News and Opinion

I am still amazed by those who have the time to maintain a blog. I don't, so the best I can offer here is occasional short bits of news and observations. 

I have disabled comments for this site. If you want to discuss Japanese cinema, please join KineJapan, the list for which I serve as co-owner. 

Mori Tatsuya, the Great Togo, and Research

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This is one of the more peculiar ways I’ve gotten “published.” Mori Tatsuya, the documentary filmmaker and journalist (A, A2, 311, Fake, etc.), contacted me in December asking for help with a new edition of his book, Akuyaku resura wa warau (The Heel Wrestler Laughs). Published as an Iwanami Shinsho in 2005, it was about a Japanese-American pro wrestler known as the Great Togo, who came to specialize in playing the heel in the ring after World War II, but who also traveled to Japan and was close to Rikidozan, whom he helped manage when Rikidozan toured the West Coast. Just as Rikidozan pretended to be Japanese even though he was Korean, so there were statements that the Great Togo was not Japanese, or that his mother was Chinese, etc. Mori-san published the book in 2005 without having the means or the opportunity to investigate all those stories. 

So that’s why he contacted me this time. Knowing that the Great Togo’s real name was Okamura Kazuo (aka George Okamura), he did some net searching and thought he found phone numbers of relatives. He wondered if I could call those people. Knowing that such free net searches rarely come up with real numbers, I decided to do some searching on my own. (I did call the numbers in the end, and of course they were all disconnected.) Using public databases and databases through Yale, I did a lot of searching on Okamura and quickly found out a lot. (I’ve been doing a lot of genealogy research so many of these databases are familiar to me.) I did ascertain that not only were both his parents Japanese, but also that the US government treated him as Japanese and sent him to the Amache internment camp in Colorado. Perhaps because of his business or his status as a minority, or possibly to survive  he did fib a bit, lying about his age on some documents, lying about his wife on a reentry document (he was first married to seemingly a Caucasian woman before divorcing after three years, after which he married a nikkei woman from his home town), and saying he graduated from the University of Oregon with a major in philosophy (I couldn’t confirm that, but couldn’t disprove it either). But it was pretty clear what his ancestry was. What also came out was how difficult his life was before WWII. His father ran a small fruit orchard in Hood River, Oregon (a town I’ve been to many times), but the local paper reports both successes and failures—and a childhood accident for George. The paper also reported that he was the first Japanese kid in his elementary school, and that the name George came from George Washington (perhaps chosen in an effort to have him fit in?). His itinerant life as a wrestler—which he started from the late 1930s—is evident from his draft card, with many new addresses written all over the edges. Interestingly, he happened to be touring in Hawaii when the war started, seemingly with his infant son but not his wife (or so says the passenger manifest of the ship). 

Theorizing Colonial Cinema: Japanese Film Theory and Empire

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In my research on Japanese film theory, I have always tried to complicate the concept of “Japanese” in the name of the topic. I do that not just through critiquing the desire to find the origins of such film theory in supposedly “traditional” aesthetics, but also through recognizing that “Japan” and the nation were often contested within film theory. If Tsumura Hideo or Sawamura Tsutomu conceptualized cinema in support of Japan’s  “holy war,” Tosaka Jun critiqued the ideology of Japan while attempting to conceive of film as an alternative way of knowing (his resistance eventually put him in jail, where he died). 

Yet one of my regrets with the anthology we produced, Rediscovering Classical Japanese Film Theory, is that we did not include any thinkers writing in Japan’s colonies or colonial spaces. We in effect reproduced the geography of the nation by picking authors who were Japanese citizens writing in Japan and in Japanese. It is in part regret over that that I did some research on some of the theory that we missed. This was occasioned by a conference that took place at Duke University in November 2016 (I remember the general funk over and the protests against Trump’s victory). My paper was, on the one hand, a continuation of my thinking about the internalization of empire that I explored in my article "Colonial Era Korean Cinema and the Problem of Internalization" (which you can read here). Was film theory in the colonies internalizing the ideologies of Japanese film theory? But on the other hand, it was also an attempt to show that we cannot discuss Japanese film theory without thinking about empire—that empire is part of the “Japanese” in Japanese film theory. 

Sato Tadao sensei (1930–2022)

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I opened up Facebook on the morning of March 21 and was sad to a post by Ishizaka Kenji, a professor at the Japan Institute of the Moving Image and a coordinator at the Tokyo International Film Festival. The announcement stated that Sato Tadao 佐藤忠男 had died on March 17, 2022. The Japan Institute of the Moving Image eventually put out an official announcement on its home page, since Sato was both Professor Emeritus and former president of the Institute.

