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Japanese Cinema in the Digital Age$
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Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835941

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835941.001.0001

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Ethnic Cinema in the Japanese Cultural Imagination

Ethnic Cinema in the Japanese Cultural Imagination

(p.114) 5 Ethnic Cinema in the Japanese Cultural Imagination
Japanese Cinema in the Digital Age

Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the place of ethnic cinema in the Japanese “cultural imagination” through an analysis of Sai Yoichi's award-winning film Blood and Bones (Chi to hone, 2004). More specifically, it considers the attractions of ethnic cinema in the case of Blood and Bones, which depicts the transnational figures of zainichi Koreans residing in Japan. It highlights the tension between cinematic effect, such as violence, and cultural knowledge associated with ethnic minorities in Japan and nurtured by such seemingly disparate discourses as Korean images in Japanese cinema, the star discourse of Kitano Takeshi, television family dramas in the 1970s, and the professional wrestling hero Rikidozan. It asks whether the tension in Blood and Bones is different from other ethnic films in Japan, how this tension operates through the film, and how the film enacts the contradiction of the ethnic desire. The chapter argues that Blood and Bones is strategically targeted to domestic audiences through the Japanese cultural imagination.

Keywords:   ethnic cinema, cultural imagination, Sai Yoichi, Blood and Bones, zainichi Koreans, cinematic effect, violence, Japanese cinema, Kitano Takeshi, Rikidozan

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