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Postwar Japanese Cinema


By the end of World War Two with the legacy of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the start of the American-led Occupation, Japan was a nation in ruins. The post-war cultural sphere, however, saw the remarkable and rapid growth of a new urban consumer economy entailing dramatic shifts in generational and gender relations and the development of new ideas about the modern individual. At the heart of people’s experiences of modernity lay the popularity of the cinema as a significant form of mass entertainment culture. Through a carefully curated selection of module films ranging from the late 1940s through to the early 21st century, this module will allow you to unpick the complex inter-relationship between Japanese film and issues of national history, identity and culture. You will explore important trends in film production, authorship, stardom and genre and, in so doing, learn more about one of the most dynamic and fascinating aspects of world cinema history. Typical films studied include Stray Dog (Akira Kurosawa, 1949), Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964) and My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988).

Class Location and Time



Module Resources

Module Outline

Module Leader


Dr. Alastair Phillips