Japanese women in cinema

A Japan Information and Culture Center ongoing film series

July 17th, 2017
Valentina Di Carlantonio, CD News
2017_07_17 Japanese women in cinema.jpg

Although their talent has often been less considered than the men, women have been an integral and important part of the Japanese movie industry since the 1920s. The past decade has seen as the turning point for women, as they have flooded the film festival circuit and they won many awards in Japan, but also in the international panorama.


The cinema of Japan also known as “domestic cinema” has a history of more than 100 years. Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world. In 2010, it was the fourth largest by number of feature films produced.

Many film makers, have developed a reputation from ambitious films, characterized by diversity and creativity both in storytelling and in technique. This is culturally significant, because as the women’s role in movies and cinema increased behind the scenes and in movies, it has inspired audiences, especially the young one all around the world and promoted also fundamental changes in the Japanese film industry.

The first female, Japanese performer, to appear in a film professionally was the dancer and the actress Tokuko Nagai Takagi, who appeared in four shorts for the American-based Thanhouser Company between 1911 and 1914. One of the best example in this japan series is the movie titled “Au revoir l’été”, Kiki Sougino is the protagonist, she is born Japanese but she has Korean origins. She is a multitalented and unique figure in the Asian film industry. She was also the protagonist of “Snow Woman” which was premiered this year at the Tokyo International Festival.

The Japan Information and Culture Center “Women in Cinema”film series an ongoing film series featuring female Japanese writers, producers, directors and actors. All movies try to highlight the contributions that women give to the Japanese film industry, as well as celebrate their role in Japanese cinema history. It is an open and free event for everyone, to encourage the sharing of this historical tradition and giving also the voice and the importance to women in this context.


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