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Title: The flavour of tofu : Ozu, history and the representation of the everyday
Author: Joo, Woojeong
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 9818
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis deals with the issue of the everyday represented in the films of Japanese film director Ozu Yasujiro (1903-1963) from a socio-historical perspective. Recognised as one of the masters of Japanese cinema, Ozu is well-known for his depiction of the everyday life of Japanese people consistently throughout his long career. Ozu’s cinema, however, has been mainly studied from a formal point of view that pays attention to his particular cinematic styles. This thesis aims to revise this tendency by adopting the socio-historical methodology that actively draws upon the knowledge of modern Japanese history, and combining it with the analyses of Ozu’s films. Following a chronological order of the prewar, war and the postwar in Japanese history as well as in Ozu’s career, this thesis is structured to investigate two main issues – the modern and the postwar – at both textual and contextual levels. My discussion thus includes historical backgrounds of how these two issues defined Japanese society, their influences on Japanese film industry (especially with regard to Shochiku, where Ozu worked), and their interaction with Ozu’s films as appearing in the form of everyday lives of different kinds of subjects. The result suggests a much more multifaceted shape of Ozu’s oeuvre. Each of the different subjects I analyse exhibits contrasting aspects of the everyday in terms of both spatiality and temporality, which are closely related to the changing history of modern Japan. I also argue that Ozu consistently provided his representation of the everyday a critical dimension of Japanese modernity, which I conceptualise with the notion of ‘deviation’. This thesis thus concludes that Ozu, as a filmmaker of everyday life, was always conscious of his contemporary society, and in this sense, the everyday in his films is more dynamic than empty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Nihon Gakusei Shien Kikō [Japan Student Services Organization]
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion Pictures