Kyoko Omori

Kyoko Omori, associate professor of Japanese and chair of East Asian Languages and Literatures, gave a presentation on Jan. 4 at MLA (Modern Language Association) in New York City.

Her talk, “The Sound of Silents: Digital Humanities Project on Benshi and Silent Film,” discussed her digital archive, “Comparative Japanese Film Archive.” The archive offers digitized old and ephemeral objects related to silent film and “benshi” live oral performers, who stood adjacent to a movie screen and narrated, commented, and performed the lines of character dialogues in the early twentieth century.

Omori has synchronized both European and Japanese films with benshi audio to reproduce the cinematic experience from 100 years ago, annotated printed matter about the movies, and built a virtual reality model of a historical movie theater with the support of the DHi team at Hamilton.

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