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Harald Salomon’s study of wartime cinema offers fascinating insights into a period in Japanese history that is frequently described as a “dark valley” (kurai tanima). This book examines how the development of cinema interacted with government efforts to create a culture of nationalism. The first part traces how bureaucrats in the Ministry of Education and other institutions came to perceive cinema as crucial in their efforts to integrate a population divided by socioeconomic and ideological processes. It explores ensuing policies formulated to make use of film in the promotion of “national culture”, and reveals that various official and private actors engaged in the debate and implementation of these policies. The second part documents feature films that received governmental awards and analyzes the attitudes they promoted towards war, enemy, and personal sacrifice. Moreover, it sheds light on the reception of these films by historical audiences. In sum, the findings contribute to knowledge on state–society relations and the cultural milieu in which the population was mobilized in wartime Japan.