Omori Participates in Japanese Cinema Workshop at Yale

Kyoko Omori
Kyoko Omori

Associate Professor of Japanese Kyoko Omori was one of six invited presenters at the Kinema Club XII held at Yale University on April 13. In her paper, “Usher Unsilenced: Tokugawa Musei, Benshi Performance, and Modernist Adaptation,” Omori sought to shed light on the trans-mediatic underpinnings of Japanese popular modernism.

To do so, she examined the career and significance of Musei as a “benshi” (a live oral performer alongside silent films), as well as a popular writer, from the early twentieth century. In particular, Omori discussed artistic and cultural logic of Musei’s efforts as a live narrator for Western films, particularly La chute de la maison Usher by French modernist director Jean Epstein, which itself was a transcultural and translingual cinematic adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

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