Akira Kurosawa and Modern Japan

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About the Book

The samurai films of legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa are set in the past, but they tell us much about the present, as do his crime stories, romances, military films, medical dramas and art films. Kurosawa’s movies are beloved for their ageless protagonists and haunting vistas of old Japan, but we haven’t yet fully grasped everything they can teach us about modern Japan. This detailed study of all thirty of Kurosawa’s films analyzes the links between the thrilling narrative onscreen and the equally remarkable events that occurred in Japan over his long, productive career.
Kurosawa’s films adapted and evolved as Japan redefined and reinvented itself, from films made for Japan’s wartime regime to those made amid the trials of American occupation. These include the lavish epics of the “economic miracle” years to the searching masterpieces Kurosawa made with international assistance in a globalizing world. This book explores how Kurosawa’s classics depict the political, economic, cultural, sexual and environmental upheavals of a nation at the center of a turbulent century, whether directly or through period-piece mythmaking.

About the Author(s)

David A. Conrad grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, spent three transformative years in Japan’s Miyagi prefecture, and received a Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. He lives in Leander, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

David A. Conrad

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 60 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8674-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4637-4
Imprint: McFarland