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Ju-On: The Grudge$
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Marisa Hayes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325291

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325291.001.0001

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Origins of the Curse – Cultural Influences

Origins of the Curse – Cultural Influences

(p.21) Part Two: Origins of the Curse – Cultural Influences
Ju-On: The Grudge

Marisa C. Hayes

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines a range of influences that helped shape Ju-on: The Grudge (2002). It explores the background of various art forms that provided a foundation for the film's themes and motifs while unmasking certain specificities that may be less familiar to a non-Japanese public. In contrast to international viewers, Takashi Shimizu states that the Japanese audience already knows the cultural background of ghosts because they are inherent to Japanese folklore and traditional art, which has led to their adaptations in popular culture through films, manga, novels, and more. While deeply indebted to Japan's performing arts and traditional lore, Ju-on: The Grudge is coloured by additional hybrid elements that draw on eclectic eras and art movements, from a Japanese avant-garde dance form of the 1960s to American horror franchises of the 1980s. Knowledge of these varied influences provides additional insights into the themes and visual motifs used throughout the film and will establish a context to better appreciate Ju-on: The Grudge and its place within the lineage of Japanese horror productions.

Keywords:   Ju-on: The Grudge, international viewers, Takashi Shimizu, Japanese audience, ghosts, Japanese folklore, Japanese traditional art, Japanese performing arts, art movements, Japanese horror productions

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