Tenko in Japanese film ?
Mark D. Roberts
Wed Aug 29 21:01:37 EDT 2007
On Aug 30, 2007, at 8:33 AM, Michael Raine wrote:
> On the tenko question, a film that comes to mind is Masumura?s
> _Nise daigakusei_ (1960): the old liberal professor, forced out
> during the war, says of his one-time assistant ?He went bad after
> he tenko-ed? ? presumably the 40-ish professor (Funakoshi Eiji)
> tenko-ed from liberalism to ultranationalism during the war and
> then to Stalinism afterwards. Not sure which Tenko did him in ? all
> part of Masumura?s jaundiced view of Japanese intellectuals?
> weakness in the face of institutional power.
Yes, this is one of the films I've been looking at, since Shirasaka's
screenplay uses the question of tenk? to set out a pretty direct
contrast between Takagi, the old liberal professor, and Kuni
(Funakoshi Eiji), the young theory-star type. In an early scene Kuni
tells the students in his radical history study group that he feels
hopeful about their generation, whereas his was forced to perform
tenk?. Takagi, however, seems to be one who did not, and he is
evidently suffering because of it, selling off his library to try and
support the household, his vision failing after being imprisoned,
etc. The point seems to be that Takagi maintained his personal
integrity, whereas Kuni compromised and sold out (became "dame" as
The treatment is very brief: just a few lines of dialog in the entire
film, but I'm wondering if it might actually be among the first to
directly address the whole issue.
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