Re: Tenkô in Japanese film ?

Mark D. Roberts mroberts37
Sun Aug 26 21:40:06 EDT 2007

Dear Michael, Mathieu, and others,

Thanks very much for all of your enlightening comments. I had thought  
of Kurosawa, and Oshima's "Night and Fog", the latter being one of  
the reasons why I was curious about pre-1960 films. Also, Oshima's  
film touches on this but seems more concerned with disillusionment  
and analysis of "internal" failure.

Tsurumi indeed is the main source for analysis, though I'm not sure  
if he discusses the phenomenon of "mass tenk?". It seems there is not  
so much in the field in film studies, though. On this point, Richie's  
"Art and Industry" is somewhat critical of Imai Tadashi for his shift  
from left to right to left, but Richie doesn't really acknowledge  
what was involved in tenk?. He treats it as a lack of political  
conviction on the part of the individual, and makes little or no  
mention of practices of coercion. In a more recent book review,  
Yomota remarks that Peter High's book received a mixed reception in  
part because of some ongoing resistance to discuss tenk?.

Based upon a very brief survey of this, my impression is that the  
generation of directors who began working in the late 1950s were  
perhaps the first with the liberty to openly treat topic this in  
their films.

Again, thanks much for your thoughts about this.


M. Roberts

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