SOAS University of London

Centre for Global Media and Communications

Iris Haukamp

BA Japanese Studies (SOAS), MA Gender Studies (SOAS)
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Iris Haukamp
Ms Iris Haukamp
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Thesis title:
A Foreigner's Dream of Japan: The struggle over power and authenticity in a German-Japanese coproduction
Year of Study:
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PhD Research

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.