Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Jennifer Coates

Title: Victims and bystanders

Subtitle: Women in the Japanese war-retro film

Journal: Media, War & Conflict

Volume: 6

Issue: 3

Year: December 2013

Pages: 233-248

ISSN: 1750-6352 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1750-6360 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | Japanese History | Representations: Films; Types: Forced Prostitution / "Comfort Women"; Types: Wartime Rape / Asia-Pacific War


Link: (Free Access)

Link: SAGE Journals (Restricted Access)



Abstract: »While war narratives on film generally focus on male characterisation, this article suggests that analysis of female images in the war film can reveal processes of commemoration and memorialisation at work within the war film genre. Taking examples from the ‘war-retro’ genre popular in 1950s–1970s Japan, the author argues that the female image functions as an emotional screen in the war-retro film, anchoring the sympathies and emotions of the viewer to the leading characters and their inherent political affiliations. The female victims and onlookers of the war-retro film draw the sympathies of the viewer and heighten emotional investment in the stakes of the narrative, emotions which are then transferred to the impassive heroes. This article demonstrates the powerful techniques at work within the imagistic structure of the war-retro film which effect a virtual re-writing of history by creating a new collective national memory of war.« (Source: Media, War & Conflict)


  Abstract (p. 233)
  Introduction (p. 233)
  Contexts of the war-retro genre (p. 235)
  Affect and identification processes in film (p. 237)
  Women in the war-retro film (p. 239)
  Conclusion (p. 245)
  Funding (p. 246)
  Notes (p. 246)
  References (p. 246)
  Author biography (p. 248)

Wikipedia: Forced prostitution: Comfort women; The Human Condition (film series); Wartime sexual violence: Japanese war crimes Pacific War