Visions of Family Meals in Japanese Cinema
Cooking and dining scenes have been a ubiquitous presence in Japanese cinema since its inception, and the relationship between Japanese people and food has been frequently exploited to play out family dynamics, rites of passage, etc. Therefore, the dining room often becomes the place where drama unfolds in striking contrast with this supposedly safe environment. This paper focuses on three films where dining scenes are particularly relevant – Ozu Yasujirō’s The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952), Morita Yoshimitsu’s The Family Game (1983) and Miike Takashi’s Visitor Q (2001) – in order to analyse how Japanese cinema has documented the transformation of family relations in time.
Keywords: Miike Takashi • Morita Yoshimitsu • Ozu Yasujiro • Traditional family • Dining scenes