Japanese Identity and Cultural Politics in the 1980s

Roger Macy macyroger at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Feb 24 20:11:53 EST 2009

Dear Abraheme,
The trouble with posting a question on the list is that you are more likely to have people stretching your idea out than narrowing it for you, as you asked!
Glancing down the very patchy list of films from the 80s that I've seen, there seems to be something of a thread of relationships with elder members of the family.  Imamura's Narayama bushiko, of course, but also Haneda's Hyachine no fu, and Kobayashi's Shokutaku no ai ie, deals with the relationship of a father to his son's actions.  Ran, of course, is a re-working of Lear.  And isn't the Tokugawa in Teshigahara's Rikyu, rebelling against a father-figure (whilst also standing for more recent political follies).
But good luck with finding your own path,
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Abraheme Hassan 
  To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 11:51 PM
  Subject: Ignore First Email,

  To all list members, 

  This is my present thesis.

      Japanese Identity and Cultural Politics in the 1980s

         From 1900 to the end of the Taisho era (1926), Japanese cinema was solely made for, and by the Japanese. As Japan modernized due to Western influence after the Taisho era, Japanese cinema bloomed with a variety of genres, and their national cinema had to appeal to foreign audiences, not only for domestic viewing and commercial success. 
         The period to be examined is the 1980s. Following numerous cultural, political and economic transformations after WWII and prior to the massive 1989 political and economic reforms, there are a number of themes related to Japanese identity that I propose to discuss and analyze in my thesis. Through the mediums of film and literature of the 1980s, I will study specific linguistic, social and psychological standards and contradictions of Japanese society. Among others I will be examining the works of Wakamatsu Koji, Oshima Nagisa and Imamura Shohei, and selected writers like Murakami Haruki, Yamamoto Michiki and Oe Kenzaburo, etc.
         I plan to pursue and acquire the information through library research, interpretation of films, literature, and interviews. I will present my research findings in a minimum thirty-page paper. 

  This thesis is way to large to tackle. And I have decided to narrow down to family structure through film and literature in Japan during modern times. However, I can not decide on the time frame of analyzing the family structure, perhaps from 1989 onwards because of major economic and political reforms?

  The only films that come mind and I haven't been in touch with contemporary Japanese films, is "Nobody Knows" by Hirokazu Nikeeda and Cafe Lumiere by Tsai Ming Liang ( which was a tribute to Ozu, says Liang)...

  Any suggestions about films, books, and on the thesis would be  highly  appreciated.


  Abraheme Hassan 
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