Sato was one of the greatest and most influential film critics and scholars in Japan. He was always a bit different from other critics and academics, in part because he never went to college. As he always said, cinema to him was his school. He was born in 1930, and his real name is Iiri Tadao. While working at various jobs, including at the national rail company and an electronics factory, he began writing film reviews and got involved at Shiso no kagaku, an intellectual association led by Tsurumi Shunsuke, which helped define his life-long focus on the popular dimensions of modern entertainment. Working as an editor at Eiga hyoron and other publications, Sato became an extremely prolific writer, publishing over a hundred books on topics not just related to film, but also including manga, education, theater, democracy, war, literature, etc. He also wrote books for younger readers. With his wife, Sato Hisako, who was a strong presence in his work, he founded the film historiographical journal Eigashi kenkyu in 1973, and as a historian, eventually published a monumental four volume history of Japanese film (cover above). As an educator, he began teaching at Imamura Shohei’s film school, which later became the Japan Institute of the Moving Image. Sato eventually became president of that institution. He actively engaged with foreign cinema and critics, attending film festivals and conferences around the world, and serving as director of the Focus on Asia film festival in Fukuoka, helping introduce other Asian cinemas to Japan. He received numerous awards, including the Person of Cultural Merit from the Japanese government in 2019. He is the Japanese film critic who has arguably been translated the most into English, with Currents in Japanese Cinema (1982) and Kenji Mizoguchi and the Art of Japanese Cinema (2011) being two book-length translations.

Writing on Obayashi Nobuhiko’s Anti-War Trilogy

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Although I never intended to become an Obayashi Nobuhiko expert, I have nonetheless developed a significant connection with that utterly unique Japanese film director. It started when we invited him and his family to Yale, after which I programmed a retrospective of his work at the Japan Society. He later asked me to contribute to one of his books, and it was only a day or two after he treated my family to dinner in Tokyo that he found he had cancer. We did get to meet him and his wife Kyoko again before he passed away in 2020. I then moderated a commemorative panel discussion on him for Japan Cuts, and have begun putting together an anthology on him with Aiko Masubuchi, the former Japan Society film programmer.

So it was perhaps destiny—as well as quite a pleasure—to get a request from Adam Torel at Third Window Films to pen an article for their BluRay release of Obayashi’s anti-war trilogy, composed of Casting Blossoms to the Sky (2011), Seven Weeks (2014), and Hanagatami (2017). 

As I did when announcing the Blu-Ray for Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, here is the first paragraph of my essay:

Bunka Eiga Kenkyu, Prewar Japanese Documentary, and Film Theory

Bunka eiga kenkyu, the third in my series of reprints of prewar film studies/film theory journals at Yumani Shobo, has been published. This follows the reprints of Eiga kagaku kenkyu (see my introduction here) and Eiga geijutsu kenkyu (see my introduction here).

BunkaEigaKenkyu

Bunka eiga kenkyu is a bit closer to Eiga kagaku kenkyu than to Eiga geijutsu kenkyu in that it is less a film theory journal, like the latter, than a periodical by filmmakers attempting to understand their art and practice. It was actually not my first choice to do for the third reprint. The plan was to do Eiga zuihitsu, the legendary coterie magazine published in Kyoto in the late 1920s that was core to what Makino Mamoru later called the Kyoto Eiga Gakuha. But that journal is so rare, Yumani could not gather enough original issues to serve as the basis for the reprint. So I was asked to identify a substitute and had to do it quickly. I picked Bunka eiga kenkyu because, of the prewar journals that had not been reprinted and that could be reprinted without too much difficulty, it was probably the most consequential, especially in the field of documentary and debates about film realism. Yumani insisted we had to keep to the same timeline, so that did not leave much time for me to prepare materials and write a commentary. We also found out that Makino had been in discussions with another publisher about reprinting Bunka eiga kenkyu, although that publisher had done little to bring the plan to fruition. We got the okay to reprint the journal, and I asked two of the young scholars who were helping Makino’s project, Sato Yo and Morita Noriko, to collaborate by writing commentaries. So unlike the first two reprints, which just included my commentary, this one sports three. In the end, we dedicated the reprint to Makino Mamoru. 

