FACES OF MODERNITY – JAPANESE FILM AND LITERATURE
The paper focuses on the film adaptation of Japanese literature whose basic concern was the conflict between modern and traditional values, followed by the analysis of cultural transformations, the process of modernization and its influence on everyday life. The author refers to the books by such 20th century writers as Yasunari Kawabata, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki and Fumiko Hayashi which were later made into films by the most eminent Japanese film directors: Heinosuke Gosho, Kon Ichikawa, Kenji Mizoguchi, Mikio Naruse. The main protagonists of their films were usually women seeking their identity and independence in the world ruled by men. A critical judgement of social changes typically took the form of melodramatic narrative, in which the main motives were: unhappy love, unfulfilled desires, inability of reconciling the duty (giri) and feelings (ninjō), and, finally, nostalgic longing for the lost values of the past.