Spring Awakens (was: Hideko the Bus Conductor)

Roger Macy macyroger at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Mar 1 05:30:55 EST 2011

So, if soft drinks were in such short supply, what of sake - given that there was, in any case general disapproval of frivolity and booze ?

I'm thinking of Kurosawa and his account of censorship of Uma, in the chapter called 'Congenital Defects', p111 in my english paperback edition.  K reports that he got into stubborn, stand-off with the military censor who demanded the cutting of  an elaborately shot scene because Takamine buys a bottle of booze for her family in the daytime.  K says he was particularly mad because the censor wouldn't explain himself.  Presumably the scene is lost (and I haven't seen the film).  But if drinks were in short supply, is it possible that the underlying battle is whether the censors thought they saw the past being inserted into the present ?  OK, this is a stretch ...

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maria Jose Gonzalez 
  To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu 
  Sent: Monday, February 28, 2011 5:53 PM
  Subject: Re: Spring Awakens (was: Hideko the Bus Conductor)

        I totally agree with film being an invocation of a near past.It made me think that many Japanese viewers express feeling a sense of nostalgia on seeing the boss drinking "ramune",
        He does so quite freely,again so perfectly evocative of a true Japanese summer,pouring it on ice.
        However,one can consider that such a drink would have been somehow scarce during war time and indeed searching some ramune history,during the Sino-Japanese war of 1937 production fell drastically due to the lack of sugar,aromatic ingredients and carbonic gas.
        In 1941,a great number of people working in ramune factories were drafted,production fell and many factories were destroyed.By the end of the war,there were only 468 factories left,producing just a mere 1% compared to production figures in Taisho year 15.
        It seems very unrealistic that in such a remote-looking area as appears in the film,this drink is so easy to buy,even for the boss.

        --- On Tue, 1/3/11, Maria Jose Gonzalez <tkarsavina at yahoo.com> wrote:

          From: Maria Jose Gonzalez <tkarsavina at yahoo.com>
          Subject: Re: Spring Awakens (was: Hideko the Bus Conductor)
          To: KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
          Date: Tuesday, 1 March, 2011, 1:44 AM

                Just months before that same year,another "bus" film by Hiroshi Shimizu,"Akatsuki no Gassho" had been released and Naruse was of course very much aware of the comparisons that would arise.
                This film deals with yet another conductress and again contains no traces of a country at war (apparently it was filmed in Akita Prefecture which suggests films were moving away from the capital area to avoid it).


                --- On Tue, 1/3/11, Michael Kerpan <mekerpan at verizon.net> wrote:

                  From: Michael Kerpan <mekerpan at verizon.net>
                  Subject: Spring Awakens (was: Hideko the Bus Conductor)
                  To: "KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu" <KineJapan at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu>
                  Date: Tuesday, 1 March, 2011, 1:12 AM

                  > This has the feel of a story of the near past, only pretending to be in the present.

                  This is true of one Naruse's early post-war films.  I get a feeling that this could as easily have been set around 1930 as around the latter 1940s. (This is another of my top 1940s Naruse films). ;~} 


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