Friday, August 26, 2011

The Empire of Fantasies

Geishunka (迎春花,1943) Dir. Yasushi Sasaki

In 1923, the massive earthquake hit the Kanto area. Unprecedented in modern history of Japan, with more than 100,000 causalities, the large part of metropolitan area was burnt to ground. One of the horrifying events in this catastrophe was ethnic cleansing of Koreans by Japanese survivors. Vicious rumors were spread through the frightened people in the devastated area; Koreans were poisoning drinking water, torching houses and preparing for communist revolution. Vigilantes searched for suspected "Koreans" (whoever they considered Koreans) and lynched them to death. In reality, the vicious rumors were spread by Tokyo Police Department. It may sound incredible, but Matsutaro Shoriki, the head of the Anti-terrorism unit in TPD at the time, devised the scheme for ethnic cleansing. Shoriki went on to become the owner of Yomiuri News, the largest news agency in Japan, an Class-A war criminal, and a Congressman. Many pointed out that he used this opportunity to suppress Left-wing-Labor union activities. However, there is no practical clear reason for cleansing Koreans in this context.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Masumura, Ichikawa and Ozu

The Most Valuable Wife (Saiko Shukun Fujin, 1959, dir. Yasuzo Masumura)

Speed of Growth

In the age of global economy, a self-proclaimed expert announces "your bond is no longer as secure as it used to be" and then whole world goes berserk. A large part of transactions of securities, stocks, bonds, foreign currencies and other monetary entities is processed by computer algorithms without human intervention, in less than a microsecond over the continents. A myriad of security firms, banks, and other companies you never knew how to pronounce their names, destroy your retirement plan in two seconds. Most of us are jittery because off-shoring project in process in the floor below will mean next wave of layoffs in this floor. Yes, this is the ultimate form of the Captialism as we know it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nobuko Rides on a Cloud

Nobuko Rides on a Cloud (ノンちゃん雲に乗る)

1955, Shin-Toho

Prod. Hisatora Kumagai, Hiroji Nakata

Dir. Fumindo Kurata

Fumindo Kurata, Setsuko Murayama
Haruko Wanibuchi, Setsuko Hara, Susumu Fujita

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