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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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The Changing Japanese Family on Film

The Changing Japanese Family on Film

(p.95) 4. The Changing Japanese Family on Film
Contemporary Japanese Cinema Since Hana-Bi

Adam Bingham

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers representations of the family, placing films by Koreeda Hirokazu, Toyoda Toshiaki and Yamada Yoji within the context of the Japanese genre of the shomin-geki, or stories about everyday, typically middle or lower-middle class, life. The analyses touch on intertextuality – especially the prevalence of Ozu Yasujiro as a key figure in this particular genre – as well as the respective masculine and feminine imperatives contained in the case study texts. It looks at significant successive iterations of the family film, including the subversive dramas of the 1980s, and how these are digested by recent shomin-geki, and further brings to bear both Japanese and western discourse on the family as the perceived central institution of life in Japan. This is then used as a point of departure for the case study films’ contrastive visions and representations. This chapter also considers work in the shomin-geki genre that deals with the disaster at Fukushima, and how the family as a barometer of society may be employed here in order to gauge the effect/s of this tragedy on the social fabric of Japan.

Keywords:   Still Walking, Tokyo Story, Shomin-geki, Modernity, Postmodernity, Ozu Yasujiro, Conservative, Subversive, Fukushima

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