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  • “Children in the Wind”: Reexamining the Golden Age of Childhood Film in Wartime Japan

    Harald Salomon

    Chapter from the book: Frühstück S. & Walthall A. 2017. Child’s Play: Multi-Sensory Histories of Children and Childhood in Japan.


    Films about childhood enjoyed a boom during wartime Japan, from the 1930s to 1945, but most were aimed at adults. The author of this chapter, Harald Salomon, argues that films, along with print media, radio, and theater, helped shape an emotional repertoire that characterized Japanese society at this time. A focus on children was uniquely appropriate for this project, owing to what was perceived as the child’s innate innocence. For that reason, films that explored what was deemed the authentic emotional experience of childhood exposed truths about larger society overlooked by adults. Many films highlighted the adverse circumstances that children experienced through no fault of their own, something that their audiences could easily identify with. Films defined childhood as a separate sphere and stage of life that is crucial for personal development and promised that if virtuous and good children could endure hardship, then so could the audience.

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    Salomon, H. 2017. “Children in the Wind”: Reexamining the Golden Age of Childhood Film in Wartime Japan. In: Frühstück S. & Walthall A, Child’s Play. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.40.f

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    Published on Oct. 10, 2017


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