Landscape, Allegory, and Historical Trauma in Postwar Japanese Cinema: Recapitulating Existential Horror in Onibaba (1964) and Woman in the Dunes (1964) | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



Perhaps no national cinema has more thoroughly and consciously explored the crises of its nation's history and culture than the Japanese. The collapse of the old warrior class in the 19th Century, the bitter struggle between traditional values and western economics, the crisis of identity that Japan faced, all led Japanese cinema to sword swaggering samurai to gangster films, disaster epics to primitive pasts, wartime propaganda to traumatic representations of defeat, nuclear holocaust, and occupation. Japan's preoccupation with cultural choices and Japanese identity has always managed to surface onto the film screen.


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