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Cinema of
List of Japanese films
1898–1919 1920s
1930s 1940s
1950 1951 1952 1953 1954
1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970 1971 1972 1973 1974
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
East Asian cinema

The cinema of Japan (日本映画 Nihon eiga?) has a history that spans more than 100 years. Japan has one of the oldest and largest film industries in the world, being currently the third largest by number of feature films produced.[1] Movies have been produced in Japan since 1897, when the first foreign cameramen arrived.



Japanese cinema can be more difficult to define than it seems at first. In general, it would seem to cover films made by Japanese companies and personnel, filmed in Japan in the Japanese language, and screened first at Japanese movie theaters.[2] In that case, what is to be made of Gō Takamine making films in Okinawa using the Okinawan language, of Akira Kurosawa or Nagisa Ōshima producing works with foreign capital,[3] or Yōichi Sai, a zainichi, making films about Koreans in Japan? Such films, even though they do not meet all of the requirements, are mostly recognized as Japanese films, but the increasing borderlessness of production and distribution, combined with the added complexity of Japanese society and culture in a global age, is making a strict definition more difficult.



Silent Era

Though the kinetoscope was first shown commercially by Thomas Edison in the United States in 1894, the first showing in Japan was in November 1896. The Vitascope and the Lumière Brothers' Cinematograph were first presented in Japan from March 1897,[4] and it was Lumière cameramen who were the first to shoot films in Japan.[5] Moving pictures, however, were not an entirely new experience for Japanese because they had a rich tradition of pre-cinematic devices such as gentō (utsushi-e) or the magic lantern.[6][7]

The first successful Japanese film was viewed in late 1897 and showed various well-known sights in Toyko.[8] This was the year when movies with the time's leading Western techniques arrived. Some of the first ghost films produced in Japan were Bake Jizo (Jizo the Spook) and Shinin no sosei (Resurrection of a Corpse), short films by Asano Shiro in 1898[9]. The short Geisha no teodori (芸者の手踊り) was the first documentary, made in June 1899. To this day, Japanese films are strongly influenced by Japanese culture. Early films had influences from traditional theater – for example, kabuki and bunraku.

Honnōji gassen (本能寺合戦), produced in 1908 for Yokota Shōkai, was the first film made by Shōzō Makino, starting his influential career as a director and producer. It was under him that Matsunosuke Onoe, a former kabuki actor, became Japan's first film star, appearing in over 1,000 films, mostly shorts, between 1909 and 1926. He and director Shozo Makino helped to popularize the jidaigeki genre.[10] A favorite romantic lead, similar in appeal to Rudolph Valentino, was Tokihiko Okada.

The first female Japanese performer to appear in a film professionally was the dancer/actress Tokuko Nagai Takagi, who appeared in four shorts for the American-based Thanhouser Company between 1911 and 1914.[11]

Most Japanese cinema theatres at the time employed benshi, narrators whose dramatic readings accompanied the film and its musical score which, like in the West, was often performed live.[12]

In 1917, Masao Inoue started using techniques that were new to the silent film era, such as the close-up and cut back. These new approaches to filming were first used in Inoue's film "The Captain's Daughter."

Among intellectuals, criticism of Japanese cinema grew in the 1910s. Writing on cinema, beginning with early film magazines such as Katsudō shashinkai (begun in 1909) and a full-length book written by Yasunosuke Gonda in 1914, developed through the decade as early film critics chastised the work of studios like Nikkatsu and Tenkatsu for being too theatrical (using, for instance, elements from kabuki and shinpa such as onnagata) and for not utilizing what were considered more cinematic techniques to tell stories, instead relying on benshi. In a movement later called the Pure Film Movement, writers in magazines such as Kinema Record called for a more cinematic cinema. Some of these critics, such as Norimasa Kaeriyama, went on to put their ideas into practice by directing such films as The Glow of Life (1918). The Pure Film Movement was central in the development of the gendaigeki and scriptwriting.[13] New studios begun around 1920 such as Shochiku and Taikatsu aided the cause for reform. At Taikatsu, Thomas Kurihara directed films scripted by the novelist Junichiro Tanizaki, who was a strong advocate of film reform.[14] By the mid-1920s, actresses had replaced onnagata and films used more devices such as close-ups and cut backs.

Some of the most discussed silent films from Japan are those of Kenji Mizoguchi, whose later works (e.g., The Life of Oharu) are still highly regarded today.

