A Case Study of Japanese Film Exhibition in North America

The Japan Society, New York

Authored by: Kyoko Hirano

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138685529
eBook ISBN: 9781315534374
Adobe ISBN:


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The Japan Society, New York, a non-profit organization founded in 1907 to promote cultural exchange between the USA and Japan, has been among the important venues screening Japanese films as a window into Japanese culture for the general public since it began regular film programs in the early 1970s. Drawing on her experience as the Japan Society’s film curator from 1986 to 2004, Kyoko Hirano discusses what kinds of Japanese films were screened and what became available for US theatrical and educational distribution during this period. This activity was the result of dynamic interactions among filmmakers, distributors, festival organizers, curators, critics, scholars, and general audiences. The subject matter and cinematic styles of films available as English-subtitled 35 mm and 16 mm prints largely determined topics and trends of scholarship in the fields of Japanese and film studies, and helped shape public perceptions of Japan.

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