The Attractive Empire
Transnational Film Culture in Imperial Japan
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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My earliest research into the subject of this book began more than twenty years ago. This book was made possible by the generous and tireless assistance of the staff of many libraries and collections including: the Special Collections and Theater Libraries at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of California at Los Angeles Film and Television Archive, the Tsubouchi Memorial ...
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In 2002, the fourth highest grossing film in South Korea was a big-budget science fiction epic directed by Lee Si-Myung entitled 2009: Lost Memories. Based on a bestselling novel by Bok Geo-il, the film poses the intriguing question: "What if Japan had never lost its empire?"1 Lost Memories offers viewers an alternate history in which Korean nationalist Ahn Jung-geun (a real-life figure who as-...
Chapter One: From Film Colony to Film Sphere
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Imperial Japanese film culture was complex---its influence extended to practically every area of the empire. In the case of Taiwan, I consider the ways in which the colonial government used film education programs to assimilate indigenous Taiwanese populations while at the same time combating the undermining influence of Chinese films. For Korea, I investigate the role of colonial film censor-...
Chapter Two: Media Empire: Creating Audiences
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Throughout the 1930s cultural producers in Japan gradually became aware that their sphere of influence was expanding beyond the borders of the Japanese home islands. Japanese animated films were screened in Taiwan, Chinese-themed melodies like "China Tango" played in dance halls in Shanghai, and Japanese film magazines were sold in Manchuria. The Japanese were no longer the only ones ...
Chapter Three: Imperial Acts: Japan Performs Asia
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This sequence from the 1942 film The Green Earth hints that under the façade of the images of Japan as the leading nation of Asia idealized in its "goodwill" films was a palpable fear of interacting with the cultures and people it subjugated through rapid colonial expansion. That Japanese could effortlessly summon...
Chapter Four: Competing Empires in Transnational Asia
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Japanese ideologues and filmmakers realized that ethnic and cultural divisions within Japan's empire were not the only challenges facing its campaign for cultural hegemony in Asia; competition with the United States, Germany, France, and other nations with long-held ambitions in Asia were a constant source of concern. Japan gained and maintained its Asian empire vis-à-vis two different ...
Chapter Five: The Emperor's Celluloid Army Marches On
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Japan's surrender to the Allies in 1945 marked an end to the physical reality of Japanese empire, but Japanese filmmakers continued to struggle with the loss of empire in the years after the war. For those who had lived their entire lives under the reality of Japanese empire---many of them outside the home islands of Japan---the question of how the newly decolonized Japanese nation fit in Asia ...
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Publication Year: 2008