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Contemporary Japanese Cinema Since Hana-Bi$
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Adam Bingham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683734

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683734.001.0001

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Jidai-geki and Chambara

Jidai-geki and Chambara

The Samurai Onscreen

(p.13) 1. Jidai-geki and Chambara
Contemporary Japanese Cinema Since Hana-Bi

Adam Bingham

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter analyses several prominent jidai-geki/samurai films and considers the extent to which they can be conceptualized as films that investigate and problematise cinematic historicity - how they may be said to complicate pictures and representations of history and the past onscreen. It employs theories of melodrama and representation in order to question how Japanese history is portrayed and what ramifications this has for the present in which the works were produced. It also considers how iconic Japanese cultural myths and figures (Zatoichi the blind swordsman, the loyal 47 ronin) have been depicted, as well as examining the socio-cultural consequences of how these legends are dealt with in order to provide a dialogic understanding of history and the present.

Keywords:   Samurai, Jidai-geki, Kitano Takeshi, Koreeda Hirokazu, Miike Takashi, Yamada Yoji, Melodrama, Tokugawa era, Historicity, 47 ronin

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