The effects of the 1923 earthquake, the Allied bombing of Tokyo during World War II, as well as the natural effects of time and Japan's humidity on inflammable and unstable Nitrate film have resulted in a great dearth of surviving films from this period.

Japanese films gained popularity in the mid-1920s against foreign films, in part fueled by the popularity of movie stars. Some stars, such as Tsumasaburo Bando, Kanjūrō Arashi, Chiezō Kataoka, Takako Irie and Utaemon Ichikawa, were inspired by Makino Film Productions and formed their own independent production companies. Great directors such as Hiroshi Inagaki, Mansaku Itami and Sadao Yamanaka honed their skills at such independent studios. The director Teinosuke Kinugasa also formed his own production company to produce the experimental masterpiece A Page of Madness, starring Masao Inoue, in 1926.[15] Many of these companies, while surviving during the silent era against major studios like Nikkatsu, Shochiku, Teikine, and Toa Studios, could not survive the coming of sound and the cost involved in converting to sound.

With the rise of left-wing political movements and labor unions at the end of the 1920s, films with left-wing "tendencies" (so called tendency films) gained propularity, with prominent examples being directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, Daisuke Ito, Shigeyoshi Suzuki, and Tomu Uchida. In contrast with these commercially produced 35 mm films, the Marxist Proletarian Film League of Japan (Prokino) made works independently in smaller gauges (such as 9.5mm and 16mm) with more radical intentions.[16] Tendency films suffered from severe censorship heading into the 1930s, and Prokino members were arrested and the movement effectively crushed. Such moves by the government had profound effects on the expression of political dissent in 1930s cinema.

A later version of The Captain's Daughter was also one of the first talkie films. It used the mina talkie system. The mina talkie system split after "The Captain's Daughter" into two groups. One was still the mina talkie system, and the other was iisutofyon talkie system which was used to make Tojo Masaki's film.


Unlike the situation in the West, silent films were still being produced in Japan well into the 1930s. Notable talkies of this period include Kenji Mizoguchi's Sisters of the Gion (Gion no shimai, 1936), Osaka Elegy (1936) and The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939), along with Sadao Yamanaka's Humanity and Paper Balloons (1937) and Mikio Naruse's Wife, Be Like A Rose! (Tsuma Yo Bara No Yoni, 1935), which was one of the first Japanese films to gain a theatrical release in the U.S. A few Japanese sound shorts were made in the 1920s and 1930s, but Japan's first feature-length talkie was Fujiwara Yoshie no furusato (1930), which used the Mina Talkie System. The 1930s also saw increased government involvement in cinema, which was symbolized by the passing of the Film Law in 1939, which gave the state more authority over the film industry. The government also encouraged some forms of cinema, producing propaganda films and promoting documentary films (also called bunka eiga or "culture films"), with important documentaries being made by directors such as Fumio Kamei.[17] As a whole, realism was in favor, as film theorists such as Taihei Imamura advocated for documentary and directors such as Hiroshi Shimizu and Tomotaka Tasaka produced fiction films strongly realistic in style.

In 1935, Yasujiro Ozu also directed An Inn in Tokyo, considered a precursor to the neorealism genre.


Because of World War II and the weak economy, unemployment was widespread. The weakness of the economy also had a very detrimental effect on the cinema industry. During this period, when Japan was expanding its growing Empire, the Second exceedingly militaristic Japanese government saw cinema as the perfect propaganda tool to show people the glory and Invincibility of the Empire of Japan. Thus, many films from this period depict deeply patriotic and militaristic themes.

Akira Kurosawa made his feature film debut with Sugata Sanshiro in 1943. With the SCAP occupation following the end of WWII, Japan was exposed to over a decade's worth of American animation that had been banned under the war-time government. Yasujiro Ozu directed the critically and commercially successful Late Spring in 1949.

In 1942 Kajiro Yamamoto’s film Hawai Mare oki kaisen or “The War at Sea from Hawaii to Malay” portrayed the attack on Pearl Harbor, splendidly reproduced with special effects such as a miniature scale model that Eiji Tsuburaya (a special effects director) was in charge of.


