The Birth of Japanese Film


This announcement is also a little late, but the final volume in Shinwasha's excellent series of books on Japanese film history has finally come out. I reported on at least two of the previous volumes on this site, one on audiences (in which I have a contribution), and another on cinema's relation to literature. In a twist, the last book in the series is on the first years of Japanese film and, as with a number of books in the series, is edited by Iwamoto Kenji. 

This anthology features articles by such scholars as Tajima Ryoichi, Koga Futoshi, Irie Yoshirō (who has a piece in the RJCS issue I did), Usui Michiko, Kobayashi Sadahiro (who has a piece in the Makino festschrift we did), Ueda Manabu, and Itakura Fumiaki, on such topics as the first Japanese film exhibition, Komada Koyo, Kobayashi Kisaburo, utsushi-e, home projectors, early movie theaters, benshi, the relationship with misemono, and early color. Many of the contributions are by young researchers, perhaps signaling the birth of a new phase of Japanese early film research. 

Here are the bibliographic details: 

Iwamoto Kenji, ed. Nihon eiga no tanjo (Tokyo: Shinwasha, 2011).
ISBN 9784864050296

Here is a link if you want to buy Nihon eiga no tanjo on

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