Non-Japanese treatments of post-war Japan, previously 'Self-Introduction'

Roger Macy macyroger at
Thu Mar 25 21:48:08 EDT 2010

Dear James, Welcome,
In a recent Midnight Eye review, I did question how far 'Mishima, A Life in Four Chapters' could be characterised as American (or Japanese).
And on a recent thread here, I questioned whether Wenders was the author of the Japanese interviews in 'Tokyo-Ga'.  Following advice on the thread at the time, I did email the Wenders office about the identity of the interviewer, but I got no response.
As for the voice-over in the rest of the film, I'd like to suggest that it is in the same tradition as the voice-over of Sternberg in 'Saga of Anatahan' (although 'pontificating' isn't the precise word I'd use to describe Sternberg).  But there is an opportunity to operate a control on the Sternberg film, since it's Japanese version 'Anatahan', had a separate, earlier Japanese release, presumably without the Sternberg commentary.  This film does make it JMDb
unlike, I think, any of the other films mentioned.
Presumably this exists in some archive?  Has anyone seen the Japanese version ?

As for documentaries, there's any amount of TV documentaries on Japan, and I'm not sure where you'd draw the line.

And, since you've got as close as Taiwan, there is the legal point that Okinawa was not part of Japan from 1952 to 1970.    I don't know whether there were any Okinawan takes on Japan ?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "James King" <jking at>
To: <kinejapan at>
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:59 PM
Subject: Self-Introduction

> Hello,
> I am writing a book on American/European (also Indian and Taiwanese)
> treatments of post World War II Japan. This narrative would do a wide
> variety of films: e.g. Sayonara, A Bridge to the Sun, The Sun,
> Hiroshima, Mon Amour, The Teahouse of the August Moon, Mishima, Lost in
> Translation, Café Lumière, The Pillow Book, the documentaries of
> Wenders, Marker, Richie.
> In recent years, my scholarship/writing has been related to Japan.
> Five years ago I published a novel Pure Inventions that is (in part)
> set in Edo. In 2007, Japanese Warrior Prints,1727-1960 was published by
> Hotei (the book was co-written with Yuriko Iwakiri). This spring my
> history of the Japanese landscape print will come out: Beyond The Great
> Wave: The Japanese Landscape Print, 1727-1960 (Bern: Peter Lang).  
> Although my project may not fit directly into the interests of most
> members of KineJapan, I would be interested to hear from anyone
> interested in the theoretical issues raised by this project. 
> James King, F.R.S.C.
> Distinguished University Professor
> Department of English and Cultural Studies
> McMaster University
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