This book examines the collective significance and cumulative impact of Japanese imperial film culture—defined as an integrated system of film-related processes including legislation, production, distribution, exhibition, criticism, and reception—on the creation of a transnational empire in Asia as an ideological construct. It traces the colonial roots of imperial Japanese film culture in Asia in Taiwan and Korea and describes its semicolonial markets in Manchuria and Shanghai, as well as the occupied territories of Southeast Asia. The book argues that the Japanese film industry was integral to Japan's imperial enterprise from 1895 to 1945 and that Asia was central to the construction of Japan's collective national identity. This introduction provides an overview of the South Korean film 2009: Lost Memories in order to highlight the cultural legacy of Japanese imperialism. It also discusses the role of the transnational film in the promotion and expansion of the Japanese empire in Asia from 1896 to 1945, along with the historiography of Japan's cinema of empire.
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