Catherine Russell's highly accessible book approaches Japanese cinema as an industry closely modeled on Hollywood, focusing on the classical period those years in which the studio system dominated all film production in Japan, from roughly 1930 to 1960. Respectful and thoroughly informed about the aesthetics and critical values of the Japanese canon, Russell is also critical of some of its ideological tendencies, and her analyses provide new insights on class and gender dynamics. Russell demonstrates how Japanese classical cinema has had enormous influence on other Asian cinemas, especially in TV broadcast form, and she highlights the importance of the accounting for the industrial production context when discussing these films. Including studies of landmark films by Ozu, Kurosawa and other directors, this book provides a perfect introduction to a crucial and often misunderstood area of Japanese cultural output. With a critical approach that highlights the everydayness of Japanese studio-era cinema, Catherine Russell demystifies the canon of great Japanese cinema, treating it with fewer auteurist and Orientalist assumptions than many other scholars and critics.