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Actress Chie Tanaka sees future in Chinese-language cinema

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Tanaka is among a growing number of foreigners who have studied Mandarin and relocated to Taiwan to pursue showbiz careers as they see the rising clout of the Chinese language and pop culture, industry watchers say.

Ironically, many in the Taiwanese entertainment industry have relocated to China for better opportunities. But Taiwanese retain a huge affection for all things Japanese and feel a stronger cultural affinity to Japan than China.

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Congrats to her for taking a big chance and putting in the hard work to get to her current level of success. She recognized the difficulty of getting ahead in the extremely competitive Japanese entertainment industry, where actual talent is just one of many factors used to determine who gets a career push, and where aspiring -- even established -- actors have little control over what happens in their career. (True everywhere, but especially so in Japan.) She saw an opportunity, set out on the path it took to reach her goal, and tackled head-on the huge obstacle in the way (learning Mandarin at a sufficient level).

I hope she's able to maintain and build on her current success.

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"Taiwanese retain a huge affection for all things Japanese and feel a stronger cultural affinity to Japan than China"

That only applies to a segment of Taiwanese who are mostly DPP supporters. The pro-KMT Taiwanese consider themselves guardians of Chinese culture.

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Complicated love hate relationship between the two cultures.

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Congratulation to Tanaka for her success. Many japanese actors have made movies in HK before. Not many has made movies in Taiwan yet.

aj2o1!

Do u know former KMT leader & president Lee Teng Hui studied in Japan & speak fluent Japanese. When he visited Japan, he said he felt like Japanese who came back to his hometown. Anyway, he is the friendliest Chinese who has no hatred. KMT Founding father Dr Sun Yet Sum also used to visit Japan. KMT has long historical tie with Japan. Not a DPP.

It is true that Taiwan has many Japanese influence. Food, holidays resorts, pop songs & technology. Japan built the infrastructure of Taiwan in every 20th century. Such as railway, bridges, ports & power stations. Japan & Taiwan also share the earthquake disasters. Let's share the entertainment too.

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aj2o1 "That only applies to a segment of Taiwanese who are mostly DPP supporters. The pro-KMT Taiwanese consider themselves guardians of Chinese culture. "

Wow! u connect everything to politics and u really misunderstand Chinese culture, then u don't understand we Taiwanese! I think in some aspects of cultrue we Taiwanese take leading role in whole Chinese cultural world, including CH, HK, SG, and some SE Asia places, and that's why after Taiwanese accepted JP or SK TV/movie then the rest part of Chinese cultural world followed during the past couple decades. I think we still own some traditional Chinese cultrual factors but even China lost that because western Communism already pollute that beautiful thing. Communism make many China people hard to enjoy different thought or culture.... BTW, complete pro-KMT or complete pro-DPP taiwanese combined only take something 30-40% people, and no doubt the rest people are major part of movie fans!

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“My father was very concerned about how could I work in Taiwan speaking not one word of Chinese. I could have stayed in Japan which would be very > safe for me but I didn’t want to go on like that"

Strong and open personality. Something to learn from her.

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That only applies to a segment of Taiwanese who are mostly DPP supporters. The pro-KMT Taiwanese consider themselves guardians of Chinese culture.

That caused the tension to persist. I studied Mandarin there at a public university in the 1980s when martial law was still in effect. Japanese classmates regularly complained about the number of older Taiwanese, such as shop-keepers, who wanted to speak Japanese with them. Of course they politely obliged (and no doubt exhibited more patience than native English speakers do under those circumstances). The older mainlanders who had come with Chiang Kai-shek didn't like it, however. It was a way of expressing dissent when it was done at the school by the custodial staff.

In contrast to everywhere else, Japanese colonial rule is remembered as benign, Taiwan was a bread basket, and better than what came after under the KMT (harsh rule and corruption). As a result, Japanese cultural imports were restricted for a long time.

Nonetheless, anyone involved in booking TV programming, can attest to the enduring appeal of Japanese programs. As far as the big screen is concerned, Taiwan has become an appendage of Hollywood. There are very few Chinese films telling local stories made anymore, it's nice to see one do really well at the box office.

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where there are good scrips.”

Dropped a T there me thinks.

On topic, I'm glad she didn't listen to her father and I think he should be ashamed of himself for playing the language card: did he really want her to stay in Japan forever taking little parts in small movies?

