Download Historical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema PDF

TitleHistorical Dictionary of Japanese Cinema
PublisherScarecrow Press
ISBN 139780810857957
CategoryArts - Film
File Size3.7 MB
Total Pages565
Table of Contents
Editor’s Foreword
Reader’s Note
Acronyms and Abbreviations
The Dictionary
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
About the Author
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Historical Dictionaries of literature
anD tHe arts

Jon Woronoff, series editor

Science Fiction Literature, by Brian Stableford, 2004.
Hong Kong Cinema, by Lisa Odham Stokes, 2007.
American Radio Soap Operas, by Jim Cox, 2005.
Japanese Traditional Theatre, by Samuel L. Leiter, 2006.
Fantasy Literature, by Brian Stableford, 2005.
Australian and New Zealand Cinema, by Albert Moran and Errol Vieth, 2006.
African-American Television, by Kathleen Fearn-Banks, 2006.
Lesbian Literature, by Meredith Miller, 2006.
Scandinavian Literature and Theater, by Jan Sjåvik, 2006.
British Radio, by Seán Street, 2006.
German Theater, by William Grange, 2006.
African American Cinema, by S. Torriano Berry and Venise Berry, 2006.
Sacred Music, by Joseph P. Swain, 2006.
Russian Theater, by Laurence Senelick, 2007.
French Cinema, by Dayna Oscherwitz and MaryEllen Higgins, 2007.
Postmodernist Literature and Theater, by Fran Mason, 2007.
Irish Cinema, by Roderick Flynn and Pat Brereton, 2007.
Australian Radio and Television, by Albert Moran and Chris Keating, 2007.
Polish Cinema, by Marek Haltof, 2007.
Old Time Radio, by Robert C. Reinehr and Jon D. Swartz, 2008.
Renaissance Art, by Lilian H. Zirpolo, 2008.
Broadway Musical, by William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird, 2008.
American Theater: Modernism, by James Fisher and Felicia Hardison Londré,
German Cinema, by Robert C. Reimer and Carol J. Reimer, 2008.
Horror Cinema, by Peter Hutchings, 2008.
Westerns in Cinema, by Paul Varner, 2008.
Chinese Theater, by Tan Ye, 2008.
Italian Cinema, by Gino Moliterno, 2008.
Architecture, by Allison Lee Palmer, 2008.
Russian and Soviet Cinema, by Peter Rollberg, 2008.
African American Theater, by Anthony D. Hill, 2009.
Postwar German Literature, by William Grange, 2009.
Modern Japanese Literature and Theater, by J. Scott Miller, 2009.
Animation and Cartoons, by Nichola Dobson, 2009.
Modern Chinese Literature, by Li-hua Ying, 2010.

Page 282

taNaKa KiNuyo • 241

suke, and played the title role in the same director’s silent adaptation of
Kawabata Yasunari’s The Izu Dancer (Koi no hana saku: Izu no odoriko,
1933). She also played as Okoto, the blind daughter of a wealthy merchant, in
Shimazu Yasujirô’s Okoto and Sasuke (Shunkin shô: Okoto to Sasuke, 1935),
an adaptation of tanizaki Junichirô’s A Portait of Shunkin (Shunkin shô).
During the decade, she was so popular that several titles bore her name: Gos-
ho’s The Kinuyo Story (Kinuyo monogatari, 1930) and two films by Nomura
Hiromasa, Doctor Kinuyo (Joi Kinuyo sensei, 1937) and Kinuyo’s First Love
(Kinuyo no hatsukoi, 1940). She also appeared in Nomura’s The Love-Troth
Tree (Aizen katsu, 1938), a romance in which she played a nurse in love with
a doctor, played by Uehara Ken, which became the biggest-grossing film of
the prewar and war periods.

In 1940, Tanaka first appeared for Mizoguchi, in A Woman of Osaka (Na-
niwa onna), although sadly there are no extant prints of this title. Mizoguchi
is credited with transforming the actress, giving her more challenging parts
and allowing her career to enter a new phase. Typical of her roles for the di-
rector, as hard-working, long-suffering women at the mercy of the patriarchal
order, was Life of Oharu (Saikaku ichidai onna, 1952), in which she played
an attendant of the imperial court in Kyoto who is forced into exile after an
unsuitable liaison with a low-born page (played by Mifune toshirô), begin-
ning an irreversible decline in her fortunes as she descends in status to concu-
bine, then common prostitute. Other appearances for Mizoguchi include Five
Women Around Utamaro (Utamaro o meguru gonin no onna, 1946), The Lady
from Musashino (Musashino fujin, 1951), Ugetsu (Ugetsu monogatari, 1953),
Sansho the Bailiff (Sanshô dayû, 1954), and A Woman of Rumor (Uwasa no
onna, 1954).

Tanaka also made noteworthy appearances in films for other directors dur-
ing this period, including several works for Kinoshita Keisuke, such as Army
(Rikugun, 1944), The Yotsuya Ghost Story (Tôkaidô Yotsuya kaidan, 1949),
and The Ballad of Narayama (Narayama bushiko, 1958), for which she re-
ceived the Best Actress Award from the magazine Kinema Jumpô; Gosho’s
Where Chimneys Are Seen (Entotsu no mieru basho, 1953); naruse Mikio’s
Ginza Cosmetics (Ginza geshô, 1951), Mother (Okaasan, 1952), and Flowing
(Nagareru, 1956); and Ozu’s A Hen in the Wind (Kaze no naka no mendori,
1948) and Equinox Flower (Higanbana, 1958).

