WW2 colonizing depictions, previously Self-Introduction

Jonathan M. Hall jmhall at pomona.edu
Wed Nov 25 04:41:54 EST 2009

How about Utsukushii natsu Kirishima (2002) written (in part) and directed by Kuroki Kazuo?  Manchuria is distant but important there.


差出人: owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu [owner-KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu] は Roger Macy [macyroger at yahoo.co.uk] の代理
送信日時: 2009年11月24日 18:49
宛先: KineJapan
件名: WW2 colonizing depictions, previously Self-Introduction

Although I feel sure there are listmembers resident in Japan who could think of some recent depictions of the Japanese colonial experience, I can't think of any that have travelled abroad.  I can only think of the unmade film, Koreeda's on Yamaguchi Yoshiko, that stays at the top of Koreeda's IMDb list.   Some research into the causes of the permanent shelving of such a promising subject might reveal something of the factors that are still shaping Japanese war-period film-making.

The only other recent film I've seen that would come within your search area was a Taiwanese film:-
The Song of Cha-Tian Mountain = Cha-Tien Shan zi Ge, 2007, by Huang Yu-shan (although it's not in his IMDb list).  The BFI notes have a long quote from Eric Lin's piece on the author of the original novel 'Braving Turbid Waters: Life and History in the Work of Zhong Zhaozheng' [which seems to have been subsequently re-alliterated to Chong Chao-cheng and much shortened] at taiwan-panorama.com.
http://www.taiwan-panorama.com/en/show_issue.php?search=1&id=200539403036e.txt&cur_page=1&table=2&keyword=Braving Turbid&type=1&height=1&scope=&order=0&lstPage=1&num=10

The BFI notes quote, for 2005: "The Song of Cha-Tian Mountain was a novel filled with political overtones.  On the surface, it was a tale of a Taiwanese intellectual on the run from the Japanese, escaping to Cha-Tian mountain.  In fact, while on the surface it took an anti-Japanese stance, it described what Zhong suffered under the White Terror of the Nationalist government. ..."
However, the film that I saw only took the surface view and did not hint at the underlying story that Zhong has confessed to.  In the film, in the uncredited and ropy translation that I had to rely on, [spoiler ahead] the Japanese chief-of-police, when he finally catches his man says, in pure Klingon 'You were a worthy opponent'.  I read that as an attempt to swing back onto the surface version, whilst simultaneously giving the Japanese a partial rehabilitation.
----- Original Message -----
From: AD Weiss<mailto:amandadweiss at gmail.com>
To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu<mailto:KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Sent: Sunday, November 22, 2009 2:07 PM
Subject: Re: Self-Introduction

Re-posting my private comments to Roger and Markus, to facilitate discussion:

1. To Markus--

The reason for my 2000 starting point is because the motivating factor for my research is to examine the recent phenomenon (post 2000) of many of these films on WWII being made at the same time, and to compare and contrast current Chinese and Japanese "memories" and the reasons for these representations. Since around 2000, there has been a flood of films and public discourse on the topic of WWII in both China and Japan, partially exacerbated by the textbook scandal and Chinese protests/riots about five years ago as well as Chinese nationalist fervor in the approach to the Olympics and 60th anniversary. In China, since 2000 there have been Devils on the Doorstep, Nanjing Nanjing, One Man Olympics, Tokyo Trial, etc.

In Japan, there have been a series of WWII films/TV shows made in the past tens years that have a decidedly different tenor than the films made in, for example, the sixties. I am looking for more Japanese films, books, etc. that directly or indirectly present WWII. I know it will be difficult to find Japanese films set in WWII China, so anything vaguely related would be helpful. Right now I have:

Lorelei: The Witch of the Pacific Ocean (2005)
Battle Under Orion (2009)
Yamato (2005)
1942 (2005)

Thank you for the recommendation of the catalog.

2. To Roger:

Thanks for the tips! I saw Nanjing! Nanjing! In fact, I worked in the Chinese film industry for a while, and one of my good friends (and my first Japanese teacher) was one of the main Japanese soldiers in the film. It is a small world. John Rabe was a German production, I believe (financing-wise).

With regards to Lust, Caution, interesting! I never thought to ask Japanese impressions on it--perhaps it was not the scandal it was in China. The main actress was blacklisted a bit by the government, and pretty much everyone saw it in theatres (the censored version, that is)...

Thanks again!


2009/11/21 Roger Macy <macyroger at yahoo.co.uk<mailto:macyroger at yahoo.co.uk>>
Welcome, Amanda,
I expect you are aware of the film by LU Chuan, Nanjing, Nanjing! that I mentioned recently in a posting about the London Film Festival, but you might want to consider whether to include the new film by Florian GALLENBERGER, John Rabe.  I have a ticket for the screening in London on 3rd December.  Unfortunately the blurbs for that festival only give plot details without mentioning the filmmaking, but I know it has German, Japanese and Chinese actors, with dialogue in those languages and location shooting in Shanghai.  I suggest you contact the Goethe-Institut in Tokyo and ask them about a screening, which might interest some other list-members.
The extent to which depictions from various countries are screened, or not, in their 'other' is, of course, highly relevant to an international medium and industry.  I asked at the panel in Tokyo this year on Lust, Caution, what the reception history of that film was in Japan, but no one had an answer.
Unfortunately, the literature that I have seems to cover depictions prior to 2000, so I will look at other postings with interest.
best wishes,
----- Original Message -----
From: AD Weiss<mailto:amandadweiss at gmail.com>
To: kinejapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu<mailto:kinejapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2009 9:40 AM
Subject: Self-Introduction

Amanda Weiss

Institutional affiliation or job:
PhD candidate, University of Tokyo

City and country:
Tokyo, Japan

Research projects or publications:
Currently researching Sino-Japanese memory/representations of WWII, focusing on how Chinese and Japanese films post-2000 have represented the Japanese in China.

Interests with regard to Japanese film and moving image media:
I would like to hear about Japanese films--I am new to Japanese studies, having spent the majority of my research up until this point on Chinese cinema.
Any recommendations on books and recent (after 2000) Japanese films/TV shows related to Japanese in China (or even other Pacific countries) during WWII-era would be appreciated.

This message has been scanned by Postini anti-virus software.

More information about the KineJapan mailing list