Book Description: In recent years, the popularity and availability of Japanese films in the Westâ€”including but not limited to those belonging to the animation and horror genresâ€”have resulted in new, more diverse audiences for some of the most critically acclaimed and thoroughly entertaining films ever made. Reading a Japanese Film, written by a pioneer of Japanese film studies in the United States, provides many of these viewers with the necessary tools to construct a deeper understanding of Japanese cinema. In her introduction, Keiko McDonald presents a historical overview for those with little or no knowledge of Japanese cinema and outlines a unified approach to film analysis. Sixteen "readings" of films currently available on DVD with English subtitles put theory into practice as she considers a wide range of work, from familiar classics by Yasujiro Ozu (Floating Weeds), Kenji Mizoguchi (Sisters of Gion), and Akira Kurosawa (Drunken Angel), to the films of a younger generation of directors, including Hirokazu Koreedaâ€™s Maboroshi, Yoshimitsu Moritaâ€™s The Family Game, Takeshi Kitanoâ€™s Kids Return, and Naomi Kawaseâ€™s Suzaku. Specific genres are also represented. Shiro Toyodaâ€™s melodramatic The Mistress adapts a work of Japanese literature. Kaneto Shindoâ€™s Onibaba is a horror film with socio-political overtones. My Neighbor Totoro is a beloved anime by Oscar-winner Hayao Miyazaki. The Japanese commitment to period film is examined via Hiroshi Inagakiâ€™s classic Musashi trilogy. Suitably analytic yet thoroughly accessible, this work will become a staple of Asian film studies courses and enrich any cinema loverâ€™s appreciation of Japanese film.