Subtitle The Story Of The Last Chrysanthemum (1... \/\/FREE\\\\
According to polls taken during the Occupation period, Hayashi Fumiko was Japan's most popular author among young adults and the older generation. She wrote many stories and serialized novels in leading newspapers during a brief, intense period of creativity, 1945 to 51, ended by her sudden death before reaching her fifties. She was known for stories of ordinary Japanese people, especially women, and was not at all shy about addressing women's identity and sexuality. Though praised by critics, she was consigned to the category of woman writer, not quite good enough to enter the ranks of highly esteemed pure literature dominated by males. Very much aware of Occupation censorship rules, Hayashi seems to have avoided subjects or themes which might have antagonized Americans. She was, for example, censored at least once for making unacceptable references to GIs during a published conversation in 1946 with another well-known author, Sakaguchi Ango, who achieved his greatest fame as a "decadent" writer in postwar Japan and also died in the early 1950s. She probed social and sexual relationships between Japanese men and women, but not, at least not openly, the problem of sexual fraternization with the Occupiers. Only after formal censorship had ended did she make references to American soldiers, using the term "tall foreigners" in her last novel, Floating Clouds, 1951. This final work, in part set Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia, brings to mind the question of Hayashi's earlier career and wartime complicity. For her, as for other writers, male and female, to protest the militarist state openly would have meant interrogation and possible imprisonment.Hayashi, born to extreme poverty, had first gained considerable fame and income when still quite young from a diary called Horoki/Wandering, sometimes also translated as A Vagabond's Story and featuring many stories of lower class working women. This was first serialized in 1928 in a magazine of small circulation but reached a much broader audience when reissued as a book in 1930. With the proceeds, she traveled to Europe, including France and the Soviet Union. Though her origins were poor and humble and her friends and lovers included proletariat and leftist writers and intellectuals, she never formally joined a leftist group. She also wrote poetry as well as fiction. Her popularity was such that she was asked by the Japanese government in late 1937 to join a special Pen brigade, that is a unit of specially selected famous writers, to report for a leading newspaper on the war front in China. At that time, a series of border clashes between Japan and China in the mid-1930s had escalated into total war-a war which Japan called the "China Incident" and China called the "War of Resistance." She was one of only two women in the brigade (the other was Yoshiya Nobuko, also extremely popular during the war). A basic question at this point is how much Hayashi actually saw or was told but could not report of the atrocities committed by Japanese troops in the brutal takeover of the city of Nanjing in December 1937. If not these atrocities, then how representative were her other reports of Japanese troops elsewhere in the Asia/Pacific War. When a complete set of her work was first published posthumously in postwar Japan, this war correspondence was omitted. Hayashi later made other trips to the China war front, and after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor lived for several months in Japan's newly acquired territory of Vietnam, 1942-1943, formerly part of French Indo-China. This experience as an overseas civilian forms the genesis of Floating Clouds, a novel of unrequited love overseas and subsequently also in Occupied Japan. We can only speculate: what did Hayashi observe on her various trips to Japan's colonies and to the warfront in Manchuria, China, and Vietnam; what might she have written had she enjoyed freedom of expression; and what observations did she in fact publish upon her return to Japan in 1943 and after. Very early in the Occupation, 1946, Hayashi issued still another and expanded edition of her prewar best seller, Vagabond, and was perhaps able to secure a threshold of livelihood in her devastated homeland, but she also turned out an immense amount of new fiction. Fortunately, Vagabond has recently been translated as have her prewar poems. At last count, however, only five of her postwar stories appear in English language anthologies, and Floating Clouds has not yet to receive a distinguished English rendition. Nevertheless, such stories as "Bones," "Late Chrysanthemum," and "Another Part of Tokyo" (also translated as "Downtown" and "Shitamachi"), which date from 1948 and 1949, and appear on this site, reflect the harsh realities of early postwar Japanese life for widows, veterans, aging geisha, and women turned prostitutes by necessity and not by agency. In addition, parts of two of her stories have been combined in making the Japanese film, Late Crysanthemums (English language subtitles). Hayashi 's stories are a reminder that the military bar and brothel culture in Occupied Japan, although degrading and unsavory, did not displace relations between Japanese men and women. Obviously, for full understanding of this remarkable writer, much more research is needed on Hayashi's wartime and early postwar life and career.
subtitle The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1...
