The Production of Modernity in Japanese National Cinema: Shochiku Kamata Style in the 1920s and 1930s | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710


A recurrent dilemma for studies of Japanese cinema is that many scholars adopt linear, evolutionary narratives derived from the history of the Enlightenment, or in other words, a colonial model of history with the West as the subject and the force of progress.1 Briefly stated, Japanese cinema is seen in these narratives as a belated national cinema following the trajectory of Hollywood in its various stages of development. The discourse on Japanese cinema and its history shares the same failures of the Enlightenment model of history, which universalizes particular cultural experiences according to Western points of reference.2 While recent debates center on the methodological problems of cross-cultural analysis, Japanese cinema studies remain frozen in the past achievements of their canonical texts, increasingly mirroring the general stagnation of the film industry itself.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): 1920s; 1930s; enlightenment; Japanese cinema; modernity; Shochiku Kamata Style
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