Tough question for Japanese film experts.

Aaron Gerow gerow
Thu Nov 22 01:36:46 EST 2001

Again, Roland comes in with the informative answer.  I second his opinion 
that Kimura is worthy of more study, if only in terms of the problem of 
"tenko" in the film industry, and the attraction Man'ei and Manchuria 
held for the left (as in the case of Uchida and Iwasaki Akira).

Just to add a bit from a personal note:

First, two of Kimura's prewar films are generally available in video in 
Japan: the 1933 Horoyoi jinsei, a wonderful example of early sound, P.C.L 
modernism, the relation between cinema and commerce (the film was 
sponsored by a beer company), and the "musical" genre; and the 1936 Ani 
imoto, which I think is a more interesting adaption of the Muro Saisei 
novel than Naruse's 1953 version.

Second, given the Kimura family's collosal filial productivity, it is not 
suprising that some of Sotoji's siblings (not all with the same mother) 
also became famous. Kimura Sota was a novelist who was involved with 
Osugi Sakae, Tsuji Jun, and other anarchist modernists, and worked on 
creating an actual anarchist rural community in the model of Kropotkin. 
Kimura Akebono was an important early woman novelist. Kimura Shohachi was 
a famous Western style painter and illustrator.  And Kimura Soju was a 
popular novelist who won the Naoki Prize in 1941.  There are likely some 
more, but that's probably enough.  It would be interesting just to 
investigate this family sometime.

Aaron Gerow
Associate Professor
International Student Center
Yokohama National University
79-1 Tokiwadai
Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama 240-8501
E-mail: gerow at
Phone: 81-45-339-3170
Fax: 81-45-339-3171

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