Without the help and support of a ­great many ­ people, too many to name ­here,
this book would have remained an unrealized whim, what in Old En­glish was
once referred to as a maggot. From mapping a somewhat sprawling disserta-
tion proj­ect in Germany to generously long stretches of research in Japan to
struggling for a more focused book form in the United States, an im­mense
number of ­ pe ople interacted with and contributed to this proj­ect. The follow-
ing is only a small se­lection.
At the University of Mainz, my adviser, Thomas Koebner, provided me
with complete freedom to follow my interests in topic and approach. I am
exceptionally grateful to Tajima Ryūichi, my host at Nihon University, who
showed immediate enthusiasm and support for my research from its earliest
stage. My research in Japan was made pos­si­ble by the support of the Minis-
try for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Johannes
Gutenberg University of Mainz. Without question I owe an im­mense debt to
the German public university system.
My sincere thanks go to my inspiring friends and colleagues who provided
intellectual companionship, advice, and stimulation. Aaron Gerow and Markus
Nornes ­ were immediate and im­mensely generous mentors, and both the
Kinema Club conference series and the Kinejapan mailing list they cofounded ­
were lifelines for me to continue with what was, in Germany at the time, a
very lonely pursuit. Jonathan Abel, Stephanie Deboer, Sharon Hayashi, Anne
McKnight, Michael Raine, and Steve Clark Ridgeley ­were encouraging and
lucid with their comments when I needed them most. Roland Domenig and
Marc Steinberg offered a wonderful mix of friendship and intellectual com-
panionship at, respectively, early and late stages of this proj­ect.
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