Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema

ISBN 9780367528188
Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge
396 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema provides a timely and expansive overview of Japanese cinema today, through cutting-edge scholarship that reflects the hybridity of approaches defining the field.

The volume’s twenty-one chapters represent work by authors with diverse backgrounds and expertise, recasting traditional questions of authorship, genre, and industry in broad conceptual frameworks such as gender, media theory, archive studies, and neoliberalism. The volume is divided into four parts, each representing an emergent area of inquiry:

  • "Decentring Classical Cinema"
  • "Questions of Industry"
  • "Intermedia as an Approach"
  • "The Object Life of Film"

This is the first anthology of Japanese cinema scholarship to span the temporal framework of 200 years, from the vibrant magic lantern culture of the nineteenth century, through to the formation of the film industry in the twentieth century, and culminating in cinema’s migration to gaming, surveillance video, and other new media platforms of the twenty-first century.

This handbook will prove a useful resource to students and scholars of Japanese studies, film studies, and cultural studies more broadly.

Table of Contents



Part I. Decentering Classical Cinema: Modernity, Translation, and Mobilization


1. Suspense and Border Crossing: Ozu Yasujirō’s Crime Melodrama

Ryoko Misono (translated by Kimberlee Diane Sanders and Shota T. Ogawa)

2. Beyond Mt. Fuji and the Lenin Cap: Identity Crisis in Taniguchi Senkichi’s Akasen kichi (The Red Light Military Base, 1953)

Hideyuki Nakamura (translated by Shota T. Ogawa and Bianca Briciu)

3. Home Movies of the Revolution: Proletarian Filmmaking and Counter-Mobilization in Interwar Japan

Diane Wei Lewis

4. When Marnie Was There: Female Friendship Film and the Genealogy of Queer Girls Culture

Yuka Kanno

5. Making Sense of Nakai Masakazu’s Film Theory, "Kino Satz"

Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

6. Geysers of Another Nature: The Optical Unconscious of the Japanese Science Film

Anne McKnight


Part II. Questions of Industry: Critical Studies of Regulatory Frameworks, Creative Labor, and Distributive Networks


7. Kaiju Films as Exportable Content: Reassessing the Function of the Japanese Film Export Promotion Association

Takeshi Tanikawa (translated by Caitlin Casiello and Joanne Bernardi)

8. “Fugitives” from the Studio System: Ikebe Ryō, Sada Keiji, and the Transition from Cinema to Television in the Early 1960s

Takafusa Hatori

9. Solo Animation in Japan: Empathy for the Drawn Body

Paul Roquet

10. Media Models of "Amateur" Film and Manga

Alexander Zahlten


Part III. Intermedia as an Approach: Tracing Genealogies across Disciplines and Media


11. Utsushie: Japanese Magic Lantern Performance as Pre-cinematic Projection Practice

Machiko Kusahara

12. "Inter-Mediating" Global Modernity: Benshi Film Narrators, Multisensory Performance, and Fan Culture

Kyoko Omori

13. Between Silent and Sound: The Liminal Space of the Japanese "Sound Version"

Johan Nordström

14. Marionettes No Longer: Politics in the Early Puppet Animation of Kawamoto Kihachirō

Noboru Tomonari

15. Rhetorics of Autonomy and Mobility in Japanese "AAA" Games: The Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil Series within a Global Media Context

Daniel Johnson

16. Pointing Through the Screen: Archiving, Surveillance, and Atomization in the Wake of Japan’s 2011 Triple Disasters

Joel Neville Anderson


Part IV. The Object Life of Film: Site-Specific Approaches to Japanese Cinema Studies


17. A Historical Survey of Film Archiving in Japan

Kae Ishihara

18. Japanese Film History and the Challenges of IMAGICA WEST Corp.

Kanta Shibata (translated by Thomas Kabara and Isabella Bilodeau)

19. A Case Study of Japanese Film Exhibition in North America: The Japan Society, New York

Kyoko Hirano

20. Regional Film Archive in Transit: Yasui Yoshio and Kobe Planet Film Archive

Shota T. Ogawa

21. New Paths toward Preserving Japanese Cinema: The Toy Film Museum Backstory

Joanne Bernardi

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Joanne Bernardi is Professor of Japanese/Film and Media, University of Rochester. Her background includes East Asian Studies, film preservation, filmmaking, and photography. She directs the Re-Envisioning Japan DH Project; publications include Japanese and silent cinema, film historiography, screenwriting, material culture, tourism, popular culture, and digital humanities.

Shota T. Ogawa is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at Nagoya University, Japan. With a background in Visual and Cultural Studies, his research interests include postcolonial hybridity in Japanese cinema, tourism and travel films in imperial Japan, and trans-cultural migration of passing narratives.