At the Scopophilia part of his personal blog, Kikuchiyo, a globetrotting English teacher in Japan, has raised the question “what is national cinema” and what is it especially in the Japanese context. (He also mentions a Barenaked Ladies song that references Kurosawa, and which I was totally unaware of.)
The issue about the concept of “Japanese cinema” reminded me of Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto‘s book Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema, which I finished earlier this year even if I haven’t posted my book review on the site yet.
Until I get around to typing down all of my thoughts about it, let me just mention that it is truly an excellent book — perhaps even the best that I have read on Kurosawa — and one that any of you should really consider getting. Yoshimoto, who clearly knows what he is writing about, puts Kurosawa’s films into a fresh and interesting context, while at the same time forwarding some interesting views about the concept of “Japanese cinema” as a whole. In addition to that, it also includes some really interesting interpretations of a number of Kurosawa’s films, the chapter on Stray Dog possibly being my personal favourite.