Akira Kurosawa and His Contribution to the Film Industry

The work is to be 8 pages with three to five sources, with in-text citations and a reference page. This period is referred to Meiji Period as it was a period of modernization and westernization of the nation in areas such as fashion, education, banking, technology and military organization. This can be seen in their films as they began abandoning kabuki and Noh (their traditional songs and folklore) in favor of American melodrama.The first motion picture camera was imported to Japan in 1897 by Shiro Asano. It catered for the working class and as such, the industry developed as staged plays filmed for the Japanese upper class. These films were mostly kabuki plays and later, shimpa which was a new form of theatre in the early 1900s. The first-ever kabuki play filmed was Momijigari, and was entirely theatrical. Before the First World War, Japanese films were entirely made up of staged acts and song recitals with a live commentator called Benshi, who provided dialogue for the audience to make sense of the films. This was due to the fact that the imported French equipment lacked intertitles and the films would make little sense if it were not for a commentator. (Walsh, 1998)It is worth noting that cinema led to the fast decline in the Japanese culture. Modernization opened the country to western influence. film directors adopted the western form of drama and comedy for their films. A good example would be Shozo Makino, who used closed framings and rapid cuttings- a characteristic of American films in his samurai films. By the 1920s, the Japanese film industry was almost westernized. However, by mid-1930s, the Japanese citizens expressed resentment towards the western ideals that were ‘eating’ away from their culture. Just like the Germans at the time, the Japanese were politically brainwashed to uphold their culture and traditions and reject all western influences. The film industry, therefore, was forced to comply with this new atmosphere in the country.

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