Tanaka’s 1949 visit to Hollywood prompted her to go freelance, affording
her the ability to choose the directors she wished to work with and also giving
her the impetus to direct her own films. Though she was not, as is often sug-
gested, Japan’s first woman filmmaker, she was the first to establish a signifi-
cant body of work, directing six films between 1953 and 1962. Released by
shintoho, Love Letter (Koibumi, 1953) was a romantic melodrama scripted

Page 283

242 • taNiZaKi JuNichirÔ

by Kinoshita that was entered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in
1954 and focused on the predicaments of women in the postwar era; The
Moon Has Risen (Tsuki wa noborinu, 1955) was a family drama for the newly
reformed nikkatsu, scripted by Ozu and the screenwriter Saitô Ryôsuke; The
Eternal Breasts (Chibusa yo eien nare, 1955) was about a woman poet who
succumbs to breast cancer; The Wandering Princess (Ruten no ôhi, 1960),
starring Kyô Machiko, was scripted by ichikawa Kon’s wife, Wada Natto,
from the autobiography of the Japanese woman who was chosen by the mili-
tarists to marry the brother of Puyi, the puppet Emperor of Manchuria (see
also MANCHURIA FILM ASSOCIATION); Girls of Dark (Onna bakari
no yoru, 1961) was about the rehabilitation of young prostitutes; and Love
Under the Crucifix (Oginsama, 1962) was a tragic jidai-geki set against the
backdrop of Japan’s suppression of Christianity at the end of the 16th cen-
tury. Though Tanaka only appeared, if at all, in minor roles in her own films,
it has been suggested that her status as an actress undermined her work as a
filmmaker, which, compounded with the male-dominated environment of the
industry, ultimately led to her withdrawal from directing.

In the 1960s Tanaka, as an actress, moved increasingly toward television,
though she made noteworthy appearances in, among other films, Ichikawa’s
Her Brother (Otôto, 1960) and Alone Across the Pacific (Taiheiyô hitori-bot-
chi, 1963); Kurosawa akira’s Red Beard (Akahige, 1965); and most notably
Kumai Kei’s Sandakan No. 8 (Sandakan hachiban shôkan: Bôkyô, 1974),
playing the aged overseas prostitute now returned to Japan, whose reminis-
cences form the structure of the story, for which she received her second Best
Actress Award from Kinema Jumpô and the same award at the 1975 Berlin
Film Festival. She was also one of the interviewees in shindô Kaneto’s doc-
umentary Kenji Mizoguchi: The Life of a Film Director (Aru eiga kantoku
no shôgai: Mizoguchi Kenji no kiroku, 1975). Her last screen appearance,
before her death of a brain tumor on 21 March 1977, was in Lullaby for the
Good Earth (Daiichi no komoriuta, 1976), directed by Masumura Yasuzô.

taniZaKi JunicHirÔ (谷崎潤一郎, 1886–1965). Tanizaki Junichirô
was one of the best-known Japanese novelists and essayists of the 20th cen-
tury. His writing, especially in the early half of his career, was marked by a
fascination with the West and issues surrounding Japanese cultural identity,
modernization, and, in particular, cinema, and he was a vocal advocate for the
reformation of Japanese cinema within the Pure film Movement.

Tanizaki’s stories, often containing themes of erotic obsession, have been
remarkably popular with filmmakers. His first published work, The Tattooer
(Shi -sei), about a tattoo artist who abducts a young girl and adorns her with
the image of a large spider that awakens in her a new awareness of her sexu-

Page 564


Jasper sharp is a film historian and curator specializing in Japanese cinema
and the cofounder, with Tom Mes, of the website Midnight Eye. His book
The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film, joint written with Tom Mes,
was published by Stone Bridge Press in 2004, while Behind the Pink Curtain,
about the Japanese pink film industry, was published by FAB Press in 2008.
He has contributed to several anthologies, including 24 Frames: Japan and
Korea (ed. Justin Bowyer) for Wallflower Press, Film Out of Bounds: Essays
and Interviews on Non-Mainstream Cinema Worldwide for McFarland (ed.
Matthew Edwards), Tokyolife: Art and Design (ed. Ian Luna) for Rizzoli,
and Dictionnaire du Cinéma Asiatique (ed. Adrien Gombeaud) for Nouveau
Monde Éditions, and his articles on film have appeared in numerous pub-
lications, including Sight and Sound, Variety, SFX, Film International, and
3d World. He has curated film programs and retrospectives for numerous
festivals and film museums across the world and is on the advisory board
of Intellect Publishing’s Journal of Japanese & Korean Cinema. He is a fre-
quent visitor to Japan and lived in Tokyo from 2002 to 2005. He is currently
a PhD student at the University of Sheffield researching the adoption of the
widescreen cinema format in Japan.

About the Author

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