Added: January 2, 2016 – Last updated: January 2, 2016


Author: Bianca Otilia Briciu

Title: The Cinema of the Victim

Subtitle: Gender and Collective Trauma in the Postwar Japanse Woman's Film

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Carleton University

Advisor: Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

Year: 2008

Pages: iii + 138pp.

ISBN-13: 9780494405925 – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Japanese History | Representations: Films



* Curve: Carleton University Research Virtual Environment (Free Access)

* Theses Canada (Free Access)


Abstract: »From our contemporary position weary of the feminist victimization discourse and critical of the postwar Japanese victim attitude, I attempt to pursue an analysis of this type of discourse in postwar Japanese cinema. Narratives and imagery of victimization open the possibility of investigating the subjective dimension of certain historical periods. Focusing on woman's films, a genre only recently considered in film studies, I am offering a culturally, historically embedded reading of the cinematic representation of Japan's postwar period through the trope of female victimization. Bringing together studies of gender and genre, my objective is to offer a historically articulated theory of woman's film not only as a "feminine" genre but also as an emotional collective memory of suffering. Besides the textual analysis of the films' representation of subjective history, I am highlighting the role played by pathos for the emotional involvement of spectators.« (Source: Thesis)


  Introduction (p. 1)
    The Benefits of the Genre Approach (p. 4)
    Does the Woman's Film Belong to Women? - Melodrama and the Woman's Film (p. 5)
    Historical Background of Postwar Japan (p. 9)
    Collective Trauma as a Break in the Construction of Collectivity (p. 10)
    Japan's Collective Trauma and the Woman's Film (p. 11)
    Displacement of Japan's Collective Trauma (p. 15)
    The Melodramatic Language of Pathos-Masochistic Spectatorship? (p. 17)
    The Return of the Mother (p. 18)
    The Feminization of Memory: Woman as Witness to the Collective Male Trauma (p. 20)
    The Prostitute between Native and Foreign Patriarchy (p. 21)
    Conclusion (p. 21)
  Chapter 1. The Return to the Mother (p. 23)
    Kinoshita Keisuke (1912-1998) (p. 23)
    A Japanese Tragedy, Tragedy of the Mother, Tragedy of the Nation (p. 25)
      The Ever Present Past-Flashbacks of Suffering (p. 30)
      Projection of Painful Memory onto the Mother (p. 33)
    Twenty-four Eyes, The Eyes that Witness History (p. 41)
      The Ritual of Tears (p. 42)
      Collectivity and Empathy (p. 46)
      Collective Trauma and Gender-Can the Female Replace the Lost Phallus? (p. 54)
    Conclusion (p. 59)
  Chapter 2. The Feminization of Memory: Woman as Witness to the Japanese Male Collective Trauma (p. 62)
    A Hen in the Wind, Violence and the Possibility of Traumatic Catharsis (p. 65)
    Floating Clouds, The Politics of Gender and Memory (p. 77)
    Conclusion (p. 88)
  Chapter 3. The Prostitute Between Native and Foreign Patriarchy (p. 90)
    Mizoguchi Kenji (1898-1956) (p. 90)
    Women of the Night, Stripping the Body, Stripping the Soul (p. 93)
    Streets of Shame, How Evil Is Prostitution? Victimization and Empowerment (p. 110)
    Conclusion (p. 120)
  Conclusion (p. 123)
  Bibliography (p. 134)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Japan | Film: Cinema of Japan