Covert dissent in wartime cinema?

Alexander Jacoby a_p_jacoby at
Mon Nov 7 10:34:04 EST 2005

Dear all,
I think what worried me about Peter's original post was the categorical tone of it - the assertion that any implication of dissent that we read into Japanese films of the period was purely something that we were reading into it, in every case. This assertion was not something that I had gathered from reading The Imperial Screen itself, which seemed to me rather more nuanced. Peter states he will go on producing clear-cut theses, but I don't think The Imperial Screen is as clear-cut as he implies, and I mean that as a compliment.
I second Aaron's comments and have little else to add myself. Rather than prolonging the debate, I'd like to raise a point suggested by Peter's last post, with its tribute to two erudite Japanese scholars. I should frankly admit that I had not heard of the gentlemen in question, and this alarming fact reminds me of how film scholarship in Japan and English-language research into Japanese films often seem to occur in different worlds, not merely in different countries. I speak and read Japanese to a decent-ish (2kyu) standard - which is to say, enough for me to follow much of the dialogue of an unsubtitled film, but not enough for me to read specialist texts in Japanese (especially not old ones) without a great deal of help. Scholars like Peter who are fluent in both English and Japanese are vital intermediaries between two groups of people who are concerned with the same material but often find themselves working separately and writing for separate readerships. Has any schol!
 blessed with fluency in both languages thought of producing a volume of selected translations of important articles written about Japanese cinema by Japanese scholars? This could be a great boon to us all.
In answer to the question about my essay on Ornamental Hairpin, it's in Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts, a forthcoming book containing essays by numerous writers each focusing on individual films from the thirties to the present day. Most of the films being covered are famous enough to be on tape or DVD. Shimizu's film isn't, so only a lucky few readers will ever have the chance to verify my conclusions! I'm not sure who has written most of the other articles, but Donald Richie has covered Fire Festival and my editor, Alastair Phillips, has written on I Was Born, But... The book will be out in the spring.


To help you stay safe and secure online, we've developed the all new Yahoo! Security Centre.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the KineJapan mailing list