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The film won top honors at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Awards, considered the Chinese-language Oscars, and at international film festivals in Japan and Hawaii.

In recent years most of the winners have been mainland and Hong Kong films. While the films were deserving of such honors, few Taiwanese saw them and the stories had no connection to the island. "Cape No. 7" is quite an achievement in this regard.

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Here's the English-subtitled URL for the film's trailer in which you can hear Chie Tanaka speak Mandarin. She would certainly never be mistaken for a native speaker, but then she wasn't cast as one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KC--QDy8DU

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"It is true that Taiwan has many Japanese influence. Food, holidays resorts, pop songs & technology. Japan built the infrastructure of Taiwan in every 20th century."

Japan was certainly the cultural beacon for Asia during the modern era. But Japan's ancient cultural inspiration came from China. Chinese writing, arts, architecture, clothing, and food influenced the visiting Japanese missions to China during the 7th and 8th centuries. Japan preserved and modified the best aspects of Chinese culture which were transformed or lost in the mother country thru the centuries. I felt transported to the Tang Dynasty while visiting Nara and Kyoto, which were modeled after the ancient Chinese capitol.

Hope that both countries and people can cooperate and work together for a better Asia.

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But Japan's ancient cultural inspiration came from China. Chinese writing, arts, architecture, clothing, and food influenced the visiting Japanese missions to China during the 7th and 8th centuries. Japan preserved and modified the best aspects of Chinese culture which were transformed or lost in the mother country thru the centuries.

It's a source of great irritation to many mainland Chinese that Westerners identify things as "Japanese" in origin which in fact originated in China.

But few of those with several generations of ancestry in Taiwan relate to Chinese "high culture" which they feel was foisted upon them by the KMT. Since recent history was long denied to them, they are much more interested in studying that to understand the present rather than going back to the Tang Dynasty.

A movie like Cape No. 7 could never have been made under martial law. In truth, it's probably kind of a scmaltzy love story, but a companion piece to similar films made in the 1980s in which mainland lovers who'd gotten separated discovered, decades later, that they'd both come to Taiwan.

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China was a mecca of culture & art in ancient times. Japanese, Korean & Vietnamese written language, handy craft,landscape architecture, herbal medicine & food are gifts from ancient China. There are some innovation & reforms in each nation. We all share & respect the Ancient Chinese Guru "Confucius". Sadly China damaged & lost their precious culture, antiques & ancient arts in the lost decades of Communism.

It is feeling good that Japanese & Korean celebrities are doing well in Chinese speaking world. They can be the role models for new generation for maintaining & respecting the ancient culture, custom & art.

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People should not fret over China loosing it culture. Everything China does is part of its culture. It one of the oldest living cultures. It is a natural process to change whether better or worst is debatable. If the culture was dead and then it's traditions were lost then that would be a shame. Fortunately it is not. New tradition are being made as we type.

China will once again influence not only Asia but most the world in the near future. Good luck to the Japanese actress.

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In my understanding,for getting superb performance in the movies, actor & actress need very good story & scripts. Most movies were made with poor scripts. The actor & actress dissapeared with just one movie. Tanaka is fortunate to get the good director & script.

China will not influence with culture for other nations in now a days. China has been influenced by west by fashion, technology, business, life style & food. Many Young Chinese are studying in west. Chinese are more westernized than before. During the 1960s, China Red Guards destoryed the 90% of their proud civilization. They even mercilessly killed some innocent & talented people. Such as Liu Shaio qi, Korean war hero general Pen teng Dehui. Neigbouring nations were helpless for watching the horror of cultural revolution. China lost the good image because of this nightmare.

China is a huge land & market for business.It is an only China attraction for other nations. Culturally, economically & technologically, China is influenced by others. Proud & golden eras of ancient Tang & Song dynasties were history & will not come back to China.

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who studied the language for only eight months before shooting began.

..I had struggle to master the language for about 8 years..lol..pls let me know your language sifu..

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I just watched Cape no. 7. I loved this movie! I am not Asian, I am South American. but I have admired Asian culture, music and movies all my life! my fiance is Japanese. I found this movie very moving and I thought it is a symbol for healing between the people of Asia! like the idea behind the movie Babel, if we do not understand each other we are doomed. it was also very funny and warm the way that western movies have lost the ability to be, if they ever were!?

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