Student Forums Part 2: Sacrifice and Heroism in Japanese Film

This in from Hannah Marqusee ’10 and Jason Krigsfeld ’10:

Do you like state promoted images of heroism? How about disembowelment?

If you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, then we have a class for you!

This forum will analyze a selection of films from the 1960s to the present to analyze the prominent narrative in “Japanese” cinema in which death is glorified and sacrifice is equated with heroism. We will then look at how this narrative is challenged or criticized through films that use a humanist or an absurdist critique of traditional concepts of death and sacrifice. We will discuss bushido (samurai code), yamato seishin (Japanese spirit), makoto (sincerity), and giri/ninjo (obligation/compassion) as we examine the role of heroism and honor in jidaigeki (period films), yakuza (gangster) films, and other, contemporary films.

For more information, contact or

Possible time: Tuesdays 7-10pm

Possible location: FEAS SEM

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