Irie Takako: Establishing Oneself and Entering the World
February 15, 2006 9:57 AM   Subscribe

In the Twilight of Modernity and the Silent Film (.pdf) Irie Takako was the most popular actress in 1930s Japan: film scholar Tanaka Masasumi locates the turning point of Japanese modernity in 1933, the year Kenji Mizoguchi's The Water Magician was made, arguing that Irie's transformation from radiant embodiment of moga(modern girl, the Japanese version of the flapper)-hood to suffering beauty in a kimono (.pdf) epitomized modernism's (modanizumu) defeat by nationalism in 1930's Japan. (via Camera Obscura; more inside)
posted by matteo (5 comments total)
The Taisho era was a brief but dynamic period in Japan's modern development that is often described as a Japanese version of the Roaring Twenties. Officially it lasted from 1912 to 1926, the reign of the Emperor Taisho, but the phrase “Taisho culture” evokes a society in transition in the twenties and early thirties, when Western Jazz Age mores and styles bumped up against traditional Japanese values of harmony and tranquility. During this period, as Japan was becoming an international power, the gap, born in the Meiji era, between a traditional agriculturally based population and the modern industrial sector widened.
posted by matteo at 9:58 AM on February 15, 2006

Interesting. I actually saw "the Water Magician" with a benshi some years ago. This puts it into a different light.
posted by adamrice at 10:39 AM on February 15, 2006

dosn't seem like modernity fared too badly over there after the war.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on February 15, 2006

Pity about that whole ill-considered-military-adventurism-leading-to-nuking part though.
posted by adamrice at 12:45 PM on February 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

One more movie for the "to watch" list, thank you
posted by IndigoJones at 7:38 AM on February 16, 2006

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