The 1950s were the zenith, or Golden Age, of Japanese cinema.[18] Three Japanese films from this decade (Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Tokyo Story) made the Sight & Sound's 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time.[19] This era after the American Occupation period also lead to the rise of diversity in movie distribution with the increased output and popularity of the film studios of Toei, Toho, Shochiku, Nikkatsu, and Daiei. However, for some of these studios their popularity could not keep them afloat during the later decades. The decade started with Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon (1950), which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and marked the entrance of Japanese cinema onto the world stage. It was also the breakout role for legendary star Toshirō Mifune.[20] 1952 and 1953 saw another Kurosawa film, Ikiru, as well as Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story.

The first Japanese film in color is Carmen Comes Home directed by Keisuke Kinoshita and released in 1951. There was also a black and white version of this film available.

The Gate of Hell directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa was released in 1953. This was the first movie that filmed using Eastmancolor film, Gate of Hell was both Daiei's first color film and the first Japanese color movie to be released outside of Japan, receiving an Oscar in 1954 for Best Costume Design created by Sanzo Wada.

The year 1954 saw two of Japan's most influential films released. The first was the Kurosawa epic Seven Samurai, about a band of hired samurai who protect a helpless village from a rapacious gang of thieves, which was remade in the West as The Magnificent Seven.

That same year Ishirō Honda released the anti-nuclear horror film Gojira, which was translated in the West as Godzilla. Though it was severely edited for its Western release, Godzilla became an international icon of Japan and spawned an entire industry of Kaiju films. In 1955, Hiroshi Inagaki won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Part I of his Samurai Trilogy.

Kon Ichikawa directed two anti-war dramas: The Burmese Harp (1956), and Fires On The Plain (1959), along with Enjo (1958), which was adapted from Yukio Mishima's novel Temple Of The Golden Pavilion.

Masaki Kobayashi made two of the three films which would collectively become known as the The Human Condition Trilogy: No Greater Love (1958), and The Road To Eternity (1959). The trilogy was completed in 1961, with A Soldier's Prayer.

Kenji Mizoguchi directed The Life of Oharu (1952), Ugetsu (1953) and Sansho the Bailiff (1954). He won the Silver Bear at the Venice Film Festival for Ugetsu.

Mikio Naruse made Repast (1950), Late Chrysanthemums (1954), The Sound of the Mountain (1954) and Floating Clouds (1955).

Yasujiro Ozu directed Good Morning (1959) and Floating Weeds (1958), which was adapted from his earlier silent A Story of Floating Weeds (1934), and was shot by Rashomon/Sansho the Bailiff cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa.


This period was the decade with the greatest number of new movies, with 547 movies being produced. Production in the Japanese film industry reached its quantitative peak in the 1960s. It can also be regarded as the peak years of the Japanese New Wave movement, which began in the 50's and continued through the early 70's. Akira Kurosawa directed the 1961 classic Yojimbo, which many believe was at least partially inspired by John Ford Westerns and film noir classics and in turn influenced Westerns that followed, especially Sergio Leone's 'Man with No Name' Spaghetti Western trilogy. Yasujiro Ozu made his final film, An Autumn Afternoon, in 1962. Mikio Naruse directed the widescreen melodrama When a Woman Ascends the Stairs in 1960; his final film was Scattered Clouds, the second of two films he completed in 1967.

Kon Ichikawa captured the watershed 1964 Olympics in his three-hour documentary Tokyo Olympiad (1965). Seijun Suzuki was fired by Nikkatsu for "making films that don't make any sense and don't make any money" after his surrealist yakuza flick Branded to Kill (1967).

Nagisa Oshima, Kaneto Shindo, Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura emerged as major filmmakers during the decade. Oshima's Cruel Story of Youth, Night and Fog in Japan and Death By Hanging became three of the better-known examples of Japanese New Wave filmmaking, alongside Shindo's Onibaba, Hani's She And He and Imamura's The Insect Woman.

Hiroshi Teshigahara's Woman in the Dunes (1964) won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Foreign Language Film Oscars. Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan (1965) also picked up the Special Jury Prize at Cannes.


Nagisa Oshima directed In the Realm of the Senses (1976), a film detailing a crime of passion involving Sada Abe it is set in the 1930s. Controversial for the explicit sexual content, it remains to be seen uncensored in Japan. However, the pink film industry became the stepping stone for young independent filmmakers of Japan. The cost of the movie is relatively low in this period.

Yoji Yamada introduced the commercially successful Tora-San series, while also directing other films, notably the popular The Yellow Handkerchief.

