Masahiro Shinoda's 1974 film Himiko comes off like an acid-fueled fever dream. The characters are robed in striking costumes and arresting make-up both which make use of bold colors, and there are elaborately styled interior sets. As visually striking as the films is and this includes excellent use of locations as well. It is a testament to the skill of cinematographer Tatuso Suzuki also known for his work on The Funeral Parade of Roses. The film also make use of the talents of Tatsumi Hijikata and his butoh dance group. There is yet another bold and impressive score from master composer Toru Takemitsu as well. Shinoda's wife Shima Iwashita stars as the heroine, Himiko, a third century female shamen that ruled in Japan because of her ability to communicate with the gods. The plot is convoluted and hard to follow as transgressions and betrayals abound. In this telling of legend, she is a sort of figurehead who takes no power despite being an alleged sovereign. She falls in love with her half-brother Takehiko (Masao Kusakari). But then he falls in love with Adahime (Rie Yokoyama), the priestess of the Earth Goddess, making Himoko very jealous. She is then assassinated by the clan elders since she is out o control. It is perplexing to try and guess as to what statement Shinoda, notoriously political in his films, is trying to make with this film and how it relates to the modern age and society. At the end of the film he ties it in with present by having a character wandering in the woods and a long take pull away shot from a helicopter reveals that it is taking place in a small wooded grove in the present surrounded by a modern Japanese suburb. Is the raving elder atoning for an act that has created the modern world? I cannot say, but Shinoda has clearly created a visually unforgettable world in this film.