Victims and bystanders: Women in the Japanese war-retro film

Coates, Jennifer (2013) Victims and bystanders: Women in the Japanese war-retro film. Media, War and Conflict, 6 (3). pp. 233-248. ISSN 1750-6360

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While war narratives on film generally focus on male characterisation, this article suggests that analysis of female images in the war film can reveal processes of commemoration and memorialisation at work within the war film genre. Taking examples from the ‘war-retro’ genre popular in 1950s–1970s Japan, the author argues that the female image functions as an emotional screen in the war-retro film, anchoring the sympathies and emotions of the viewer to the leading characters and their inherent political affiliations. The female victims and onlookers of the war-retro film draw the sympathies of the viewer and heighten emotional investment in the stakes of the narrative, emotions which are then transferred to the impassive heroes. This article demonstrates the powerful techniques at work within the imagistic structure of the war-retro film which effect a virtual re-writing of history by creating a new collective national memory of war.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect,film,gender,japan,spectator,war-retro,women
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 May 2018 13:30
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 13:23
DOI: 10.1177/1750635213502905

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