According to Kitamura, Hollywood achieved widespread results by turning to the support of U.S. government and military authorities, which offered privileged deals to American movies while rigorously controlling Japanese and other cinematic products. The presentation of American ideas and values as an emblem of culture, democracy, and sophistication also allowed the U.S. film industry to expand. However, the studios' efforts would not have been nearly as extensive without the Japanese intermediaries and consumers who interestingly served as the program's best publicists. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from studio memos and official documents of the occupation to publicity materials and Japanese fan magazines, Kitamura shows how many Japanese supported Hollywood and became active agents of Americanization. A truly interdisciplinary book that combines U.S. diplomatic and cultural history, film and media studies, and modern Japanese history, Screening Enlightenment offers new insights into the origins of this unique political and cultural transpacific relationship.
About the Author
Table of Contents1. Thwarted Ambitions: Hollywood and Japan before the Second World War
2. Renewed Intimacies: Hollywood, War, and Occupation
3. Contested Terrains: Occupation Censorship and Japanese Cinema
4. Corporatist Tensions: Hollywood versus the Occupation
5. Fountains of Culture: Hollywood's Marketing in Defeated Japan
6. Presenting Culture: The Exhibition of American Movies
7. Seeking Enlightenment: The Culture Elites and American Movies
8. Choosing America: Eiga no tomo and the Making of a New Fan Culture
ConclusionAppendix: First Forty-Five Films Selected for Distribution in Japan after the War
Index of Films
What People are Saying About This
"In Screening Enlightenment, Hiroshi Kitamura investigates not only the ideologies driving U.S. policymaking but also their effects on those at the receiving end of those policies. Kitamura offers an excellent, deeply researched, and smoothly written combination of international business history, Japanese film history, cultural history, and diplomatic history."
"Thoroughly researched and carefully crafted, this book provides the first comprehensive study of movie entertainment in post-1945 Japan. As a teenager then living in Tokyo, I remember being deeply impressed with such Hollywood productions as Madame Curie, The Yearling, and Little Women. I am grateful that this book helps me understand how these and other movies were selected for showing in Japan, how Hollywood collaborated with U.S. occupation authorities in the process, and how Japan's postwar cultural elites looked to the Hollywood film as a crucial instrument for reconstructing their country and developing a close understanding of, and ties to, the United States. Screening Enlightenment is a valuable addition to the literature on post–World War II history."
"Kitamura successfully uses case studies to explore the way in which American films were marketed and received in Japan, and how they shaped the Japanese postwar experience.... Screening Enlightenment sheds new light on a neglected part of Occupation history."
"Hiroshi Kitamura offers an insightful consideration of the U.S. film industry's efforts in Japan. He is attentive to not only American cultural dealings with Japan but also Japan's engagement with and influence on the world's cinema."