Our task here is to analyse the remarks of Iwasaki Akira（ 1903-81）, a film
critic, as a case study of the historical investigations into the problem of how
the images of ‘mass’ were formed and what role aspects of media like films
played in the course of formation of mass society in Japan.
In Chapter 1, we point out that Iwasaki was a person who had been working
on the ‘mass’ problems throughout his life, who had also been regarded as a
man of resistance from wartime to the period of occupation.
In Chapter 2, we analyse Iwasaki’s pre-war view of ‘mass’ and made it
clear that he recognized mass as a target capable of enlightenment for social
Chapter 3 throws light on the early post-war views of Iwasaki’s ‘mass’ and
made his sense of enlightened obligation clear.
Section 1 of Chapter 4 treats Imamura Taihei’s critical comments on the
proposals of Iwasaki to enlighten the ‘mass’, which can be seen as a transitional
view to the phrase ‘mass as the core’ by Tsurumi Shunsuke and Matsumoto
Toshio. In Section 2, we compare Tsurumi’s thought of the mass （neither passive
nor monolithic） with Iwasaki’s pre-war sense of obligation towards mass
enlightenment. In Section 3, we make a comparison of Iwasaki with Matsumoto,
who talked of the possibility of anti-establishment movement among mass society,
and pointed out that Iwasaki saw negative inclinations towards Fascism in it.
To conclude: Iwasaki never stopped talking about the ‘mass’, the images of
which were successively questioned and revised by succeeding generations of
polemicists like Imamura, Tsurumi, Matsumoto. Iwasaki’s works thus performed
should be one of the factors in developing the image of the responsible
mass at the time of the advent of Japanese mass society.