Films that depict the occupation of Japan, made afterwards

Martin Vieillot eigagogo at
Tue Sep 7 13:36:05 EDT 2010

You can add "Shin Abashiri Bangaichi", i guess further Takakura/Toei movies will fit in this category, and much more others in fact!
I didn't see Shinoda "post-war youth movies" (Moonlight Serenade, McArthur Children + another one) but it seems they fit into that category as well. Gate of youth & Theatre Of life also comes in mind (but again i didn't see these)


----- Mail Original -----
De: "Roger Macy" <macyroger at>
À: "KineJapan" <KineJapan at>
Envoyé: Mardi 7 Septembre 2010 19h22:16 GMT +01:00 Amsterdam / Berlin / Berne / Rome / Stockholm / Vienne
Objet: Films that depict the occupation of Japan, made afterwards

Dear Kinejapaners, 

I'm afraid I've got a new bone to pick. 

I caught 'Stray Dog' last night at the NFT, having missed it during the recent Kurosawa retrospective. The film was introduced by Mamoun Hassan, who made several interesting points, most of which I agree with. He asked rhetorically if anyone had ever seen Allied soldiers in Japanese occupation-era films and, of course, no one had - fair point. But he then went onto claim that films about the occupation were also absent from post-1952 Japanese cinema since the Japanese didn't want to be reminded of this era. 

This did surprise me as I've banging on for years on to anyone that might listen that someone should do a season of cross-national films around occupation. No Japanese ones? That started me on a list of films made after the occupation that depicted the era and situation.. 

Leaving aside films mainly on re-patriation, or the hibakusha, themes to themselves; leaving aside Ōshima, who rarely set a scene in the occupation period, but for whom in most of his career the American occupation had not really ended; and leaving aside films like Ozu's Early Spring , where the prior death of the child, seemingly in the occupation period, weighs so heavily; I can still think of more than enough for a Japanese share in a season (below). And my list is culled just from those few films shown in the west. I seem to recall mention of many more that I haven't seen, and that's where I'd appreciate some help. I'd be surprised if directors like Imai, Kamei or Ieki didn't do retrospective films on the occupation, but they haven't been shown here. 

Now, few of these films have companies of American, or other Allied soldiers marching past outside the window. Actors convincing as westerners were unaffordable to Japanese studios in the 50s and 60s at least. But films about life in an occupied country don't need sharply drawn occupiers. And isn't this the point - almost the opposite of Mamoun Hassan's thesis - that there are films about the occupation; but that 'we' don't want to see them, or at least that they are not much shown at the BFI, because they sideline westerners as unimportant or faceless characters, and/or they are politically uncomfortable for us ? 

Anyway, here's my initial list, if anyone could add to it, or dispute it, please :- 

Films that depict the occupation of Japan, made afterwards. 

Floating Clouds 	


NARUSE Mikio 	






Many of the 'Battles without Humanity' series 	

Jingi naka takakai etc. 	







Pigs and Battleships 	

Buta to gunkan 	

IMAMURA Shōhei 	


History of Postwar Japan as Told By a Bar Hostess 	

Nippon sengo shi Madamu onboro no seikatsu 	

IMAMURA Shōhei 	


Grave of the Fireflies 	

Hotaru no haka 	



Zero Focus 	

Zero no shōten 	

NOMURA Yoshitarō 	


Zero Focus 	

Zero no shōten 	

INUDO Ishin 	


Yokohama Mary 	

Yokohama Mary 	

NAKAMURA Takayuki 	


Many of the 'Brutal Tales of Chivalry' series 	

Shōwa Zankyōden, etc. 	

SAEKI Kiyoshi 	


A Hole of My Own Making 	

Jibun no ana no naka de 	




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