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Images of Uma (Horses) in the Samurai Films of Akira Kurosawa

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This article describes Kurosawa’s symbolic and dramatic use of the horse in some of his most important films set in the medieval era. The Japanese filmmaker’s horse scenes are pregnant with symbolism deeply rooted in archetypes of the horse embedded in worldwide myths, legends, and folktales. Kurosawa also exploited horse imagery to generate both comedy and pathos.

Keywords: John Ford; Uma; horses; medieval samurai films; mythology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-09-01

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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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