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The Attractive Empire: Transnational Film Culture in Imperial Japan

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This is an examination of the attitudes, ideals and myths of Japanese imperialism as represented in its film culture. Baskett traces the development of Japanese film culture from its unapologetically colonial roots in Taiwan and Korea to less obvious manifestations of empire, such as the markets of Manchuria.


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This is an examination of the attitudes, ideals and myths of Japanese imperialism as represented in its film culture. Baskett traces the development of Japanese film culture from its unapologetically colonial roots in Taiwan and Korea to less obvious manifestations of empire, such as the markets of Manchuria.

33 review for The Attractive Empire: Transnational Film Culture in Imperial Japan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Japan's role as imperial power (bully?) in Asia is often neglected when histories of Japanese film are written. Michael Baskett, however, has addressed this oversight in a convincing and meticulous manner. Focusing not only on cinema, but comics, popular music, and other popular artforms as well, Baskett re-positions Japan as actively managing its status as regional hegemon and the myriad (often contradictory) justifications/rationales behind such practices. Don't go in to this expecting deep, te Japan's role as imperial power (bully?) in Asia is often neglected when histories of Japanese film are written. Michael Baskett, however, has addressed this oversight in a convincing and meticulous manner. Focusing not only on cinema, but comics, popular music, and other popular artforms as well, Baskett re-positions Japan as actively managing its status as regional hegemon and the myriad (often contradictory) justifications/rationales behind such practices. Don't go in to this expecting deep, textual analysis of Imperial-era films, however. While Baskett includes discussions of individual films when relevant, they exist to illustrate larger concepts (such as the way Japanese filmmakers viewed different Asian ethnicities or the ways in which Japanese popular culture worked to stabilize internal conceptions of masculinity).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Terry

    A real contribution to post-colonial studies shifting focus away from western hierarchies, complicating expectations by addressing Japan's construction of empire throughout the 1930s-1940s and beyond. Baskett makes strong use of primary sources to ground his discussion and argument in reactions of the day. Many of these film have yet to breakout beyond the era of their production let alone having an international release. Some may compare this to Peter B. High's book, but they are missing the esse A real contribution to post-colonial studies shifting focus away from western hierarchies, complicating expectations by addressing Japan's construction of empire throughout the 1930s-1940s and beyond. Baskett makes strong use of primary sources to ground his discussion and argument in reactions of the day. Many of these film have yet to breakout beyond the era of their production let alone having an international release. Some may compare this to Peter B. High's book, but they are missing the essential research question at the heart of this book in how Japan made the notion of empire appealing through media to colonies and how did those colonies function and react? Stellar scholarship, just wish it was longer and offered even more case studies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    morning Os

    3.5 stars. Neatly done and gives interesting anecdotes. It is unfortunate that the author is extremely weak on the political background of the time period -- some misunderstandings especially in Ch.1. Some of my friends complain that there is no actual analysis of the content of the films, but as a history of the film industry, I still think it's worth taking a look. I prefer Peter High's Imperial Screen, though.

  4. 5 out of 5

    meeners

    found this really fascinating, though i wish he had included more info about the domestic film market (since he does make the point that the "transnational" films were central to film culture in japan from basically the very start).

  5. 5 out of 5

    Grandeurs

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul Vittay

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fran

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Edmonds

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nise Murasaki

  11. 4 out of 5

    Serena

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nathan L

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hieyoon Kim

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zach

  16. 4 out of 5

    Julius Fackler

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yskrings

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

  19. 5 out of 5

    hoffnarr

  20. 4 out of 5

    Youngki.bear

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Szendi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amik

  23. 4 out of 5

    Massimiliano

  24. 5 out of 5

    jenn

  25. 4 out of 5

    Siddartha

  26. 5 out of 5

    Matt J

  27. 5 out of 5

    Seongpil

  28. 4 out of 5

    bossanova

  29. 5 out of 5

    Don

  30. 4 out of 5

    julia

  31. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  32. 4 out of 5

    Amar Baines

  33. 4 out of 5

    Tinobar

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