Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ozu as a student of American movies and of English

The museum details Ozu's seemingly happy, though wild childhood with displays of his copper plate English homework ("When the chestnuts are ripe, the burs burst open.") and his early sketches.

Ozu Yasujiro's English exercise book
As a youth, Ozu was entranced by American films of the period and enamoured of their stars, in particular Pearl White and Lillian Gish. He wrote to (and received replies!) from a number of Hollywood greats of his day and kept a list of their addresses in his notebook.

Ozu spent much of his free time watching movies in the local cinema (rather than attending school) and traveled as far as Nagoya, Osaka and Kobe by steam train to catch the latest US releases.

— Japan Visitor, Ozu Yasujiro Seishunkan Museum
See also Kurt Easterwood, Ozu youth.

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