News and Opinion

Japanese Film Materials in the Time of Quarantine


Yale has moved all its classes online and the governor of Connecticut has asked residents to stay at home if at all possible. The Yale libraries are closed and even I cannot use my office anymore. I want to get out, just like my house-bound cat Hanzo (pictured). But we all need to stay safe.

This has also created problems for my Japanese film historiography course this term. The final assignment was centered on students engaging with primary archival materials, which are now out of reach. At the same time, I have heard of a number of colleagues at other institutions asking how they can continue teaching a Japanese film course when there is limited access to materials. 

If you are fortunate enough to have a library that offers journals, e-books, and even streaming services like Kanopy and Alexander Street, accessible off-site through VPN, there is still much you can do at home. Some libraries will have digital subscriptions to Japanese newspapers and magazines, and you can always get a subscription to the Criterion Channel, Netflix, or Hulu (Mubi, which has a few Japanese films viewable this month, is promoting a “3-months-for-$1” sale). But if you are not so fortunate—or are seeking film-related print materials in Japanese—you’re going to have a harder time.

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