| Jun 21, 2009

Secrets to studying Japanese film

In its field I cannot imagine a research guide more needed. For whole decades scholars have struggled simply to locate sources, even to find out what there were. Now, however, the skill and stamina of Mark Nornes and Aaron Gerow have resulted in a ...

| Jun 7, 2009

Apichatpong Weerasethakul: No ordinary Joe

Perhaps no Asian film director since Akira Kurosawa has received the critical attention bestowed on 39 year-old Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. His “Blissfully Yours” won a major Cannes Festival prize in 2002; “Tropical Malady,” took the 2004 Jury Prize and the Tokyo FilmEx first ...

| May 24, 2009

From Meiji gentleman to 'Japanese Yankee'

This curiosity (a first-person account of the writer’s gradual transformation from Meiji gentleman to self-proclaimed “Japanese Yankee”) was first published in 1898 (by the Congregational Church) and never again seen until now. A JAPANESE ROBINSON CRUSOE by Jenichiro Oyabe, edited by Greg Robinson and ...

| Apr 19, 2009

Finding the exotic, alien other

The subject of the exotic and alien other is a perennial. In Japanese literature the foreign influence is usually traced to its reappearance in a native product and the results are appraised. THE ALIEN WITHIN: Representations of the Exotic in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature, by ...

| Apr 5, 2009

Deciphering 'A Page of Madness'

Teinosuke Kinugasa’s “A Page of Madness” (“Kurutta Ichipeiji,” 1926) was long thought lost. Only some 75 years later did the discovery of the missing negative allow the picture to be finally viewed by the present generation. At the same time there emerged a critical ...

| Mar 8, 2009

Tokyo city: living in constant flux

John Milton was of the opinion that “towered cities please us then, and the busy hum of men.” Tokyo would have delighted him. Largest city in the world, it has long busily hummed. Home of the first tower (dungeon-keep of the earliest Edo castle) ...