Series: Documentaries of Japan

Satō Tadao is editing a very interesting project for Iwanami Shoten entitled Series: Documentaries of Japan (Shirizu: Nihon no dokyumentari). It is not only a 5-volume series of books, written with a general reader in mind, about various aspects of Japanese documentary, but also a 3-disk DVD box set containing some of the masterpieces of Japanese nonfiction film, many of which have not come out on DVD before. The first book volume of the series also contains a DVD with interviews and clips of some of the classic films. I have not seen a project like this in Japan yet.

The book series is composed of the following volumes:

1. Dokyumentari no miryoku

2. Seiji, shakai hen

3. Seikatsu, sangyo hen

4. Sangyo, kagaku hen

5. Shiryo hen (chronology, database, index)

Sato-sensei asked me to write a short piece on documentary and politics for the second volume, so I wrote about the relation of politics to film theory in the case of Prokino. This is the first thing I've written in Japanese for an anthology in a while, and it was again impressive how quickly it came out. The second volume is now on sale, with the remaining volumes soon to follow.

The DVD box is also now on sale and contains such masterpieces as Hani Susumu's Kyoshitsu no kodomotachi (Children of the Classroom), Kamei Fumio's Sunagawa and Ikite ite yokatta (It's Good to Live), Tokieda Toshie's Machi no seiji (Town Politics), and wartime propaganda films like Sora no shonenhei (Young Soldiers of the Sky). The DVDs unfortunately do not have English subtitles. 

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