The Afterlife of Continental Romance: Musical Moments in Ichikawa Kon’s Passion Without End (1949) and Fragrance of the Night (1951)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Two early post-war Japanese films Hateshinaki jōnetsu (Passion without End, 1949) and Ieraishan (Fragrance of the Night, 1951), both directed by Ichikawa Kon, are romantic melodramas featuring popular songs known as ‘continental melodies’ (tairiku merodei) produced by Hattori Ryōichi and performed by transnational celebrity Yamaguchi Yoshiko. The revival of her wartime songs in post-war Japan is often regarded as part of an imperial nostalgia, hence with deep suspicion. However, two of her songs ‘Soshū yakyoku’ (‘Suzhou Serenade’) and ‘Ieraishan’ (‘Fragrance of the Night’), featured in Passion without End and Fragrance of the Night, respectively, form musical moments that highlight the tension between the sensorial appeal of the doomed romance rooted in the imperial past and the disbelief in the sustainability of such romance in early post-war Japan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPalgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages141-160
Number of pages20
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Audio-Visual Culture
ISSN (Print)2634-6354
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6362

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies

Keywords

  • Imperial fantasy
  • Japanese cinema
  • Nostalgia
  • Popular song
  • Post-war cinema
  • Romantic melodrama

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