News and Opinion

Studying Japanese Film in North America

It's that time of year when students are preparing applications for college or graduate school. Perhaps it is a bit too late for people to get started on the process, but I thought I would help out  by presenting an update of my old list of places to study Japanese film in North America. It is not complete by any means, and each university offers different programs. Some are specialized in East Asian cinema, some are just general film studies or Japan studies programs. Some offer doctoral degrees, some only masters, some only undergraduate degrees. Basically, the list is composed of those universities with a recognized Japanese film specialist. It can change as new people appear, and others move or fade away. In fact, there are a couple of places not on the list this time because of such faculty changes.

These are in alphabetical order, except that I put my program first.

Yale University (we have a separate PhD program in East Asian cinema)

Arizona State University (Sybil Thornton)

Carleton University (Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano)

Kurosawa, Aoyama, and alt-SCMS

I notice that this is my first post this month. Sorry about that! It's been quite busy here.

We finally are on Thanksgiving break, however. (Yale has a peculiar fall semester schedule where we have 12 straight weeks of class, with no breaks, then one week off at Thanksgiving, and come back only for one more week of class.) I'm still busy, but searching for other things on the net, I noticed for the first time this video of the alt-SCMS conference (a.k.a. the Josai International University Media Studies Department Media Workshop) that I helped put together last May when SCMS called off their Tokyo conference due to H1N1.

The video shows a bit of what happened, and even includes images of the talk I moderated between the film directors Kurosawa Kiyoshi (Cure) and Aoyama Shinji. For better or for worse, I am visible too.

The producer won't let you embed it elsewhere, so you need to click here to see it.

Reviewing Visions of Japanese Modernity

It's been a quite busy month here at Yale, so I haven't been posting much. We hosted the Association for Japanese Literary Studies annual conference, using technology as the theme (we thus had a number of film-related papers). Now we have to work on publishing the proceedings. It was also midterms, but since Yale has no midterm break, everyone gets quite exhausted around this time of year. We did start our annual film series, however, sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies, which these year focuses on off-beat jidaigeki. The first film was Vendetta at Sozenji Temple (Adauchi Sozenji baba), a dark but powerful work from 1957 by Makino Masahiro that features the clash of samurai and yakuza, and male and female values. We showed a 16mm print with English subtitles we got via the Japan Foundation. This week we will be showing Samurai Saga, a samurai version of Cyrano de Bergerac by Inagaki Hiroshi, and in two weeks, the superlative Brave Records of the Sanada Clan, a jidaigeki musical by the incomparable Kato Tai about the Sanada juyushi

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