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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which is about identity, contemporary Japanese film, and the relationship between the two. Japanese cinema, growing from an amalgamation of imported cinematic techniques, theatre, literature, and the visual arts, itself has a history over 100 years long?and within that history has developed conventions and trends that both mirror and contradict those of other national cinemas. This is partly the result of Japan?s cultural cosmopolitanism, and partly the result of its insistence on its own ?uniqueness?. However, the author do hope to demonstrate here that an awareness of the social issue of identity, of the formation and maintenance of individuated self-identity, is a guiding principle of many of Japan?s best and most acclaimed contemporary filmmakers.

Keywords: Japanese cinema; self-identity

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