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Assassins and Children: The Mythology of the Lone Wolf and Cub Films

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Throughout the twentieth century, the popular cultures of Japan and the United States have developed intriguing connections. No where is this more clearly seen than in the oddly linked cultural mythologies which are reflected in the Japanese Samurai Film and the American cinematic Western. While the concept of a Mythic West has long been accepted and discussed by western scholars, the purely mythic space in which the Samurai Film resides has been largely ignored. The genre reflects a potent and highly developed mythology, complete with its own mythological system. The Samurai Film, too often dismissed by westerners as being simply "low brow," offers a glimpse of both Japanese culture and the workings of myth and culture in general.
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Keywords: Mythic West; Samurai Film; The Seven Samurai; Western; Zatoichi; twentieth century

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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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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