Erasing China in Japan’s “Hong Kong Films”

Kwai-Cheung Lo

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Published in print January 2014 | ISBN: 9780199731664
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Erasing China in Japan’s “Hong Kong Films”

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This article examines Japan–Hong Kong film productions in light of historical developments and analyzes the ideologies beneath these motion pictures. It focuses on some Japanese–Hong Kong coproductions and investigates how various film genres under the shadow of the nation’s faded economic supremacy manifest Japan’s fantasy of Hong Kong in order to express the nostalgia for its former glory as well as its anxiety over a looming China. Japan’s cinematic (co)productions and their imaginary depictions of foreign Asians are discussed in connection with its imperialist era, when cinema was used as a propaganda tool to promote its empire and Japanese Asianism was an ideology in the service of its nationalist aggression. The incorporation of Asian foreignness in these films may invite further reflections on Japan’s situation and test its willingness to recognize the presence of China in reconfiguring its self-identity in a new era.

Keywords: China; Hong Kong; Asianism; cinema; coproduction; empire; fantasy; ideology; modernity; nostalgia

Article.  9122 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Film

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