Fireside Chat about the YIDFF, Japanese Documentary, and Hanzo

The Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival was held online last fall due to the continuing pandemic. That was unfortunate, but as I had previously written about film during the COVID era (here), the pandemic had also opened up opportunities to watch Japanese film and other entertainment media remotely. The YIDFF has now jumped on the bandwagon and is running an online series of some of the best Japanese documentaries in the 30+ years since the festival began in 1989. The platform is DAFilms, which also managed the Flash Forward series, and it is offering the first week free (afterwards, I think you have to be a subscriber). Check it out here.

To go along with the series, the folks at the YIDFF have asked some involved in the festival to look back on those thirty years. Markus Nornes has written a series of illuminating pieces on the YIDFF Facebook page. The film directors Oda Kaori and Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni also recorded a conversation about the trials and tribulations of making indie docs in Asia, which is now available on the YIDFF YouTube channel (here). 

Somai Shinji’s Sailor Suit and Machine Gun

SAILOR SUIT AND MACHINE GUN FLAT OCARD US

I’ve long thought that Somai Shinji is the key filmmaker for understanding Japanese cinema after 1980. If long shot long takes came to dominate Japanese art films from the nineties on, it had less to do with Mizoguchi than with Somai, himself a master of the form. His cinema also left an indelible impression on me. The first of his films I saw, Moving (Ohikkoshi, 1993), left me stunned, and I still believe Typhoon Club (Taifu kurabu, 1985) is one of the best Japanese films ever. Yet in part because his early movies were categorized in the idol genre, the gatekeepers of Japanese film in the eighties did little to promote his films and even today few of his dozen or so works are available on disc with English subtitles. There have been retrospectives, some of which I was involved in. I did a panel on Somai at the 2005 Jeongju International Film Festival (my contribution to the retro catalog can be found here), and I gave a talk on the director at the Deutschen Filmmuseum in Frankfurt in 2015. These were occasions for me to think about Somai, but I still don’t feel I have a complete grasp of him. Access to his cinema remains woefully limited outside Japan.

Flash Forward Panel Discussion

A lot has been going on recentl, which I will be announcing in the next coming weeks. 

To start with, I wanted to let everyone know about an interesting film series being screened online though the Japan Society in New York entitled “Flash Forward: Debut Works and Recent Films by Notable Japanese Directors” that will run from December 3 to 23, 2021. It is co-presented by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs in conjunction with the Visual Industry Promotion Organization. The series is quite unique in that it presents the work of six filmmakers lesser known in the United States by showing their debut films and then a more recent film. Some of the six are better known than others: Kawase Naomi is well-known in Europe and Suo Masayuki had a hit in the USA with Shall We Dance?. But even Kawase has had little exposure in America. The other four directors are Sakamoto Junji, Shiota Akihiko, Nishikawa Miwa, and Okita Shuichi. Since I’ve had Sakamoto and Shiota come to my classes before—here’s an old report on one of Sakamoto’s visits—and since I’ve known Kawase since her debut, the selection was a bit like a stroll down memory lane. One could argue about the selection (for instance, Suo’s debut is not Fancy Dance, but rather the pink film Abnormal Family), but it is an interesting selection of films.

Eiga Geijutsu Kenkyu and Film Theory in Japan

The second in my series of reprints of prewar film studies/film theory journals at Yumani Shobo has come out. This follows the reprint of Eiga kagaku kenkyu, the late 1920s and early 1930s journal which featured filmmakers inquiring over what cinema is (see my introduction here).

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Eiga geijutsu kenkyu (Studies in Film Art) was a more heavily theoretical and academic journal, which ran for two and a half years from early 1933 to late 1935. It stood out for its quite long articles investigating conceptual topics ranging from film aesthetics to psychoanalysis and cinema. While it also devoted many pages to translations of both famous and less famous foreign theory, it was a journal that showed the confidence of its often quite young writers in critiquing that theory and composing their own ideas. That said, the journal was not necessarily revolutionary in its stance towards film theory. As I wrote in the commentary, the leader of the journal, Sasaki Norio, still had one foot in German romantic aesthetics, which rejected standard forms of cinematic realism, even as he began exploring a more sociological approach to cinema. Still, new writers such as Sugiyama Heiichi began pointing to new theoretical directions. Eiga geijutsu kenkyu was in many ways a transitional journal, indicating the shift in aesthetics as film realism came to the fore in the late 1930s. 

OBAYASHI NOBUHIKO: A Call for Papers

For nearly 60 years until his death in 2020, Obayashi Nobuhiko continued to challenge and expand the many fields of moving image production he engaged in, from experimental films to commercials, from idol movies to anti-war digital cinema. While justly celebrated in Japan, Obayashi remained largely unknown abroad until Hausu, his 1977 commercial feature debut, was finally released on DVD in English-language markets in 2010 to cult success. Even then, no serious and critical engagement with his work has been published in book form either in Japan or abroad. 

Obayashi is worthy of such deep study not only because his own work, with its interrogations of cinema and modern Japanese history, of youth and gender, of genre and the possibilities of the moving image, is profoundly rich. It is also because, with a career of involvement in experimental film, TV commercials and movies, major studio productions, genre cinema, independent film, and digital cinema, Obayashi is an extremely fruitful avenue for exploring different but interrelated aspects of postwar Japan’s history and media ecology. Just as Obayashi used media to explore modern Japanese history, so we can use Obayashi to explore modern Japanese media.

Osaki Midori and the Theory Complex in Japan

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As many of you know, I have been working on a book about the history of film theory in Japan for quite some time. The larger project has already produced a number of articles (you can see some here, here, and here), journal reprints, lectures, and even a film theory anthology, but the book is progressing slowly. I already have a good number of sections written for the pre-war volume (it looks like it might end up being a two-volume work), but I am still working on how best to shape this for a more general audience. My former student, Naoki Yamamoto, has reworked his dissertation into a wonderful book, Dialectics without Synthesis: Japanese Film Theory and Realism in a Global Frame, but my book will not be a directed at an audience of specialists. 

That’s why I was thrilled when the folks at Light Industry, the venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, NY, asked me to give a talk about my research. This was an opportunity to speak to a more general, but still highly interested audience. Given the pandemic, we opted for a podcast-like oral talk, and after some discussion, we opted for my discussion of Osaki Midori’s writings on film. As Tom Lamarre and Livia Monnet have already shown, Osaki’s approach to cinema is unique and fascinating, but I wanted to explore it in light of the context of film theory at the time. Since I am not an Osaki specialist, this is more a discussion of my encounter with Osaki. I preface the talk with an introduction to the problem of studying Japanese film theory, primarily because I contend Osaki, if not recognizing such problems herself, can be fruitfully understood in that context.

Seeing in the Dark: Asia’s Independent Cinema Spaces in the Midst of Uncertainties

A while ago, I was involved with the magazine Nang, in helping with their special issue on film manifestos. At that time, as I reported here, I let them republish my translation of Aoyama Shinji’s "Nouvelle Vague Manifesto" (also available here), provided them with a new introduction, and arranged for Ryan Cook to pen a retrospective analysis of Aoyama’s piece.

This time, I’ve gotten involved in another special issue of Nang, this one online, focusing on independent cinema spaces in Asia. I will be writing about mini-theaters in Japan, discussing in one section the issues such theaters faced during the pandemic that I wrote about here. I also use Theater Kino in Sapporo as an example, based on an interview I did with owner/operate Nakajima Yo (who participated in the Japan Cuts discussion on Obayashi Nobuhiko). The issue is being edited by Davide Cazzaro and Aiko Masubuchi, the former film programmer at the Japan Society in New York with whom I collaborated on the Obayashi Nobuhiko retro in 2015.

The Japanese Cinema Book and Early Japanese Cinema

I am trying to catch up on my blog announcements after encountering a server problem that prevented me from updating the site for several months. So here is post about a book I contributed to that appeared last year.

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I am not sure if it is a trend in the academic publishing industry, but there is a spate of handbooks and introductory anthologies that has been appearing, even in the relatively small field of Japanese film studies. Oxford was first in 2014 with the Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema, edited by Daisuke Miyao (I have a piece in there on the history of Japanese film criticism). Last year the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema came out, edited by Joanne Bernardi and Shota Ogawa (Routledge approached me about editing such a collection, but I didn’t take them up on the offer). Blackwell has another such collection in the works, edited by David Desser, which hopefully should come out soon (I have a contribution about the early relationship between TV and cinema in Japan). 

Another such collection is The Japanese Cinema Book, which was published through the BFI and edited by Hideaki Fujiki and Alasteir Phillips. Pam Cook’s The Cinema Book, published by the BFI in 1985, was the key reference book for us studying for exams during grad school, so it was a pleasure to be able to participate in this project. I contributed a piece (which you can access here) on Morita Yoshimitsu’s Family Game for Alastair and Julian Philips’s Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts; and published the Japanese version of my article on Japanese film criticism in Kankyaku e no apurochi, which Fujiki edited.

