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Competing Narratives in Contemporary Japanese War Cinema: Comparing representations of World War II and the military in four recent films
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Film and Literature.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Konkurrerande narrativ i nutida japansk krigsfilm : En studie i representationer av andra världskriget och militären i fyra nya filmer (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In Japan, the question of how to best remember the events of World War II is often a politically sensitive issue. Japan has occasionally been accused of glossing over its history of war crimes and acts of aggression in textbooks, official statements and other areas. This essay looks at representations of World War II and the military in contemporary Japanese war films, and discuss how they deal with these necessarily political subjects.

I use Akiko Hashimoto's categorization of Japanese war narratives - the hero, victim and perpetrator-narratives - to analyze and compare four movies released during the last five years. These movies are The Eternal Zero, The Wind Rises, Kancolle the Movie and The Emperor in August. I look at these films in the context of Japanese film history and current political debates around the role of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and similar issues.

Rather than any clear march towards nationalism, pro-militarism or any other political ideology, these films indicate that directors often avoid politically sensitive issues or taking explicit moral stances. There is often a lack of historical context to events portrayed. The dominant interpretation of history is the victim-narrative in Hashimoto's sense, while perpetrator-narratives are usually absent and hero-narratives are mostly visible in films that are heavily fantasy-based and removed from reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Studies on Film
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-74968OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-74968DiVA, id: diva2:1213241
Subject / course
Film Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-26 Created: 2018-06-04 Last updated: 2018-06-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf