The style of the day is one of modern casual wear, except when our young protagonist and his friend go to school, then, they wear uniforms. Whereas in other films, such as Akira Kurosawa’s (1990) Dreams, there is a stark contrast to the actors’ traditional kimono dress that is worn in those vignettes that portray even modern life in Japan, such as Sunshine Through the Rain, where the dress in the home is kimonos, which is presented against a backdrop of modern Japanese architecture reflecting the traditional architecture with modern materials. The result is striking and beautiful cinematography that is spellbinding as the story in this short vignette.In Kikujiro (Kitaro, 2000), if there is anything that denotes the impact of the nuclear holocaust suffered by Japan at the end of the war, it is in the westernization of the society that is conveyed through the film. However, it should be noted that Japan was, prior to the onset of the war, looking towards the west as a model of economic success (Keyser amp. Kumagai, 1996, 1). Still, with the postwar occupation of Japan by the Allied forces, it might be logical to conclude that the westernization of Japan took on a different direction than the pre-war model.Kikujiro (Kitaro, 2000) portrays the move away from tradition, into a modern society with modern social problems, such as gambling first and second family identity problems. While these problems may have existed in Japan since the medieval times, it is the distinct westernized appearance of them in this modern day film that breaks with the tradition of what is usually both perceived and seen in the film as being Japanese.Whereas Japan’s move toward away from the traditional towards a more western model might have been the path in a pre-world WWII setting, nuclear holocaust and the presence of a western occupation following that event probably helped bring Japan to a western present much quicker than they might have arrived had it not been for western occupation following the war. Kikujiro (Kitaro, 2000) is the film that demonstrates modern Japan’s westernization.
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