Madame Butterfly and The Birth of The Motion Picture Actress in Japan

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Jun 201623

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 100
Los Angeles, California, 90036
United States

JFLA Lecture Series 33 by Professor Daisuke Miyao.

In Japan, motion picture actress did not exist until 1918 when Hanayagi Harumi starred in "Sei no kagayaki" (Radiance of Life).  Before this film, the majority of female characters in motion pictures were played by onnagata, female impersonators in kabuki.  One exception was Aoki Tsuruko (1891-1961), a female Japanese star in early Hollywood.  The popular narrative of "Madame Butterfly" played a significant role behind Aoki’s stardom.  How did Aoki become a star in Hollywood in the 1910s?  What impact did Aoki’s star image have on Japanese cinema?



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JapanFoundationLA . Last modified Jun 17, 2016 10:04 a.m.


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