Tanaka Kinuyo: nation, stardom and female subjectivity

González-López, Irene and Smith, Michael, eds. (2018) Tanaka Kinuyo: nation, stardom and female subjectivity. Edinburgh, U.K. : Edinburgh University Press. 232p. (Edinburgh Studies in East Asian Film) ISBN 9781474409698


This is the first book in English dedicated to the actor and director Tanaka Kinuyo. Praised as amongst the greatest actors in the history of Japanese cinema, she became an exponent of Japanese femininity on screen. Tanaka was also the only Japanese woman filmmaker between 1953 and 1962, and her films tackled distinctly feminine topics such as prostitution and breast cancer. Tanaka’s career spanned the industrial development of cinema – from silent to sound, monochrome to colour, and overlapped with a transformative period in Japanese history, and hence it serves as a useful vehicle to revisit the structure and workings of the Japanese studio system. Bringing together Japanese and western scholars, this close analysis of her fascinating life and work offers new perspectives on the study of stardom, authorship and gendered subjectivity on screen.

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