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Contextualising Identity In Contemporary Japanese Film

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduce two films?Dogura magura (Dogra Magra, 1988), based on the novel by Yumeno Kyūsaku, and Itami Jūzō ’s Osōshiki (The Funeral)? from the 1980s, and read them through/as compelling allegories for the situation of Japan, caught between modernisation (pursued as westernisation), and a lingering pull to maintain an awareness of and respect for tradition. These two films deal precisely with the clash of modernity and tradition, but are themselves contradictory in their resolutions and propositions of this clash. These films, through their engagement with tradition, serve to focus our attention on the transitional processes of contemporary Japan which have led to contradictory values of selfhood as independent or integrated into a social context. It is this contradiction which leads to the ?crisis? in identity and the author hopes that this work will illustrate as informing much of contemporary Japanese film.

Keywords: Dogura magura; Japanese film; Osōshiki



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