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Formation of Korean Film Industry under Japanese Occupation

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The Korean term for film, cinema, or motion picture is younghwa, which comes from Japanese eiga. These two words are the same Chinese character but pronounced differently. On the other hand, the term hwaldong sajin, which corresponds to motion picture literally and sometimes means film itself, was used at one time. To see hwaldong sajin implies to see a spectacle, an attraction, and to experience new cultures, while to see younghwa means to see or to enjoy (narrative) cinema As narrative cinema has developed, hwaldong sajin is not used any longer and the experience of hwaldong sajin is absorbed into the experience of younghwa. In late nineteenth century, when cinema was invented and introduced to Korea, Japan colonized the country.
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Keywords: Japanese occupation; Korea; film industry; formation; history; younghwa

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: New York University

Publication date: 01 September 2001

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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