Cultural Theory

Mezhuev V.

Tlostanova М.

Cultural History

Shoulepova E.

Flier A.

Vishlenkova E.

Applied Cultural Research

Astafieva O.

Sokolov А.


Avanesova G.

Ilyshev P.

Steiner E.

Small Encyclopaedia of Culturology

Vlasenko V.

Shestakov V.


Ploskih V.

Polyakov Т.

Hrenov N.


Kuznetsova Т.

UDC 008.009
Steiner E.
The Genius of Judo: Kurosawa Begins
Abstract. The article discusses the first fiction picture directed by Akira Kurosawa, Sugata Sanshiro (1943) known as The Genius of Judo in the Russian distribution and as The Judo Saga – in the American. The special attention is paid to the history of the film’s production during the Pacific War time, as well as to commenting on its symbolism deeply rooted in the Japanese cultural tradition. Most of artistic features typical for the later Kurosawa’s style, are already present in this film in the rudimentary form. Unlike many later “martial art movies” of other directors, Sugata Sanshiro is by no means a film on “fighting” – it is a story of the spiritual quest, a Japanese cinematic version of a Bildungsroman.

Key words: Japanese cinema, Akira Kurosawa, Sugata Sanshiro, martial arts, judo, spiritual quest, the Meiji era films

Steiner Evgeny Semyonovich,
Doctor in Art History,
Leading Researcher of the Languages of Cultures Department,
Russian Institute for Cultural Research (Moscow);
Senior Research Associate,
Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures,
School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London (UK)
e-mail: evenbach@gmail.com


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