Monday, June 20, 2011

Tokyo People

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this magazine cover, taken from 原 節子: The name above the title, is its date, November 2009. Do Tokyo people still remember you and Mifune? A friend who lived in Japan for many years recently wrote to me,
Ozu like Kurosawa was productive during a period when things Western were more popular in Japan than things Japanese. Ozu's actors had more fame in Japan than Ozu himself. Like Kurosawa, Ozu was considered an artist more than a film maker. The Japanese are very tolerant of artists' quirks. But like Kurosawa and Mishima, Ozu was more popular outside of Japan than in Japan. This was a bit sad for all three of them, because all three wanted so much to express the Japanese psyche. But I'm sure that very few Japanese under the age of 50 have ever heard of Ozu or Kurosawa. In fact, I introduced my wife to Ozu and Kurosawa and she is a Japanese over the age of 50.
If Ambrose keeps posting unknown and untranslated items, I shall have to learn Japanese.

The photo, it turns out, is from Chiba's Tokyo no koibito (1952).

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