By following the films of directors Akira Kurosawa ( 黒澤明), Yasujiro Ozu ( 小津安二郎), Masaki Kobayashi (小林正樹), and Shohei Imamura (今村昌平) around occupation period Japan, unified visions for Japanese society are formed as it transitions from wartime into the postwar era. Each of these films conveys a sense of rapid change in society, external pressures and foreign influence, a daily struggle, and immediate postwar suffering. Not only can these films be seen across a wide variety of styles, but they also each approach these issues with immediacy and show tentative outlooks for how Japan functioned and felt for most people in the postwar period. This difference in style can be contributed to the director’s diverse backgrounds and what they were influenced by in the time that began making films, which further complicate our understanding of Japanese society as it transitioned into the postwar era.

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