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Nippon ModernJapanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s$
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Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831820

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831820.001.0001

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(p.130) Conclusion
Nippon Modern

Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter reviews how the book has explored the ways in which Japanese cinema expressed a distinct vision of modernity by focusing on five aspects of the Japanese cinema in the 1920s and 1930s: Tokyo urban space, the middle-class film genre, modern sports, the woman’s film, and Kamata style. It has argued that modern Japanese subjectivity was reified by the Japanese themselves through popular culture, especially the cinema. Tokyo symbolically and materially figured as the capital of Japanese modernity, and the Shochiku Kamata Film Studios’ prolific output of films consciously emulated Hollywood filmmaking modes to express a vision of modern Japanese life. The book concludes with a discussion of the role that film criticism played in the discourses of Japanese modern subjectivity, from the nationalist turn toward exceptionalism to the postwar acceptance of Japan as a vassal of the United States. In particular, it considers the work of Tsumura Hideo to illustrate the contested nature of Japanese modernity.

Keywords:   woman’s film, Japanese cinema, Tokyo, urban space, middle-class film, Kamata style, Japanese modernity, Shochiku Kamata Film Studios, film criticism, Tsumura Hideo

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