Kinuyo Tanaka was, and still is, one of the most celebrated stars in the history of Japanese cinema. She dedicated her whole life to cinema, acting in over 250 films and collaborating with the most important directors. In the post-war period, Tanaka herself became a film director, the second woman in Japan after wartime filmmaker Tazuko Sakane. Between 1953 and 1962, Tanaka directed six feature films working within the mainstream cinema produced by the Japanese studio system. She was the only female director active during the post-war Golden Age of Japanese cinema in the late 1950s. Her outstanding career in front of and behind the camera not only accompanies the history and technical transformations of cinema in Japan, from the silent era until the late 1970s. It also embodies the socio-political and cultural changes of Japanese society and its female members, offering a unique opportunity to examine the intersections between women’s authorship, representation, and gender discourses in modern Japan.
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