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postgraduate thesis: Neorealism and the Chinese ideology in Yamada Yoji's family films

TitleNeorealism and the Chinese ideology in Yamada Yoji's family films
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, Y. [陳仁川]. (2014). Neorealism and the Chinese ideology in Yamada Yoji's family films. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5446485
AbstractBesides Tora-san series and samurai trilogy, veteran Japanese filmmaker Yamada Yoji also endeavors in making family films, however, his ‘home drama’1 genre has long been neglected in academia. To fill this gap, the aims of this research are to investigate firstly the aesthetics of his social realistic films; secondly, what are the family values revealed in his family films and thirdly, how ‘woman’ is portrayed in his ‘home drama’. Working under the ‘director system’ of Shochiku Studio, this research argues that auteur theory which advocates director as the author of a film is applicable to Yamada and is thus employed to examine family films that are produced between 1970 and 2013. Background information of the auteur (author) and his films are reviewed in Part I of this thesis while Part II will focus on the discussion and analysis of the film aesthetics and motifs of Yamada Yoji’s family films. Similar to other cultural artefacts, film aesthetics cannot stand apart from the surrounding culture. Italian neorealism which flourished at the time when Yamada entered the film industry will be used to examine Yamada’s stylistic orientation. It is found that except collaborating with professional actors, Yamada’s films display most of the characteristics of Italian neorealism. In the pursuit of aesthetic realism, the “repeated team” (also known as ‘director’s team’) of Yamada at Shochiku Studio helped him to actualize his film aesthetics. With its adoption of ‘director system’ and ‘star system’, Shochiku is also known for producing shomingeki (film of ordinary people), so besides the possible influences from Italian neorealism, Shochiku Studio may have also cast influences to the artistic style of Yamada Yoji. Through intertextual reading of his social realistic films, the kind of social problem always lies in the dilemma between tradition and progression. Viewing ‘family’ as the fundamental unit of a society, Yamada presents to us the importance of preserving traditional virtues and family values in the continuation of a family so as to the sustainability of a society. This research reaffirms the influence of Chinese ideology on the construction of Japanese family system that the family relationships and the core family values found in films can well be explained by Chinese Confucianism. Under the patriarchal social context, it is interesting to discover the portrayal of ‘strong woman and weak man’ image in his family films. While the oppression of women is depicted in the process of modernization, the image of ‘strong woman’ is presented through the inscription of femininity in Yamada’s cinematic film texts. Rejecting the binary opposition of sexes, women in Yamada’s films is portrayed to encompass the qualities of masculinity and femininity under the ecriture feminine writing of Yamada. This feminine approach can be regarded as a way out, as proposed by the auteur, to tackle social challenges. Through an in-depth examination of Yamada Yoji’s family films, this research demonstrates that is a good way to learn more about a culture or a society through social realistic cinema.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectRealism in motion pictures
Dept/ProgramJapanese Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/210180

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Yan-chuen-
dc.contributor.author陳仁川-
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-26T23:10:09Z-
dc.date.available2015-05-26T23:10:09Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationChan, Y. [陳仁川]. (2014). Neorealism and the Chinese ideology in Yamada Yoji's family films. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5446485-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/210180-
dc.description.abstractBesides Tora-san series and samurai trilogy, veteran Japanese filmmaker Yamada Yoji also endeavors in making family films, however, his ‘home drama’1 genre has long been neglected in academia. To fill this gap, the aims of this research are to investigate firstly the aesthetics of his social realistic films; secondly, what are the family values revealed in his family films and thirdly, how ‘woman’ is portrayed in his ‘home drama’. Working under the ‘director system’ of Shochiku Studio, this research argues that auteur theory which advocates director as the author of a film is applicable to Yamada and is thus employed to examine family films that are produced between 1970 and 2013. Background information of the auteur (author) and his films are reviewed in Part I of this thesis while Part II will focus on the discussion and analysis of the film aesthetics and motifs of Yamada Yoji’s family films. Similar to other cultural artefacts, film aesthetics cannot stand apart from the surrounding culture. Italian neorealism which flourished at the time when Yamada entered the film industry will be used to examine Yamada’s stylistic orientation. It is found that except collaborating with professional actors, Yamada’s films display most of the characteristics of Italian neorealism. In the pursuit of aesthetic realism, the “repeated team” (also known as ‘director’s team’) of Yamada at Shochiku Studio helped him to actualize his film aesthetics. With its adoption of ‘director system’ and ‘star system’, Shochiku is also known for producing shomingeki (film of ordinary people), so besides the possible influences from Italian neorealism, Shochiku Studio may have also cast influences to the artistic style of Yamada Yoji. Through intertextual reading of his social realistic films, the kind of social problem always lies in the dilemma between tradition and progression. Viewing ‘family’ as the fundamental unit of a society, Yamada presents to us the importance of preserving traditional virtues and family values in the continuation of a family so as to the sustainability of a society. This research reaffirms the influence of Chinese ideology on the construction of Japanese family system that the family relationships and the core family values found in films can well be explained by Chinese Confucianism. Under the patriarchal social context, it is interesting to discover the portrayal of ‘strong woman and weak man’ image in his family films. While the oppression of women is depicted in the process of modernization, the image of ‘strong woman’ is presented through the inscription of femininity in Yamada’s cinematic film texts. Rejecting the binary opposition of sexes, women in Yamada’s films is portrayed to encompass the qualities of masculinity and femininity under the ecriture feminine writing of Yamada. This feminine approach can be regarded as a way out, as proposed by the auteur, to tackle social challenges. Through an in-depth examination of Yamada Yoji’s family films, this research demonstrates that is a good way to learn more about a culture or a society through social realistic cinema.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshRealism in motion pictures-
dc.titleNeorealism and the Chinese ideology in Yamada Yoji's family films-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5446485-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineJapanese Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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