Japanese Film without Japan

Eric Cazdyn

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Japanese Film without Japan


This essay challenges the dominant ways of theorizing the relation between globalization and film. It performs an alternative analysis by examining Japanese contemporary film without the usual ballast of Japan or of the nation more generally. Following a close reading of Tanaka Hiroyuki’s (Sabu’s) 2005 film Monday, based on how the film mobilizes the social relationships of its characters in terms of number and how each number (including zero) implies crucial psychological, political, aesthetic, and religious meaning, the essay then moves to a more general examination of contemporary Japanese film and the world. Focusing on the problem of amnesia, the second part of the essay places the work of contemporary Japanese directors (Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Tsukamoto Shinya, and Miike Takashi) in relation to a series of global directors and problems.

Keywords: Japanese film; globalization; philosophy and film; Sabu; amnesia; Kurosawa Kiyoshi; Tsukamoto Shinya; Miike Takashi; Buddhism

Article.  8086 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Film

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