Randy Man ranman
Thu Jul 29 17:18:35 EDT 1999


I'm trying to research Japanese WWII films from the 1950s and since for a course on how the countries that fought in WWII subsequently used popular as well as art cinema to bolster their emerging national myths of their wartime experience. And I'm having a hell of a time with Japan. The art films are not the problem. The genre films are. They must be so out of fashion that nobody wants to write about them.

Do any of you specialize in this area of Japanese cinema? Can you recommend any good English-language articles on the subject? Toho seems to have produced a number of the ones from the 1950s and 1960s, but the only one currently available on U.S. video is the dubbed version of Shue Matsubayash's HAWAII MIDDOUEI DAIKAIKUSEN: TAIHEYO NO ARASHI (1961), better known stateside as I BOMBED PEARL HARBOR. About Matsubayashi himself I've been able to find zilch, except that he directed a number of WWII films culminating in 1981 with RENGO KANTAI (U.S.: GRAND FLEET), the only film to my knowledge about the last voyage of the battleship Yamato in 1945. Some of these seem to have been distributed in the U.S. in both dubbed and subtitled versions, but I've yet to encounter any (except the aforesaid) on video. Are they available on video in Japan, and is there a good English-language Japanese video mail order website? (I have a multi-standard player.)

Internet to the rescue!

Randy Man
College of Santa Fe
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