ASIA212Varley

It is simply a fact as outsiders constantly obser ve

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Unformatted text preview: emperor’s broadcast announcing surrender, Shigematsu wanders aimlessly around outside and, upon gazing into a stream, makes a surprising discovery: How had I never realized there was such an attractive stream so near at hand? In the water, I could see a procession of baby eels swimming blithely upstream against the current. It was remarkable to watch them: a myriad of tiny eels, still at the larval stage, none of them more than three or four inches in length. “On you go, on up the stream!” I said to them encouragingly. “You can smell fresh water, I’ll be bound!” Still they came on unendingly, battling their way upstream in countless numbers. They must have swum all the way up from the lower reaches of the river at Hiroshima.18 318 Culture in the Present Age Along with translated novels, film became one of the most important media for the transmission of Japanese culture to the West in the postwar period, which soon developed into a golden age of cinema.19 The main impetus for this was the excellence in cinematic work already achieved in a remarkably short time by prewar Japanese filmmakers. The film industry was also able to expand its activities rapidly after the surrender because the facilities of the major studios—Shòchiku, Tòhò, and Daiei—had suffered no serious war damage and because SCAP adopted a policy of encouraging the reconstruction and building of movie theatres to provide entertainment for the people. At the same time, despite its generally liberating attitude toward freedom of speech and expression elsewhere, SCAP saw fit to impose a fairly wide-ranging censorship on the themes that could be treated in movies. Among those forbidden were nationalism, revenge, patriotism, the distortion of historical facts, racial or religious discrimination, feudal loyalty, suicide, the oppression of women and degradation of wives, antidemocratic attitudes, and anything that opposed the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration and the directives of SCAP. In their efforts to live with the censorship—or, when possible, to circumvent it—Japanese producers and directors were forced to resort to stratagems and...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at UBC.

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