Girlhood interrupted: Gender, Film Propaganda and Imperial Japan.
Thursday 19th May
G.03, Jessops West
17:00 - 19:00
Girlhood interrupted: Gender, Film Propaganda and Imperial Japan
For many, the linkage of girlhood and Japan raises image of vicariously wide-eyed manga-warriors, salacious schoolgirls and peppy pop idols, however, complex images of girlhood were present long before the current media age. Prior to the current multi-media age, 1885-1945 was a seminal period in East Asian development. This presentation examines how articulations of womanhood and girlhood were core to Japanese Imperial rhetoric and will begin by illustrating how the Empire hoped to (re)construct its female citizens. Whilst men would march to sacrificial glory on the battlefield, the focus on women as ‘good wives and wise mothers’ would ensure that they would serve the Empire in a different way. However, this initially simple narrative was far more complex than initial visions presented, since, like any wide-spread and promoted gendered narrative, tensions would emerge. Imperial engagement with the notion of girlhood in the visual field would be an area of specific challenge. This presention will examine how girls, in both the cinema of Japan and her colonial Empire, became a ‘blank spot’ in the Imperial structure. This ambivalent positioning means she was a site of potential disturbance that would need to be controlled and maintained. Focusing on cinema from the period, this paper will illustrate how a contradictory gendering was taking place and how the Imperial girl on film was a potential site of tremendous tension and disruption.
No Booking required