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Screen Studies Articles

Subjects

Content Type:

Overview articles

Genres, Movements and Styles:

Silent cinema

Place:

Japan

Related Content

From Kabuki to Cinema to Kabuki: Japanese Cinema Before World War II

From Kabuki to Cinema to Kabuki: Japanese Cinema Before World War II
DOI: 10.5040/9781350996328.0007

    In the first decades of the twentieth century, cinema was not clearly separated from preexisting theatrical entertainment in Japan: kabuki (stage drama popularized in seventeenth-century Japan, performed in stylized singing and dancing) and shinpa (new school, or modern drama influenced by kabuki styles). Japanese intellectuals, ranging from film critics and filmmakers to government officials, regarded the kabuki-style cinema as “uncinematic” and called for modernization of Japanese cinema. Shochiku Company initially supported their efforts, but they eventually turned to a compromising policy that mixed kabuki-style cinema and the Hollywood-style business practice.