The Imperial Screen: Japanese Film Culture in the Fifteen Years' War, 1931-1945

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2003 - History - 586 pages
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From the late 1920s through World War II, film became a crucial tool in the state of Japan. Detailing the way Japanese directors, scriptwriters, company officials, and bureaucrats colluded to produce films that supported the war effort, The Imperial Screen is a highly-readable account of the realities of cultural life in wartime Japan. Widely hailed as "epoch-making" by the Japanese press, it presents the most comprehensive survey yet published of "national policy" films, relating their montage and dramatic structures to the cultural currents, government policies, and propaganda goals of the era. Peter B. High's treatment of the Japanese film world as a microcosm of the entire sphere of Japanese wartime culture demonstrates what happens when conscientious artists and intellectuals become enmeshed in a totalitarian regime.
 

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Contents

Prologue
3
Into a Valley of Darkness
13
The Manchurian Incident as Media Event
29
The CrisisTime Japan Mood
39
The Unsatisfactory Mirror
51
Scenes from Malay War Record 1942 and in Momotaro
57
The Glory Days of the Kulturfilm
92
FeatureLength Documentaries in the First Year
99
Scene from Kinoshita Keisukes Army 1944
403
Scene from Yoshimura Misaos Last Visit Home 1945
404
Scene from Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky
409
Scene from Yamamoto Satsuos Searing Wind 1943
417
Scene from Kurosawa Akiras Most Beautiful 1945
420
Trends in the Middle Phase
422
Scene from Makino Masahiros Opium J4zr1943
425
Scene from Tsuji Kichiros Pirates Flag Blasted Away 1943
429

Issues Raised by Other Toho Military Documentaries
114
The Film Industry in the China Incident
149
War Dramas in the China Incident
190
The Time for Rationality Is at an End
223
China Dreams
265
On the Eve of a New War
286
Life Inside the ABCD Encirclement
295
The Bizarre Case of You and Me
308
Not One Foot of Raw Film Stock to Spare
314
Repression and Internalization of Control
322
The First Year of the Pacific War
343
General Yamashita browbeating General Percival into surrendering Singapore
368
Scene from Malay War Record
370
Scene from Yamamoto Satsuos Winged Victory 1942
379
The New Spiritism A Progress of Souls
382
Scene from Yamamoto Kajiros Sea Warfrom Hawaii to Malaya 1942
383
Scene from Tasaka Tomotakas Navy 1943
389
The stalwart Japanese spirit remains serenely unmoved by the lies poured forth by the demon Roosevelt 1943
391
Scene from Watanabe Kunios Toward the Decisive Battle in the Sky 1943
397
Scenes from Yamamotos Sea Warfrom Hawaii to Malaya
401
Sugiura Yukios cartoon for his essay This Is the Kind of HatetheEnemy Film We Need 1943
431
Scene from Imai Tadashis Suicide Troops of the Watchtower 1943
441
Storyboard card for the spy awareness campaign
443
Scene from Yoshimura Kozaburos On the Eve of War 1942
446
Scene from On the Spy Front 1941
449
Poster for Abe Yutakas Shoot That Flag a k a Dawn of Freedom 1943
455
The Late War Period
458
Ad for Nihon Koon manufacturers of 16 mm projectors 1943
460
Nichigeki Theater closed for the duration and converted to war production 1944
462
Scene from Bomb Blasts and Shell Fragments 1944
467
Scene from Navy Hospital Ship 1944
469
Single frame cartoon of the character Momotaro 1943
473
Film critic Tsumura Hideo 190785
476
In the Shadow of Defeat
478
Scene from a news film 1945
481
Enomoto Kenichi 190470 Yamamoto Kajiro 190291
494
Notes
517
English Source Bibliography
559
Index of Names
573
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About the author (2003)

Peter B. High is professor of film and language at Nagoya University in Japan.

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