The Spell of Japan

Source: Isabel Anderson, The Spell of Japan (Boston: The Page Company, 1914), p. 259

Text: Moving-picture shows are very popular in Japan as elsewhere. Once, when we were lunching at the hotel in Yokohama, a very pretty American woman made up as a Japanese came into the room, attracting a great deal of attention. We were quite unable to make out the situation, but were afterward told that she belonged to an American moving-picture company and had just come in from rehearsal.

Everywhere the “movie” is taking the place of the story-teller, who used to hire a room and tell over and over the tales of love and adventure which the people enjoy. Only the more prosperous can afford to see the geishas dance, but crowds flock to see them on the screen. They also see their native plays acted quite as realistically as on the stage, where the actors might as well be dumb since they do not speak the common language.

Comments: Isabel Anderson (1876-1948), born Isabel Ward Perkins, was an American heiress whose husband was US ambassador to Japan. I cannot find a record of any American film having been made in Japan at this period.

Links: Copy at Hathi Trust


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