Amsterdam University Press
The Culture of the Sound Image in Prewar Japan
Title
The Culture of the Sound Image in Prewar Japan
Price
€ 99,00
ISBN
9789089647733
Format
Hardback
Number of pages
228
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Also available as
eBook PDF - € 98,99

Reviews

"The intellectuals and artists of the Japanese film world were remarkably prolific in the prewar era, exploring their contemporary cinema in technological, industrial, aesthetic, theoretical and musicological terms. The writers of this unique volume — featuring many of Japan’s finest film historians — have followed these same lines to investigate the complex soundscape of the 1930s. Mining that rich archive, they completely overturn our understanding of the conversion to sound and the last gasps of the benshi."
— Markus Nornes, University of Michigan

"In its historical rigour, intermedial scope, and nuanced analysis, this collection showcases the finest historical research on Japanese cinema."
— Chika Kinoshita, Kyoto University

"This is an excellent addition not only to the canon of sound studies in film, but also a signal achievement in Japanese film history and of film history internationally. It provides a rich and deep analysis of the factors at play in the changing field of sound/image relationships in Japan, favouring what I would describe as an almost "ecological" approach to filmic change."
— James Lastra, University of Chicago

"The Culture of the Sound Image in Prewar Japan will serve as an indispensable resource, providing coverage of an essential topic that goes beyond any other English-language book that I can think of."
— Charles O’Brien, Carleton University

Michael Raine, Johan Nordström (eds)

The Culture of the Sound Image in Prewar Japan

This collection of essays explores the development of electronic sound recording in Japanese cinema, radio, and popular music to illuminate the interrelationship of aesthetics, technology, and cultural modernity in prewar Japan. Putting the cinema at the center of a ‘culture of the sound image’, it restores complexity to a media transition that is often described simply as slow and reluctant. In that vibrant sound culture, the talkie was introduced on the radio before it could be heard in the cinema, and pop music adaptations substituted for musicals even as cinema musicians and live narrators resisted the introduction of recorded sound. Taken together, the essays show that the development of sound technology shaped the economic structure of the film industry and its labour practices, the intermedial relation between cinema, radio, and popular music, as well as the architecture of cinemas and the visual style of individual Japanese films and filmmakers.
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Editors

Michael Raine

Michael Raine is Associate Professor of Film Studies at Western University, Canada. He has written widely on Japanese cinema, with an emphasis on the transition to sound, wartime image culture, and the Japanese New Wave.

Johan Nordström

Johan Nordström is Lecturer at the Department of Global Education, Tsuru University. He has written on various aspects of the Japanese cinema’s transition to sound, and is currently working on a book on Tokyo based early sound film studio P.C.L., later Toho.