I wish I spoke fluent Japanese--then I am sure I could have enjoyed the movie so much more. That's because this movie had horrible subtitles and often sentences or more were simply left untranslated or 50 words in Japanese were distilled down to only 3 or 4 words. In essence, the translators were very lazy and did a terrible job. Some might not mind this, but since I am a very avid fan of Japanese films it seriously detracted from the experience. This does NOT mean it is unwatchable or you should avoid it. In fact, if anyone knows of a better version available to Western audiences, let me know.The plot itself seems very familiar and is reminiscent of some other films, as its main ideas are respect for your elders and unrequited love. The main character is madly in love with his step-brother's nursemaid and the family strongly opposes it. I don't really think I need to divulge more but felt that the actors did a fine job and the story itself was interesting.UPDATE: There is a new DVD version from Criterion and I assume it's much better than the DVD I saw. Criterion always seems to do good jobs with subtitles on their film releases.
The sentiment expressed in the last lines of the poem, that of a man who would like to feel joy but cannot, mirrors Hardy's, and many other late Victorians', attitude towards religion: he would like to believe in God, but he cannot. This shift in attitude came about gradually but was in no small part due to the influence of Charles Darwin's theories of evolution, detailed in his study On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, published in 1859. Science itself, in its modern incarnation, was a product of Victorian England, replacing the fields of "natural philosophy" and "natural history." Darwin's claim that all life struggles to exist and that it is the survival of the fittest that ultimately wins out challenged Judeo-Christian notions that "man" is at the center of the universe and that the goal of one's life is to strive for moral perfection. With the popularization of evolution and the formalization of science education in schools, more people began questioning the place of human beings in nature and the universe. Karl Marx's publication of the The Communist Manifesto in 1848 also gave Victorians another way to think about their place in the social pecking order. By 1901, although churchgoing remained a regular part of small town life, only about 20 percent of the people in London regularly attended services.
Broken BlossomsThe subtitle of this 1919 silent film tells you a lot: "The Yellow Man and the Girl." A Caucasian actor portrays a Chinese man who befriends an abused English girl.The CheatPackaged with another silent film, The Cheat, from 1915, has a wealthy Japanese villain actually portrayed by a Japanese American. So interchangeable were Asians, however, that when the film was re-released in 1918, the character became Burmese.The Good EarthAgainst author Pearl Buck's wishes, this 1937 adaptation of her novel starred American movie stars in "yellowface" as Chinese farmers.The Lightning Raider Warner Oland appears in one of his first roles as a wily Asian villain, in this 1919 silent film. Released as a serial, only the first chapter survives. [In The Serial Squadron: lost serial collection]Lost HorizonIn this 1937 fantasy about Shangri-La in the Himilayas, there's nary an Asian actor in the cast.Story of the last chrysanthemum = Zangiku monogatari The classic 1939 Japanese film about a 19th century Kabuki actor proves that Asian characters can be deeply emotional, vibrant, powerful, subtle, honestly expressive, and sensual.
One way to understand point of view is to think of movies. When making a movie, the director someone is telling story, someone is the narrator. But the director of the movie must think about where the camera stands and what the camera looks at in every scene in the movie. In a horror movie, sometimes the camera becomes the monster, stalking the prey. At other times in horror movies, the camera becomes the character, slowing moving forward into the dark unknown. In other scenes, the camera, in a distant panning shot like the one of the feather in Forest Gump, allows the viewer to see more than any character in the movie could see. Sometimes we hear a voice over, as if a character were telling the story. In the movie Annie Hall, Woody Allen shows us characters talking with each other and in subtitles lets us read what they are thinking, but not saying. All these methods in movies are in some form used in short stories and memoirs. 041b061a72