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    The Ainu in documentary films: promiscuous iconography and the absent image

    Centeno Martin, Marcos Pablo (2022) The Ainu in documentary films: promiscuous iconography and the absent image. In: Desser, D. (ed.) Companion to Japanese Cinema. Wiley Blackwell Companions to National Cinemas. Wiley, 271 -293. ISBN 9781118955321.

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    Images showing how Ainu physical traits significantly differed from their neighbours in the Far East fuelled the widespread idea in the West that the Ainu had European ancestors. This triggered an exceptional interest in Ainu culture among the European as well as American audiences between the Meiji period and the outbreak of the “Chinese Incident” in 1937. It is in this period when the Ainu were featured in a number of moving images to be screened outside Hokkaido. The aim of this chapter is to assess the standardisation of Ainu iconography during this period and interrogate the role played by cinema in this process. To that end, the relevance of moving images in the early history of the representation of the Ainu people is assessed in relation to a complex process of visual codification that also involved painting, engraving and photography. Book synopsis: Go beyond Kurosawa and discover an up-to-date and rigorous examination of historical and modern Japanese cinema In A Companion to Japanese Cinema, distinguished cinematic researcher David Desser delivers insightful new material on a fascinating subject, ranging from the introduction and exploration of under-appreciated directors, like Uchida Tomu and Yoshimura Kozaburo, to an appreciation of the Golden Age of Japanese cinema from the point of view of little-known stars and genres of the 1950s. This Companion includes new resources that deal in-depth with the issue of gender in Japanese cinema, including a sustained analysis of Kawase Naomi, arguably the most important female director in Japanese film history. Readers will appreciate the astute material on the connections and relationships that tie together Japanese television and cinema, with implications for understanding the modern state of Japanese film. The Companion concludes with a discussion of the Japanese media’s response to the 3/11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated the nation. The book also includes: A thorough introduction to the History, Ideology, and Aesthetics of Japanese cinema, including discussions of Kyoto as the cinematic center of Japan and the Pure Film Movement and modern Japanese film style An exploration of the background to the famous story of Taki no Shiraito and the significant and underappreciated contributions of directors Uchida Tomu, as well as Yoshimura Kozaburo A rigorous comparison of old and new Japanese cinema, including treatments of Ainu in documentary films and modernity in film exhibition Practical discussions of intermediality, including treatments of scriptwriting in the 1930s and the influence of film on Japanese television Perfect for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students studying Japanese and Asian cinema, A Companion to Japanese Cinema is a must-read reference for anyone seeking an insightful and contemporary discussion of modern scholarship in Japanese cinema in the 20th and 21st centuries.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Ainu, ethnic documentary film, minorities
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Marcos Pablo Centeno Martin
    Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2022 15:31
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:53

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