Here's a list of some of Japanese film-related sites I find important. There are of course dozens more out there, especially in Japanese, but I concentrate here primarily on the ones in English.

Kinema Club

First a website created to share information about Japanese cinema, the site is somewhat in limbo now, but the community that has sprung out of it is vibrant and growing. It hosts conferences and workshops around the world and its discussion list, KineJapan (I am a co-owner), is the place for Japanese movie talk. 

Combined PhD Program in East Asian Cinema at Yale University

I am a firm believer that those who wish to specialize in the study of an Asian cinema should pursue extensive study in both film studies and area studies. Yale offers a unique opportunity to do that through a special doctoral program that combines work in the Film Studies Program with studies in East Asian Languages and Literatures. 

Motion Picture Reprint Series at the CJS

Markus Nornes has spearheaded the electronic reprinting of extremely important books and resources on Japanese cinema, including classic books by Bordwell, Burch and Richie and prewar Japanese leftwing film journals.

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival

Arguably the best film festival in Japan (though I'm biased, since I used to work there), it is the center for not only Asian documentary, but also for thinking about alternative aspects of Japanese and Asian cinema. The site offers the text of festival catalogs as well as Documentary Box, the journal I used to edit. 

Midnight Eye

An excellent Japanese film site that combines reviews on recent films and books with interviews and more historical articles.

A very nice resource, managed by Henrik Sylow, for those, like me, who are interested in or are studying Kitano Takeshi.


Don Brown’s blog on Japanese cinema. A good resource for recent news, especially since Don often translates Japanese news articles into English.

Nippon Connection

Probably the largest film festival outside of Japan dedicated to Japanese cinema. Takes place every spring in Frankfurt, Germany.

Mark Schilling's Tokyo Ramen

The personal site of Mark Schilling, who reviews films and writes on the industry for The Japan Times and Variety

Zakka Films

A small company (run by my wife) working hard to put out rare Japanese documentaries and anime onto DVD for the English-language market.

Japan Focus

An internet journal focusing on contemporary Japanese politics, international relations, economics, social movements, war and terror, and historical memory, but it also has a number of film-related pieces. I am on their board of associates.

Screening the Past

An internet film studies journal which has a few more articles on Asian film than most. I am on their editorial board.

Toronto J-Film Pow-Wow

Run by Chris MacGee, this is probably now the most active Japanese film-related blog. It includes film and book reviews.

Jasper Sharp

The blog of the film critic and curator Jasper Sharp.

Miner League (in Japanese)

The blog of the film director Aoyama Shinji.

Japanese Movie Database (in Japanese)

The product of a single individual, the JMDB has its plusses and minuses: it has mistakes, but sometimes more staff information than Kinema Junpo: it does not have plot summaries, but it gives release dates that Kinema Junpo does not have. More importantly, it includes the pre-1951 films Kinema Junpo does not cover. Overall, an important resource.

Kinema Junpo Database (in Japanese)

Basically a database of KineJun’s postwar (post-1951) film introductions (shokai). The staff/cast information is rarely better than the JMDB, but it includes plot summaries that, even if they are not always correct, are extremely useful. One can sometimes do content searches, but the search function on this database is poor.

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