Women in Japanese Cinema: Alternative Perspectives
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350pp. June 2013
Women in Japanese Cinema: Alternative Perspectives
Author: Prindle, Tamae;
By studying Japanese films and their associated literature, this book reveals the covert stories of Japanese women of various statuses and time periods in an exegesis of their story versus orthodox history. Fifteen films are studied to bring this theme into focus. They are: Imamura Shohei’s The Ballad of Narayama, Naruse Mikio’s Mother, Idemitsu Mako’s Great Mother, Kinugasa Teinousuke’s Gate of Hell, Kurosawa Akira’s No Regrets for Our Youth, Kuwabata Kagenobu’s Love and Lie, Toyoda Shiro’s The Mistress, Kumai Kei’s Sandakan Brothel No. 8, Takahashi Banmei’s A New Love in Tokyo, Nishikawa Katsumi’s A Dancing Girl in Izu, Obayashi Nobuhiko’s Chizuko’s Younger Sister, Ichikawa Jun’s Tsugumi, Mizoguchi Kenji’s Life of Oharu, Itami Juzo’s Tampopo, and Ishikawa Jun’s Grass Fish on a Tree.

The five chapters, “Mother,” “Wife,” “Whore,” “Girl” and “Woman,” represent categories the public used to code Japanese women in the prefeminist age. Each chapter features three films depicting women in the premodern age, in the World War II period, and in late twentieth century Japan, and each embraces the three films within the thematic perspective of ecological feminism, sexuality, alienation, illusion, and power-over/power-to, respectively.

The book sheds light on cultural, historical, and/or ideological backgrounds of the films under study in important new ways and breaks new ground in the study of women in Japanese culture.

Distributed for MerwinAsia
Author: Prindle, Tamae;
Tamae Prindle is Oak Professor of East Asian Language and Literature and resident director of AKP (Associated Kyoto Program) at Colby College. Her many publications include Made in Japan and Other Japanese “Business Novels” (1989), Kinjō the Corporate Bouncer and Other Stories from Japanese Business, and Ikkō Shimizu, The Dark Side of Japanese Business: Three “Industry Novels,” all of which she translated and introduced.



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