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Growing Old with Kurosawa and The Bomb: Japanese Aesthetic Traditions and the American Desire for an Authentic Response

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Akira Kurosawa3 is like a Venn diagram––a discursive center constructed by intersecting other issues. Conceptualized in this way, three of Kurosawa's films stand out for both their controversial subject matter and critical reception, and thus make the practice and disciplinary boundaries of cinema studies more open to criticism. Record of a Living Being (Ikimono no kiroku, 1955), Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (Yume, 1990), and Rhapsody in August (Hachigatsu no rapusodii, 1991), directly address the sensitive subject matter of the bomb. When we look closely at these films (hereafter referred to by their Japanese titles), we also find several interesting characteristics common to most other Japanese films about the bomb.

Keywords: Akira Kurosawa; Akira Kurosawa's Dreams; Record of a Living Being; Rhapsody in August; atomic bomb cinema; criticism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Hiroshima University

Publication date: September 1, 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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