Hatano Tetsuro

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I was very sad to see that the film scholar Hatano Tetsuro (波多野哲朗) passed away on October 2, 2020, at the age of 84. Hatano-sensei was an important figure in post-1960s film studies in Japan. He was one of the editors of the very influential journal Shinema 69 (later Shinema 70, etc.), which set the tone for film criticism of the 1980s and 1990s, especially under the leadership of Hasumi Shigehiko. Hatano was a core member of the team that created Gendai Nihon eigaron taikei (Systems of Contemporary Japanese Film Thought, 1970-72), still the best collection of postwar film criticism and theory. Later, he teamed with Iwamoto Kenji (my co-editor on the prewar theory anthology) to produce Eiga riron shusei (Theories of Film: An Anthology, 1982), an important anthology of foreign and Japanese film theory. Hatano's other books include Eiga kantoku ni naru ni wa (How to Become a Film Director, 1993) and translations of works such as Sheldon Renan’s An Introduction to Underground Film, and Jon Halliday’s interviews with Pasolini. He was also a filmmaker and a motorbike aficionado, most known for shooting his 16,000 kilometer motorcycle trek across Eurasia. His documentary, Salsa and Chanpuru: Cuba/Okinawa, was in his words a “musical documentary” about Okinawans who emigrated to Cuba, and was released in theaters in 2008. He taught for over thirty years at Tokyo Zokei University, starting as an adjunct in 1968 and ending as an emeritus professor. He also taught at Nihon University after retiring from Tokyo Zokei. 

Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Conversation at Japan Cuts 2020

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As mentioned in my last post, I’m still quarantining in Japan. But I wanted to let everyone know about a panel discussion I did on the work of the late filmmaker Obayashi Nobuhiko for this year’s edition of Japan Cuts. We recorded it on June 23 and it will go live online starting on July 17 here

As anyone who’s read this blog knows, my relationship with Obayashi goes back many years, beginning with simply watching him as a spectator until I finally met him in 2014. We hosted him at Yale in 2015, immediately after which the Japan Society ran an Obayashi retrospective that I programmed. I was even honored to write a short contribution to a book that Obayashi published. When he passed away in April this year, after his long battle with cancer, I wrote up a remembrance that, while still quite feeble, hopefully gives a sense of what Obayashi meant to me and to my family.

In late May, Kazu Watanabe of the Japan Society contacted me about the possibility of moderating a panel on Obayashi for this year’s Japan Cuts, which due to COVID-19 was going online this year. Japan Cuts was not only going to be showing Obayashi’s last film, Labyrinth of Cinema, along with a documentary on Obayashi and his wife/producer Kyoko, it was creating a new award for its Next Generation section named after Obayashi. Kazu explained that the festival wanted to hold some form of commemorative event on Obayashi that would be online.

Traveling to Japan in the COVID Era

This is not a piece about film, but friends suggested I post it as a kind of public service, reporting on what it was like to fly to Japan in early July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll add a little extra about movies at the end. This account is also somewhat of a continuation of my series of posts about Japan during the pandemic, which I hope you can look at here and here.

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My wife (who is a Japanese national) and I were pretty sure we were not going to be able to make our yearly summer trip back to Japan, but issues arose with our house in Yokohama and there were strong fears I would lose my permanent resident status if I didn’t return. So we dug into our pocket and bought tickets. The first flight to Haneda was cancelled, so we had to rebook to go to Narita. We left on Monday, July 6, from New York. Terminal 7 at JFK (photo to the right) was empty with only one of the many shops open. I think there were only four flights leaving that day from the terminal. We flew ANA to Narita, and they boarded us in groups to avoid too much mixing. Still, probably only a third of the seats were occupied, even in economy. So whether this was intentional or not, social distancing was rather easy. We wiped everything down, wore masks, used hand sanitizer constantly, and cut down on the trips to the bathroom. Everyone wore masks, but a few wore hazmat suits and/or protective shields or goggles. We debated whether to eat the inflight food, but decided it wasn’t different from eating the food we’ve had delivered at home. The only problem is I stupidly kept on forgetting to put my mask back on after eating! It was a good flight, but it was hard to sleep so I watched a bunch of movies (more on that later). The flight arrived early probably because there is much less international travel.

Japanese Film and the COVID Pandemic—Remotely in Space and Time

スクリーンショット 2020-06-01 午後5.17.18

When there is a world historical event, it is best to write down your experiences, if only to help you remember. As that time becomes more remote, it can become more difficult to access. Perhaps writing about the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of Japanese media studies can help me—and maybe others—connect to that time at some future date.

