From Book to Screen
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From Book to Screen : Modern Japanese Literature in Films

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Of all the world s cinemas, Japan's is perhaps unique in its closeness to the nation's literature, past and contemporary. The Western world became aware of this when Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon was awarded the Grand Prize at the Venice film festival in 1951 and the Oscar for best foreign film in 1952. More recent examples include Shohei Imamura's Eel, which won the Palm d'Or (Best Picture) at Cannes in 1997.From Book to Screen breaks new ground by exploring important connections between Japan's modern literary tradition and its national cinema. The first part offers an historical and cultural overview of the working relationship that developed between pure literature and film. It deals with three important periods in which filmmakers relied most heavily on literary works for enriching and developing cinematic art. The second part provides detailed analyses of a dozen literary works and their screen adoptions.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 161.5 x 229.1 x 21.3mm | 467.21g
  • Taylor & Francis Inc
  • M.E. Sharpe
  • Armonk, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • photographs, bibliography, index
  • 0765603888
  • 9780765603883
  • 1,797,825

Back cover copy

Of all the world's cinemas, Japan's is perhaps unique in its closeness to the nation's literature, past and contemporary. The Western world became aware of this when Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon was awarded the Grand Prize at the Venice film festival in 1951 and the Oscar for best foreign film in 1952. More recent examples include Shohei Imamura's Eel, which won him the Palme d'Or (Best Picture) at Cannes in 1997.From Book to Screen breaks new ground by exploring important connections between Japan's modern literary tradition and its national cinema. The first part offers a historical and cultural overview of the working relation that developed between pure literature and film. It deals with three important periods in which filmmakers relied most heavily on literary works for enriching and developing cinematic art. The second part gives detailed analyses of a dozen literary works and their screen adaptations.For many reasons, the works selected for comparison and study all deserve cross-disciplinary analysis. For example, Ooka's Lady Musashino and Mizoguchi's film adaptation of it study adultery as a topic of great concern in postwar Japan. Even so, they differ significantly in their modes of representation. Both Toson's Broken Commandment and Ichikawa's film version investigate a difficult social issue, the plight of the outcast; here again, writer and director approach and interpret it in completely different ways.The author has written this book to help Western audiences see Japanese films for what they are: universal in appeal, if sometimes difficult to access thanks to differences as vast as Eastern and Western culture. Now that our century of cinema is yielding to a centuryof video, the need to bridge differences can only grow more pressing -- and rewarding.show more

Table of contents

This classic introduction to the Japanese political system has been revised and updated to take the account of a time of turmoil in the country's political life. It incorporates new coverage of the end of the Koizumi era, the brief and troubled premiership of Abe, and the selection of Fukuda as prime minister. This edition also includes expanded material on 'bubble' and 'post-bubble' economic developments, as well as all-new coverage of health care policy.The text opens with an overview of Japan's geographical setting and history. The next group of chapters covers political institutions, processes, and actors. Two sections then address the country's distinctive social order and economy, educational, healthcare, and public safety systems. Part five looks at the increasingly contentious realm of foreign relations and security issues, including China's expanding role and the issue of North Korea. A concluding section considers dynamics of change in Japanese politics.show more

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