Japanese Cinema As The Golden Age Of Japanese Cinema

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The postwar Japanese cinema is regarded as the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. The films produced during that period also underwent a major transition since the start of the war. In the first part of this academic essay, I will touch on the brief history of films produced during the war and how the global, political and industrial development after the war helped to kickstart the film industry into the Golden Age.

In addition to that, I will talk on how the change in conditions mentioned above led to the rise of Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa, and their filmmaking styles in relation to the postwar period. In the second part of this essay, I will be reflecting on a recent film and how it was inspired by postwar Japanese cinema.

The military took charge of the government and in turn dictated the local film policy by producing propogandic films. The Motion Picture Law was formed and when foreign films entered Japan, they suffered badly by going through a lot of cuts. The law also put a curb on these foreign films if they are found to be democratic and of different ideology. Donald Richie’s Japanese Cinema: An Introduction (1990, p.37) stated in his book:

“Even in the early 1930s the official censors had begun cutting foreign films: the pacific All Quiet on the Western Front suffered nearly three hundred cuts before being shown in Japan”. The magnitude of the number of cuts shows the strength of the military censors and how focused they were when producing ideological
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