The remoteness is not only temporal. It was probably appropriate that I experienced the novel coronavirus’s affect on the Japanese film and TV industries remotely in space. Still teaching at Yale, I could only read about the closings of theaters and the cessation of filming through news articles and postings on social media. There were ways of watching Japanese television, so I could see how certain shows were changing production, but initially that was not the case with cinema.

Theater closings occurred much sooner in Connecticut than in Japan, with the governor issuing the order on 16 March 2020. There was thus a strange disconnect between what I was experiencing and what friends in Japan were writing about. Everything was closing down here, while Japanese colleagues were arguing that the ventilation in theaters was fine and patrons were safe with just masks and hand-sanitizer. It reminded me of the cultural valences of disease, as few tried to defend movie theater ventilation in the States—and few in the West advocated for face masks. Still, fears about the virus were already affecting movie attendance everywhere.

Obayashi Nobuhiko, a Movie Man

The film director Obayashi Nobuhiko passed away on April 10, succumbing to the cancer he had been battling for several years. He was 82.

Here is a photo I love of him with my son Ian.

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Obayashi-kantoku was a guest at Yale in the fall of 2015, coming with his wife and producer Kyoko and his daughter Chigumi. They even came to our home for dinner, so the news hits me not just as a loss for cinema, but as a personal loss as well. It is in part because of such a relationship that I know we lost not just a great film director, but also a great human being.

Obayashi-kantoku was an important part of my education as a viewer of Japanese film. Like many who hit their teens in the 1970s, when Japanese cinema was supposedly in decline and rarely presented abroad, I grew up first watching the classics, from Kurosawa to Ozu to Oshima (with luckily a lot of Daiei jidaigeki thanks to the Thalia in NYC). The exceptions were the rare new films such as The Family Game (which I wrote about here) and Tampopo that earned US releases in the eighties. When I was in Iowa, probably in 1988 or 1989, I finally got to see a series of contemporary Japanese films new to the USA that was touring the country. Included was Obayashi’s I Are You, You Am Me (Tenkosei, 1982), a gender-bending film with an affectionate concern for amateur moviemaking that stuck with me. When I went to Japan in 1992 (and stayed there for about eleven years), one of the things I caught in the first year was a series of the best films of the previous year at the Bungeiza in Ikebukuro. There I saw The Rocking Horsemen (Seishun dendekedekedeke, 1992), which remains one of my favorite Obayashi films. Obayashi-kantoku, in a sense, was a core part of my introduction to contemporary Japanese cinema.

Japanese Film Materials in the Time of Quarantine

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Yale has moved all its classes online and the governor of Connecticut has asked residents to stay at home if at all possible. The Yale libraries are closed and even I cannot use my office anymore. I want to get out, just like my house-bound cat Hanzo (pictured). But we all need to stay safe.

This has also created problems for my Japanese film historiography course this term. The final assignment was centered on students engaging with primary archival materials, which are now out of reach. At the same time, I have heard of a number of colleagues at other institutions asking how they can continue teaching a Japanese film course when there is limited access to materials. 

If you are fortunate enough to have a library that offers journals, e-books, and even streaming services like Kanopy and Alexander Street, accessible off-site through VPN, there is still much you can do at home. Some libraries will have digital subscriptions to Japanese newspapers and magazines, and you can always get a subscription to the Criterion Channel, Netflix, or Hulu (Mubi, which has a few Japanese films viewable this month, is promoting a “3-months-for-$1” sale). But if you are not so fortunate—or are seeking film-related print materials in Japanese—you’re going to have a harder time.

Japanese Film Studies on the Yale Repository

Over the years, I have been trying to make available my research to those who need it through various means. 

One is simply this site, which I started not just to opine about this or that subject, but to introduce my research and direct people to where to find it. So the sections on Internet Articles and Interviews feature links to many my pieces that are online.

I also have been making some of what I have written available online in PDF format. I initially started doing that on Academia.edu (here is my page), but not only is that site clunky and hard to use, it is also a for-profit corporation, and I don’t see why I should enable a corporation to make money using my research as one of the products they “sell.” Yes, they “give” me “exposure,” but that can seem not too far from those companies that ask young artists to contribute their work for free in exchange for getting “exposure."

So increasingly I have been using the Yale repository to make my research available. Here is my page there. And here are a few items I posted recently:

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