Japanese Modernism Across Media

Female Characters in Ozu Yasujirō's Films


Ozu Yasujirō (1903-1963) is one of the most acclaimed Japanese film directors of the 20th century for his poetic film style and family melodrama. While most Ozu scholarship examines his distinct cinematic language and Japanese ideology, this exibition will explore how the female characters in Ozu's films articulate or challenge their social reality from the period in which the films were made. This exhibition will examine female characters from a selection of Ozu’s films to analyze how Ozu depicted the image of the "New Woman" on screen and how her relationship with society and the family unit reinforce Ozu's themes of mono aware (transience of things) and mu (nothingness). Through a close study of Ozu's film language, this exhibition will focus on three female characters from three of Ozu's major films: Woman of Tokyo (1933), Late Spring (1949), and Tokyo Story (1953) to investigate how they convey Ozu’s view of the modern Japanese women. I hope this exhibition will give you a taste of Ozu and I highly recommend watching these selected films for a further understanding. 

--Credits Zixin Zeng Class of 2018