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  1. Lesson 1 (from Book I, Chapters 1-9)
  2. 1 Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, or Photography as Disturbance to Middle-Brow Life
  3. Japanese Art and Literature
  4. Daily Lessons for Teaching The Makioka Sisters
  5. Books The Makioka Sisters

I have been unable to locate it at all. I used "Girl from Hunan" last semester; my students, at least, hated it, although when pressed, it was unclear precisely why. If you haven't already, look through the Facets catalogue for what they have.

Lesson 1 (from Book I, Chapters 1-9)

Good luck. I hope you post your final findings to the list; and if not, please tell me what you find about Carma Hinton's trilogy. Or you can write to her at President St. Other post '78 films would also be interesting to use -- all of Zhang Yimou's films have representations of women that a class could learn from. But Professor Young has informed me that the telephone number contained in her post above is operative as well. In reply to Joyce Madancy's query on films relating to the position of women in Japan is it too frivolous to suggest "Tampopo"?

Its central character is a single mother trying to run a noodle bar, but includes vignettes of women in other situations a gangster's girl, a dying mother's relationship with her family. The whole thing is set in cowboy formula and is very satirical, but nevertheless very revealing of the position and relationships of women in the family in Japan. One other film on women in Japan which is compelling but may be hard to find is Nomugi pass. It begins with their recruitment and hiking over the Nomugi pass to the filatures based around Lake Suwa, and chronicles their difficulties working in the factories.

Another interesting film which I don't think has yet been mentioned is Family Game, a comedy which depicts a middle class family's battles against the Japanese educational system.

1 Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, or Photography as Disturbance to Middle-Brow Life

Another from a different time period is Life of Oharu Mizoguchi , which portrays a woman victimized by the strictures of 17th century feudal Japan. In response to Joyce Madancy's request for recommended films on Japanese women, I have the following suggestions: 1 For the Tokugawa period, I have used Shinoda Masahiro's "Double Suicide" for a number of years a New Wave film that makes for very challenging but nonetheless rewarding viewing. This film is based on three short stories by Meiji period woman author Higuchi Ichiyo.

I think the film evokes the Meiji period wonderfully. Best wishes. The following reply was sent to H-film. Roughly a year ago, I posed an open question to this list asking if anyone found that the images of women in recent films from the PRC were disturbing. I would now add demeaning. I would also now add sadistic. And to those who will tell me that the images of women are "symbols" of China, I will reply in advance that the couching of masochistic images of one's country in the body of a woman does not obviate discussion of the images as images of women.

The second part of my query is "Why do films from the PRC directed by women of which there are many receive virtually no critical attention and is this linked to the fact that these films do not depict demeaning images of women, but instead images of strong, self-sufficient women who have generally improved their condition by film's end? After reading two papers on this topic to two completely different kinds of audiences, I'm still looking for some discussion. And I'm really fed up seeing Zhang Yimou's films taken as an example of films about women.

Whatever they're about, they're not about women. However, only the last is made by a Japanese woman. Hegarty Comes to Japan. As for features: I think virtually any film by Ozu has characters and situations that can yield productive class discussion and papers in a course on women in Japan. The same for films by Naruse Mikio or Kinoshita Keisuke. Itami Juzo's movies "Tampopo" and "Taxing Woman" have already been mentioned, but all his films center on women are perhaps the most readily available of newer films. These directors respectively present very different views of women, however.

Do you have specific themes or issues you will be exploring?

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My mind's not very concentrated on film right now but if there are specific aspects that you're looking for, let me know and I'll see if I can come up with some other suggestions my dissertation's on Japanese film and I've a long-standing interest in and involvement with Japanese cinema. Wilson, Hamilton College twilson itsmail1.

Japanese Art and Literature

I would remark on Helen Armstrong's modest suggestion of Tampopo as a film appropriate for use as a representation of women in Japan, that I find it often a brilliant parody of Japanese fetishization of food, and conflation of food and sex. Have I been "reading too much" into the film to construe it also as a parody of samurai movies which feature a woman as the hero?

The cowboy hat provided for me a signal that this was not so much like a cowboy movie, but a martial arts movie after all, Kurasawa's samurai films provided the basis for many westerns on the conflict between competing sword fighting techniques, emphasizing the importance of a master-disciple tradition and rigorous training. Tampopo goes through the same kind of trials and tribulations experienced by Mifune in a number of his films: the initial encounter with the enemy, devastating defeat, retreat and training, and final victory; a victory which is as much of a personal victory as it is a confirmation of the validity of the tradition she represents.

Some of my students have remarked that Tampopo seems too much under the control of men in this film. Maybe so, but certainly no more so than a discipline any tradition doctrinal, martial, noodle vending who carries forth all the expectations of remaining true to the essential values of the tradition.

