Japanese Mythology: From Traditional Theatre Forms to Contemporary Popular Cinema

  • Author(s): Frank Bishop
  • When: 2012-08
  • Where: Source
  • All cultures have mythology that has helped shape them. However, different cultures have their modern lifestyles shaped in distinct ways by their ancient mythology. To help illustrate how this occurs, this thesis examines how traditional Japanese theatre is heavily influenced by the Japanese mythology that preceded it. In turn, Japanese film has been heavily influenced both by this mythology and the way that traditional Japanese theatre presented this mythology. This is not an exclusively Japanese phenomenon, as other cultures often draw on the myths they have inherited for the purposes of modern entertainment. Regardless, this thesis focuses on this phenomenon as it pertains to Japan. This thesis explores this theory by examining the works of three diverse Japanese film directors and how Japanese theatre and mythology have influenced selections from their body of work. Each of these filmmakers drew upon mythology for their own means, whether for the sake of entertainment or to make an artistic statement.

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