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Japanese Horror Cinema

Edited by Jay McRoy

Paperback i (Printed to Order)
Hardback i (Printed to Order)

A much-needed critical introduction to some of the most important Japanese horror films produced over the last fifty years, Japanese Horror Cinema provides an insightful examination of the tradition's most significant trends and themes. The book examines the genre's dominant aesthetic, cultural, political and technological underpinnings, and individual chapters address key topics such as: the debt Japanese horror films owe to various Japanese theatrical and literary traditions; the popular 'avenging spirit' motif; the impact of atomic warfare, rapid industrialisation and apocalyptic rhetoric on Japanese visual culture; the extents to which changes in the economic and social climate inform representations of monstrosity and gender; the influence of recent shifts in audience demographics; and the developing relations (and contestations) between Japanese and 'Western' (Anglo-American and European) horror film tropes and traditions. Extensive coverage of the central thematic concerns and stylistic traits of Japanese horror cinema makes this volume an indispensable text for a myriad of film and cultural studies courses.

Key Features

  • Includes a preface by Christopher Sharrett
  • Each chapter covers a fundamental aspect of Japanese horror cinema and is written by an expert in the field
  • Case studies include internationally renowned films such as Nakata Hideo's Ringu, Ishii Takashi's Freeze Me and Fukasaku Kinji's Battle Royale
  • Appendices feature an interview with maverick filmmaker Miike Takashi and a filmography of Japanese horror films currently available in the UK and US.


Preface by Christopher Sharrett
I. Introduction
Introduction: recent trends in Japanese horror cinema - Jay McRoy
II. History, tradition, and Japanese horror cinema
Section introduction
1. Traditional Japanese theatre and the contemporary horror film - Richard Hand
2. Uncanny adaptations: the case of Rampo Edogawa - Ruth Goldberg
3. Cultural transformation and body horror in Japanese cinema - Jay McRoy
4. Case Study #1: Nakata Hideo's Ring - Eric White
III. The "avenging spirit" motif and Japanese horror cinema
Section introduction
5. Japanese horror under western eyes: the female avenger - Steffen Hantke
6. Transforming femininity in Japanese horror cinema - Christopher Bolton
7. Case Study #2: Ishii Takashi's Freeze Me and the rape-revenge film - Frank Lafond
IV. National anxieties and cultural fears in Japanese horror cinema
Section introduction
8. Japanese 'Gothic' horror on film - Gary Needham
9. US/UK horror fans and the international value of Japanese horror cinema - Matt Hills
10. Case Study #3: Fukusaku Kinji's Battle Royale - Tony Williams

V. Technology and the body in Japanese horror cinema
Section introduction
11. Metal-morphosis and the tormented body in the Tetsuo films - Ian Conrich
12. Acoustic atmospherics in Yoshida Yoshishige's Onimaru - Philip Brophy
13. Pinnochio 964, Death Powder and 'the new flesh' - Graham Lewis
14. Case Study #4: Kurosawa Kiyoshi's Pulse - Steven Jay Schneider
A. Takeshi the killer: an interview with Miike Takashi - Xavier Mendik
B. Filmography (including details re: production, format and current availability in the US and UK) - Jay McRoy & Gareth Evans.

About the Author

Jay McRoy is Assistant Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Parkside.


This is a well written, deeply thought out publication.
- Bone Digger, Horror News

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