Toshiya Fujita made the revenge film Lady Snowblood in 1973. It would go on to become a popular cult film in the West.

Kinji Fukasaku completed the epic Battles Without Honor and Humanity series of yakuza films.

New wave filmmakers Susumu Hani and Shohei Imamura retreated to documentary work, though Imamura made a dramatic return to feature filmmaking with Vengeance Is Mine (1979).


The major company opened the huge movie to the public in an exclusive theater in the whole country,but this did not consist. Hayao Miyazaki adapted his manga series Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind into a feature film of the same name in 1984. Katsuhiro Otomo followed suit with his Akira in 1988. New anime movies were run every summer and winter with characters from popular TV anime.

Mamoru Oshii released his landmark Angel's Egg in 1983. He would later go on to direct the film Ghost in the Shell, released in 1995.

Shohei Imamura won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for The Ballad of Narayama (1983).

Akira Kurosawa directed Kagemusha (1980) and Ran (1985). Likewise, Seijun Suzuki made a comeback, beginning with Zigeunerweisen in 1980.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no relation to Akira Kurosawa) debuted, initially with pink films and genre horror, though growing beyond this (and generating international attention) beginning in the mid 1990s.

Juzo Itami achieved both critical and box office success with his quirky "Japanese Noodle Western" comedy Tampopo in 1985, which remains popular.


Takeshi Kitano

Because of economic recessions, the number of movie theaters in Japan had been steadily decreasing since the 1960s. The 1990s saw the reversal of this trend and the introduction of the Multiplex in Japan.[21]

Shohei Imamura again won the Golden Palm (shared with Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami), this time for The Eel (1997), joining Alf Sjöberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Bille August as only the fourth two-time recipient.

Takeshi Kitano emerged as a significant filmmaker with works such as Sonatine (1993), Kids Return (1996) and Hana-bi (1997), which was given the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Takashi Miike launched a prolific career, making up to 50 films in a decade, building up an impressive portfolio with titles such as, Audition (1999), Dead or Alive (1999) and The Bird People in China (1998).

Also, some appear that international Film Festival that had gone away since 1950.

Former documentary filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda launched an acclaimed feature career with Maborosi (1996) and After Life (1999).

Hayao Miyazaki directed two mammoth box office and critical successes, Porco Rosso (1992) which beat E.T. (1982) as the highest-grossing film in Japan, and Princess Mononoke (1997) which also claimed the top box office spot until Titanic (1997) beat it.

In addition, several new anime directors rose to widespread recognition, bringing with them newfound notions of anime as not only entertainment, but modern art:

  • Mamoru Oshii released the internationally-acclaimed philosophical sci-fi action film Ghost in the Shell in 1996, based on the manga by Masamune Shirow. The film garnered great success and recognition in theatrical releases worldwide, and Oshii later went on to direct a sequel eight years later.
  • Satoshi Kon directed the award-winning psychological thriller Perfect Blue, based on a novel by Toshiki Satō. The film was theatrically released to decent commercial and considerable critical success in America and several other countries around the world.
  • Hideaki Anno also gained considerable recognition after the release of his hugely successful (and controversial) psychological sci-fi epic Neon Genesis Evangelion, which started as a TV series in 1995 and concluded with the theatrical release of The End of Evangelion, the series' postmodern, apocalyptic conclusion, in 1997. (The film was not released internationally until the early 2000s, and then in straight-to-DVD format.) Evangelion is widely considered to be one of the most influential anime of all time.


In 2000 Battle Royale was released, based on a popular novel by the same name. In 2002, Dolls was released, followed by a high-budget remake, Zatoichi in 2003, both directed and written by Takeshi Kitano. The J-Horror films Ringu, Kairo, Dark Water, Yogen, and the Grudge series were remade in English and met with commercial success. In 2004, Godzilla: Final Wars, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Godzilla. In 2005, director Seijun Suzuki made his 56th film, Princess Raccoon. Hirokazu Koreeda claimed film festival awards around the world with two of his films Distance and Nobody Knows. Nowadays the amount of Movies being shown in Japan has steadily been increasing with about 821 films projected in the year of 2006. Japanese films like films in many other countries are now being put nto DVD roms. Many Japanese horror films such as "The Grudge" originally titled "呪怨" (Ju-on) directed by Takashi Shimizu have been remade for American Cinema. Other popular Japanese horror films bought over to the US include "The Ring" and "One Missed Call". Movies based on Japanese television series were especially popular during this period.

