Ms Iris Haukamp
BA Japanese Studies (SOAS), MA Gender Studies (SOAS)
The binational film project The Samurai’s Daughter (Die Tochter des Samurai, 1937, Fanck) and New Earth (Atarashiki tsuchi, 1937, Itami) has been dismissed in scholarly discourse as a piece of political propaganda, with a focus on Fanck's German-Japanese edition. The films themselves as well as Japanese interests in the costly undertaking have remained curiously underexplored. With my thesis I argue against predominantly political readings relying on seemingly straightforward causal relations and their lasting impact on interpretations of the participants. The project was far more complex than a politically determined exercise in Orientalist representation. In interplay with political currents, it became the locus of a power struggle over representational authority.