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East Asian Studies

731: Two Versions of Hell

Version 1: The doorway to hell (15 min.) -- Version 2: War is hell (12 min.) Documentary about Unit 731, Japan's secret World War II biological and chemical weapons facility in the Chinese town of Harbin where biological weapons were developed during the Japanese Occupation. The film uses the same footage as seen from two points of view. The first half gives the perspective of the Chinese government and describes the horrors and atrocities that occurred during World War II at the facility.

A Forgotten People: the Sakhalin Koreans

Japan forcibly drafted and took 43,000 Koreans to Sakhalin Island to work in the deepest sections of the coal pits there. After Japan's defeat at the end of World War II, the Koreans on Sakhalin Island were then forced to work for the Russians. Now, only less than 1,000 still remain, forgotton even by their own homeland, as lives were lost in and around treaty talks, the cold war and global power struggles. Written and directed by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson. 1995. 59 min.

A State of Mind

Following a strict routine, which involves several hours of daily workouts and gymnastic instruction, two young North Korean girls practice through exhaustion for the 2003 Mass Games, the largest choreographed spectacle on earth. A mixture of cinema verite and essay filmmaking, the documentary includes images of state-regulated schools, pubs, artistic performances and glimpses into the hardships of average North Koreans' lives in a manner almost never permitted by the Pyongyang government. The film also explores how the brutal 1950s U.S.

Arumdaun Hanguk: Korea the Beautiful: Yongsang Uro Pon Kwangwang Hanguk.

Scenes of Korea during each of the four seasons, showing cultural assets, tourist sites, customs and natural attractions in the areas of Seoul and the provinces. 199-? 30 min.

Asia Rising, 1951. (People's Century, 1997.)

Japan began the slow painful process of reconstruction after World War II, while Korea, after the Korean War, was one of the poorest countries in the world. This program documents how Japan and Korea managed to rise above the strife of war to develop into world economic powers, setting the global pace for competition in the late 20th century.

Aspects of the Kabuki Theater of Japan.

Introduces viewer to Kabuki, the popular traditional theater of Japan. Shows the application of makeup and several classic Kabuki performances. 1980. 12 min.


Presents the story of Bunraku, the Japanese puppet theater born in Osaka some 300 years ago, through two of its greatest masters, puppeteer Tamao Yoshida and chanter Sumitayu Takemoto. These two transform ancient tales of old Japan into vibrant human drama. Cameras go backstage to capture the immense preparations and grueling rehearsals for their rendition of the masterpiece Shinju Ten no Amijima. c2002. 53 min.

Bunraku. Buyo.

Shows a performance of Bunraku, the puppet theater of Japan and Buyo, the ancient Kabuki classical dance. In Japanese. 1980. 70 min.

Bunraku: Japan's Classic Puppet Theater.

Bunraku puppets are three-quarters life-sized, handled by black-clothed figures in plain view of the audience. This program features performances from two traditional Bunraku dramas and filmed scenes showing how the puppets are made and manipulated. 1973. 27 min.

Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis.

Using contemporary footage of leading Butoh performers, this documentary presents the history of the development of butoh dance, interviews the creator of this Japanese modern dance form, Tatsumi Hijikata, and explores the cultural significance of the Butoh dance form in Japan. Narration in Japanese and English. 1990. 90 min.