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Japan: Its Culture and People

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Film Identifier: F.2004-02-0089
Run Time
0h 12m 40s
Date Produced
circa 1962
This film is a portrait of Japan from a Western view, covering briefly its history of being closed off to trade through WWII, then focusing on the country after the war to present day. Narrator Ted Davies gives an overview of Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines, landscapes, arts, architecture and traditional dress. Japan largely relies on manufacturing to supply its population with imported food. Japan also grows rice, wheat, barley, beans, tea, and produces silk. The narrator shows how Japan has strong traditional roots, but at the same time, embraces the effects Western trade has had on traditional Japanese style, work, and behavior. Film has lost all blues and greens.
00:00 - opening credits, Var LS mountains, rivers, landscapes, MS volcano smoke erupting, geyser blowing, underwater hot spring, MS seismometer reading earthquake waves, animated map plane flying over Japan, narrator tells about Japan cut itself off from Western trade from 1638-1853, CU Japanese prints illustrating story, 1853 United States sent Matthew Perry to plead with Japan to open ports to world trade, it was successful, Japanese became world power in less than 100 years, LS factory smoke stacks, CU gears in factory, workers welding a ceiling, scenes of WWII, planes shooting, cannons from ships in water shooting at planes, bombs on ground, soldiers running, wounded Japanese soldier 03:17 - narrator says since the war we think of romantic Japan and its achievements, rooted in the arts, MLS Japanese gardens and ponds, narrator says major religions are Buddhism and Shintoism, MLS temple in garden, people walking in garden, MS TILT UP Great Buddha of Kamakura, 50 ft. high, LS Japanese cityscape, CU print of pagoda, LS pagoda across a lake, MS wooden tori, or sacred gates, narrator relates Japanese pagodas and toris to Western churches and crosses 04:21 - CU woodcuts of master artist Hiroshige, MLS people walking city street, booths selling wares, MS Japanese Geisha dolls, table of ceramic tableware and knick-knacks, narrator says even cheapest goods are objects of beauty, MS Japanese craftsman and artisans, narrator discusses commitment to one task, mastered and passed on to the next generation, MS painters, two women in traditional dress playing instruments on mountain, MS flower arranging, a national art 06:40 - PAN RIGHT Japanese architecture, talks of Japanese builders, their materials are traditionally paper and wood, MS men crafting objects from wood, LS PAN water up wall to large Japanese building, narrator says building are subject to fire, MLS buildings of antiquity that have been restored time and time again until little of their original structure remains, flaming structure, burned temples often rebuilt 07:36 - MLS Tokyo, busy city street, HA cityscape, low skyline, wood structures, mixture of old and new, busy boardwalk with Japanes flags, MS people buying wares, LS factories, Nara Toyata factory exterior, interior factory scenes, Japanese manufacture products to buy food for its population, MS busy city sidewalk, shops, MS women in kimonos, RA MS people crossing street in Western dress, compares hairstyles of traditional vs. Western 09:48 - rural areas, thatching roof, sowing seeds, carrying water, harvesting hay, farm landscapes on mountain terraces, wheat, barley, beans, rice fields, people working in fields by hand, people drinking tea, growing tea leaves, raising silkworms, CU silk worms, silk is one of the most valuable exports 12:05-12:40 - Images of Japans people as a mix of tradition and looking to the Western world for dress, work and behavior
Av-Ed Films
Main Credit
Bailey, Jackson (is producer)
Russell, Carl (is producer)
Russell, Carl (is director)
Bailey, Jackson (is director)
Additional Credit
Bailey, Jackson (is contributor)
Russell, Carl (is contributor)
Russell, Carl (is contributor)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Davies, Ted (is actor)
Marble, Ph.D. (is participant)
Related Place
Japan (production location of)