The second edition has more material. Mizoguchi's unsentimental films, Sisters of the Gion, and Osaka Elegy, both short enough to fit some class periods, are now available on videotape. In addition to being able to enjoy Mizoguchi's direction and understanding of the camera both of these films hold up well to contemporary Hollywood work , we are treated to some very interesting views of family life.

The final scenes of Osaka Elegy are especially effective. Again, Bock has some interesting things to say about Mizoguchi's famous sympathy for Japanese women. Of course, in this respect, there are many films by Mizoguchi worth a look. Several films by Naruse Mikio are available on videotape in the US. Some people like Mother Others find it cloying.

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki : A Review (First Book Review Ever!)

It's useful for seeing what strings a tearjerker about an ideal mother is supposed to pull. There is more than one class of material in her final smile. Like Naruse, Imamura Shohei should be much better known. His film, Insect Woman, follows a farmgirl from poverty to success in the city. Donald Richie called it "an honest look at a woman's life.

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They are very, very different from us as you would expect, separated by 70 years and two continents of culture. However, in common with other Japanese books I have read not that there are many! Instead of giving the unmarried girls their share of their inheritance so that they could make their own way in the world, he kept all the money, but paid them an allowance.

I was also struck by how little was said plainly. Nobody ever asked, or answered, a direct question. I am glad I read it, not just to get it off my tbr pile, but to have experienced significant 20thC Japanese literature not that I am planning to go back for another go! Guh, a novel I had to quit halfway through. I've found Tanizaki's other works quite all right but after I struggled through over pages of The Makioka Sisters I couldn't take any more.

It's not so much the fact that the story moves at a glacial pace but the fact that we're told everything: "Yukiko did this, Taeko did that, etc. It makes the cast about as exciting as a bag of doorknobs. And it's not that I don't like reserved Japanese novels. I love Kawabata's fiction, which is often in that mould. Yet at least his novels all have a lyricism to them that makes them pleasurable to read it's also an aid that none of them are over pages long like TMS.

Daily Lessons for Teaching The Makioka Sisters

The translation doesn't help, as it feels particularly leaden at times, but this is simply a boring novel to my mind. I recognise that the world that Tanizaki paints is probably very accurate but the plot is dull, the characters unknowable, and the convenient absence of anything to do with Japan's imperial entanglements a disappointment. I hate giving up on books but I concluded that life is too short to keep slogging my way through this one.

LibraryThing member missizicks. An absorbing insight into the social niceties of early 20th century Japan. The Makioka family has known better times and now, with war looming and austerity taking hold, they are finding it difficult to maintain standards. They are also reaping the consequences of their past aloofness in marriage negotiations in trying to marry off the third sister.

The youngest sister is a modern woman, champing at the bit to live an independent life. Second sister Sachiko and her husband Teinosuke do their best to navigate their way through society's expectations and the changing times they live in. I was torn between feeling sympathy for Sachiko's frustrations with her younger sisters and empathy with youngest sister Taeko's nonconformity.

The characterisations are beautiful, and I was immersed in the story completely. The ending is a little abrupt, but as I'm not always a fan of neatly tied up finishes, it didn't bother me too much. LibraryThing member gendeg. Japanese classic The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki is an epic chronicle of an aristocratic Japanese family from Osaka told through the lives of four sisters. I expected a messy, sprawling family saga but instead got a hyper-real, documentary look at various traditions and family practices.

The Makioka Sisters details the decline of Japanese society and its struggles with modernization through the banal lives of these siblings. It's an apt dramatic lens, and I was excited to immerse myself in this family's story. But frustratingly no grand events or central conflicts take place. Much of the plot hinges on the family trying to find a husband for one of the unmarried sisters and dealing with the youngest sibling who is dating around and trampling all over social codes.

Soap opera material, right?

Yet Tanizaki steps nobly around that gutter storytelling. Still, I wished he did deal more viscerally and dramatically with those aspects, just to shake things up a bit. Also, even though the book takes place before WWII, the drumbeat of impending war doesn't enter into the characters' lives in any significant way, which I found rather strange. Lost opportunity? I admire Tanizaki's writing, which is fluid and eloquent and psychologically penetrating in parts.


Books The Makioka Sisters

What really shines in this book is how it evokes Japanese life with such a fine-tooth comb. The writing is strewn with rich period details. But the overall effect of this book is ho-hum. Part of my critical bias comes from my expectations going in: I really wanted this to be a juicy, Jane Austen-type book set in Japan. With such a large cast of characters and the personality differences between the sisters and in-laws, there was definite potential for a narrative that had more, well, friction and scandal.