Women in Japanese Cinema

Alternative Perspectives

Tamae K. Prindle


2016, 504 pages

ISBN 978-0-9832991-4-1 Paper $35.00
ISBN 978-0-9832991-5-8 Cloth $65.00

By studying Japanese films and their associated literature, Tamae Prindle reveals the covert stories of Japanese women versus orthodox history. Fifteen films bring this theme into focus: Imamura Shōhei's The Ballad of Narayama, Naruse Mikio's Mother, Idemitsu Mako's Great Mother, Kinugasa Teiinousuke's Gate of Hell, Kurosawa Akira's No Regrets for Our Youth, Kuwabata Kagenobu's Love and Lie, Toyoda Shirō's The Mistress, Kumai Kei's Sandakan Brothel No. 8, Takahashi Banmei's A New Love in Tokyo, Nishikawa Katsumi's A Dancing Girl in Izu, Obayashi Nobuhiko's Chizuko's Younger Sister, Ichikawa Jun's Tsugumi, Mizoguchi Kenji's Life of Oharu, Itami Jūzō's Tampopo, and Ishikawa Jun's Grass Fish on a Tree.
    "Mother," "Wife," "Whore," "Girl" and "Woman," represent categories the public used to code Japanese women in the pre-feminist age. Each chapter features three films depicting women in the premodern age, in the World War II period, and in late twentieth-century Japan, and each embraces the three films within the perspective of ecological feminism, sexuality, alienation, illusion, and power-over/power-to.
    Shedding light on cultural, historical, and/or ideological backgrounds of the films under study in important new ways, this book breaks new ground in the study of women in Japanese culture.

Tamae Prindle is Oak Professor of East Asian Language and Literature and Resident Director of the Associated Kyoto Program at Colby College.



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