SAC 352- Paper 2 - Sasha Wang Daniel Herbert Ken Garner SAC...

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Sasha Wang Daniel Herbert Ken Garner SAC 352.003 11/26/08 Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953) World War II left Japan in desolation. When Japan gave in to the Allied Powers on August 15, 1945, casualties had reached an astounding number of approximately 8 million
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Wang 2 soldiers and 600,000 citizens. General Douglas MacArthur led the United States Occupation under the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, or SCAP. SCAP broke up the dominating business corporations, rented out rural estates to tenant farmers, established universities, gave women the right to vote and loosened divorce and inheritance laws, and created a new constitution. In order to avoid the 1949 Chinese revolution’s spread of communism throughout Asia, SCAP rebuilt Japan as the Asian “headquarters” of western capitalism and democracy. With the United States backing the economy and the start of the Korean War, Japan received an abundance of war-related business opportunities and entered an era of extraordinary economic development. The film industry was of concern to SCAP. The officials examined films produced during the war, “banning and even burning productions with feudalistic and nationalistic [jidai- geki] content” (Thompson and Bordwell, 393). SCAP wanted films to include democratic content dealing with women’s civil liberties and the militarist resistance. However, SCAP did not want to encourage left-wing attitudes, so they dejected themes that condemned the militarist ways and the lack of civil liberties during the War. They also legalized kissing scenes, which had been prohibited in the past. By 1946, cinema attendance grew to about 733 million, almost doubling the average attendance of 400 million before the war. Independent production companies developed, but the film industry was led by three major vertically-integrated companies that had taken charge during the War: Shochiku, Toho, and Daiei. Yet, Toho endured a strike in 1946 that resulted in the branching off of a new company, Shintoho. Although Shintoho originally shared distribution and exhibition with Toho, it became its own vertically integrated company in 1951. That same year, a new studio called Toei emerged and was very successful with its theaters located in urban
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Wang 3 areas and its inexpensive double-feature. Nevertheless, these major companies had an unofficial agreement with SCAP that if they produced films that adhered to the new Japanese conventions, SCAP would hold back labor works that could potentially hurt the studios. By 1950, most Japanese cinemas fully regained success. SCAP had brought over hundreds of Hollywood films to further the newfound democracy. Although Hollywood thrived in Japan, national cinema sustained superiority over the Japanese film industry. The American Occupation of Japan ended in 1952.
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SAC 352- Paper 2 - Sasha Wang Daniel Herbert Ken Garner SAC...

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