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Lethal Transience As Nationalist Fable: Kumai Kei's Sen No Rikyū: Honkakubo Ibun

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the relationship between the modern formation of Japanese subjectivity and cultural practices including institutionalized tea pedagogy, and how these two elements are represented in popular culture film texts. Tenbruck's insights are used to 'probe into the dynamic and productive constitution of representative culture, locate the origins of the dominant ideas, trace the lines and networks of their spread and reception, and study the links between representative culture, political organization, social institutions, groups, and associations'. Three issues frame comments about Sen no Rikyū; the status of Kumai as a post-war director concerned with the oppressive costs of life under a national ideology, exercise of that Japanese ideology in constructing the realm of culture as a sphere requiring explicit official intervention, and role of history dramas, the jidai geki, in Japanese national cinema and ways in which genre supports and subverts the national ideology of cultural exceptionalism.

Keywords: jidai geki; Japanese ideology; Sen no Rikyū; tea pedagogy; Tenbruck



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