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As a new reporter for a movie trade magazine, I quickly learned that every film has its genre — even ones that don’t play by genre rules. The industry slices genre-straddling films into discrete categories: action, comedy, sci-fi, etc. Call it crude, but this system serves a purpose: If you’re a buyer looking for horror specifically, you can safely ignore anything labeled otherwise.

Japanese cinema has had its own genre categories for more than a century, though the genre landscape has changed greatly over the decades.

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