Re: Tenkô in Japanese film ?: Warai no daigaku

Michael McCaskey mccaskem
Mon Aug 27 07:40:41 EDT 2007

I had meant to mention Mitani Koki's Warai no daigaku--the satirical portrayal of 1930s and 1940s official performance censorship in that recent film is a classic, in my opinion.

Michael McCaskey
Georgetown Univ.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark D. Roberts" <mroberts37 at>
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2007 9:40 pm
Subject: Re: Tenk? in Japanese film ?

> 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.
> Best,
> M. Roberts

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