of the females. As is often the case in the Tomie films, she fixates on one solitary girl whom she befriends, with overt lesbian overtones. She displays all of her typical powers, and it isn't long before the murders and madness begin. In this movie we are introduced to the teacher who promises to kill her no matter how many times he has to do the "favor" as well as the eye-patch-wearing boy of the first movie in the series.

"Tomie: Revenge" (2005)

Another home-video release shot on HD. This time round, Tomie is played by Anri Ban. The story revolves around a young, female Doctor (played by Hisako Shirata), and an unidentified naked woman she runs down on the road one night. In her search for the wounded girl (who has a mole under her left eye) the doctor ends up in an abandoned house filled with bodies, madmen and an unconscious girl. Surely Tomie is not too far away...

"Tomie vs Tomie "(2007)

After a high school student named Tomie is murdered, a police investigation reveals a string of deaths--in which the victims were all named Tomie--dating back to the 1860s. Detective Harada finds clues in a classmate of Tomie's named Tsukiko who has no memory of the three months surrounding Tomie's death. Meanwhile, Tsukiko's former teacher has given birth to a strange humanoid creature that grows into a beautiful, oranged-eyed girl who responds to the name Tomie. And Tomie will not die.

Manga vs. Movies

The movies generally possess the mood that the manga has provided by the scene and drawing style. Most of the stories of Tomie occur during the dark of night for its sense of eeriness, and the films generally follow suit, especially "Tomie: replay" and "Tomie: The Final Chapter -Forbidden Fruit-".

Also, many of the scenes are too violent for TV and movies. Some of the bloody scenes were used in later Tomie movies, such as the dismemberment of Tomie's body scene from "Tomie: Rebirth".

A notable difference between the manga & film versions is that in the films, Tomie is apparently bisexual, having been known to occasionally seduce women as well as men. In the manga, her attitude towards other women seems to range beween thinly-veiled hostility & outright murderous rage.

While the plots of the film & manga series are quite different, the films often recombine elements from several different manga stories.

External links

* [ Tomie vs Tomie Official Site] Japanese
* [ Review of the First Tomie Movie]
* [ Publisher of the US translated Manga]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tomie — Tomié Tomié 富江 Genre Horreur Manga Auteur Junji Ito Éditeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tomié — 富江 Genre Horreur Manga Auteur Junji Ito Éditeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • tomie — TOMÍE Element secund de compunere savantă cu semnificaţia tăiere , tăietură , incizie . [< fr. tomie, it. tomia, cf. gr. tome]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN  TOMÍE elem. tomo . Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • ...tomie —   [zu griechisch tome̅ »das Schneiden«, »Schnitt«], Wortbildungselement mit den Bedeutungen: 1) operative Eröffnung eines Organs oder Körperteils, z. B. Gastrotomie; 2) kunstgerechte Zergliederung eines Körpers, Körperteils oder Gewebes, z. B.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Tomie — En este artículo sobre películas se detectaron los siguientes problemas: Necesita ser wikificado conforme a las convenciones de estilo de Wikipedia. Carece de fuentes o referencias que aparezcan en una fuente acreditada. P …   Wikipedia Español

  • -tomie — tome, tomie ♦ Éléments, du gr. tomos, et tomia, rad. temnein « couper, découper » : atome; anatomie. TOM(o) , tome, tomie éléments, du gr. tomos, et tomia, rad. temnein, couper, découper (ex. lobectomie). tomie V. tom(o) . ⇒ TOME, TOMIE, élém.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • -tomie — Das Suffix tomie kommt vom griechischen τέμνειν (temnein) für schneiden, (zer )teilen und τομή (tome) für Schnitt, und ist in der Fachsprache der Medizin und Biologie üblich. Beispiele für die Endung tomie sind: Anatomie Autotomie Dichotomie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • tomie — adénoïdectomie amygdalectomie anatomie appendicectomie artériectomie artériotomie autotomie cardiotomie clitoridectomie commissurotomie cystectomie cystotomie dichotomie dystomie embryotomie gastrectomie gastrotomie glossotomie hystérectomie… …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • ...tomie — …to|mie 〈Nachsilbe; zur Bildung weibl. Subst.〉 1. Schneiden, Schnitt; Gastrotomie 2. Zerlegung, Zergliederung, Verstümmelung; Anatomie [Etym.: <grch. tome »Schnitt«; zu temnein »schneiden«] …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • ...tomie — tomi̲e̲, mit latinisierter Endung auch:̱mia* [zu gr. τομη = das Schneiden, der Schnitt]: Grundwort von zusammengesetzten weiblichen Hauptwörtern mit den Bedeutungen „operative Eröffnung eines Organs oder Körperteils; kunstgerechte… …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

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