What's driving the constant reinventions?
Last time I mentioned the two most archetypical stories, embedded within popular mythology and folklore that are representative of the wronged/suffering woman who is the central character in Edo Gothic. We saw a permutation on the first, that of Oiwa, in my discussion of The Ghost Story of Yotsuya. I argued that her suffering, like the suffering of all female protagonists in Edo Gothic, functions to complete the story within the concept of mono-no-aware as identified by Kawaii in her discussion of Japanese fairy tales. These tales are therefore inherently tragedies, based around tradit
As I mentioned in my last posting, Edo Gothic can be defined in terms of specific character types. The central characters are the deceitful Samurai (often as a ronin, that is a masterless Samurai) and the wronged woman, who suffers at the hands of the male antagonist. The woman's suffering is key to the genre, and as I suggested is connected to what Kawaii identifies as a key feature in Japanese fairy tales, the sense of 'mono-no-aware', a sense of transitory nature of life and sadness connected to a wider understanding of beauty (or awe), an aesthetic which is completed wh
The term ‘Edo Gothic’ is one that I adopted in my forthcoming book, Introduction to Japanese Horror Film (EUP: 2008) to describe a sub-genre of the Japanese film, which was at its height from the late 1950s until the early 1970s. Key films are Tales of Ugetsu (Ugetsu monogatari, Kenji Mizoguchi: 1953), Ghost Story of Yotsuya (Tokaido Yotsuya kaidan, Nobuo Nakagawa: 1959) and Hellish Love (Seidan botan-dôrô, Chusei Sone: 1972). In my book, I define ‘Edo Gothic’ in the following terms: ‘Edo Gothic films were traditional and tended to reinforce conservati