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Ozu Yasujiro’s ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman”

[A guest post written by Lani Alden, former Student Assistant in the Prange Collection.]

There are countless books on a variety of media topics housed in the Gordon W. Prange Collection. These range from celebrity gossip magazines to film periodicals.  These are interesting places to explore the works of both famous and not-so-famous Japanese directors during the period of the U.S. occupation of Japan.  One Japanese director who remains somewhat unknown in the west, but is still held in high esteem among film critics globally was Ozu Yasujiro (小津安二郎: 1903-1963).

On May 20th,1947, Ozu Yasujiro’s first film during the American occupation of Japan was produced to great success.  It was titled ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman” and focused on a lost boy trying to find a family in post-war Japan . It is unsurprising that stills from tne film and its production were snared publicly in a variety of magazines in Japan at the time.

Additionally, there were also some magazines published on the topic of Japanese film that were published in back-to-back Japanese and English,allowing English speakers in Japan at the time to enjoy film commentary and snapshots as well. One such magazine was Nichibei Cinema (日米キネマ).

The English in this magazine regarding ”The Record of a Tenement Gentleman” reads “Nagaya Shinshiroku (Shochiku) can easily be a true story in war-torn Tokyo” and a separate Japanese caption “長屋紳士録 (松竹) 東京の片隅にくりひろげる美しい人情世界庶民を愛する小津安二郎監督 飯田蝶子 吉川満子共演)  is presented on a separate page.

All Magazines at Prange Collection have been microfilmed and are available at various institutions, including the National Diet Library of Japan.  Please see this page for the list of institutions who hold the microfilms.


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