On November 16, 2001, the Japanese Foundation for the Promotion of the Arts laws were presented to the House of Representatives. These laws were intended to promote the production of media arts, including film scenery. In addition, the act stipulates that the government - on both the national and local levels - must lend aid in order to preserve film media. The laws were passed on November 30, and came into effect on December 7.

The 2000s have been the most productive period for Japanese cinema since 1955.[citation needed]


Hayao Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement to direct Spirited Away in 2001, breaking Japanese box office records and winning the U.S. Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, though Miyazaki himself neglected to accept the award in person. Miyazaki's subsequent films, Howl's Moving Castle and Ponyo, were released in 2004 and 2008 respectively. In 2004, Mamoru Oshii released the anime movie Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (known in Japan simply as "Innocence",) which, like the first film, received noteworthy critical praise around the world. His 2008 film The Sky Crawlers was met with similarly positive international reception. Satoshi Kon also released three quieter, but nonetheless highly successful films in 2001, 2003 and 2006 respectively: Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. Katsuhiro Otomo released Steamboy, his first animated project since the 1995 short film compilation Memories, in 2004, with subsequent theatrical releases internationally. In collaboration with Studio 4C, American director Michael Arias released Tekkon Kinkreet in 2008, to international acclaim. After several years of directing primarily lower-key live-action films, Hideaki Anno formed his own production studio and revisited his still-popular Evangelion franchise with the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, a new series of films providing an alternate retelling of the original story. The first film, Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone released to considerable success in September 2007; after several delays in production, the second film, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance was released in June 2009. The release schedule for the final two films has yet to be determined.

Anime films now account for 60 percent of Japanese film production. The 1990s and 2000s is considered to be "Japanese Cinema's Second Golden Age", due to the immense popularity of anime, both within Japan and overseas.[18]

Latest developments

  • February 2000 - The Japan Film Commission Promotion Council is established.
  • August 8, 2001 - A general meeting of the Japan Film Commission Promotion Council is held at Pacifico Yokohama. 46 members of 11 organizations attend.
  • December 7, 2001 - The Fundamental Law for the Promotion of Culture and the Arts is passed. It is aimed at media arts, with film's inclusion in the second chapter.
  • April 1, 2003 - Membership in the Japan Film Commission Promotion Council reaches 47 organizations.
  • April 24, 2003 - It is proposed that the public be able to provide films. At a gathering for the Agency of Cultural Affairs, twelve policies were proposed in a written report to allow public-made films to be promoted and shown at the Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art.

See also


  1. ^ "Top 50 countries ranked by number of feature films produced, 2003–2007". Screen Australia. Retrieved 2009-08-27. 
  2. ^ "四方田犬彦『日本映画史100年』, Yomota Inuhiko "100 Years of Japanese Cinema"". 
  3. ^ "1970年代に撮影されたものなど, "Filming in the 1970's"". 
  4. ^ Tsukada, Yoshinobu (1980). Nihon eigashi no kenkyū: katsudō shashin torai zengo no jijō. Gendai Shokan. 
  5. ^ Yoshishige Yoshida; Masao Yamaguchi; Naoyuki Kinoshita, ed. Eiga denrai: shinematogurafu to <Meiji no Nihon>. 1995: Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4000002104. 
  6. ^ Iwamoto, Kenji (2002). Gentō no seiki: eiga zenʾya no shikaku bunkashi = Centuries of magic lanterns in Japan. Shinwasha. ISBN 4916087259. 
  7. ^ Kusahara, Machiko (1999). "Utushi-e (Japanese Phantasmagoria)". Media Art Plaza. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Reading a Japanese Film: Cinema in Context". 
  9. ^ Seek Japan | J-Horror: An Alternative Guide
  10. ^ "Who's Who in Japanese Silent Films". Matsuda Film Productions. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  11. ^ Cohen, Aaron M.. "Tokuko Nagai Takaki: Japan's First Film Actress". Bright Lights Film Journal 30 (October 2000). Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  12. ^ For more on benshi, see the books:
  13. ^ See Bernardi.
  14. ^ See Lamarre.
  15. ^ See Gerow, A Page of Madness.
  16. ^ Nornes, Japanese Documentary Film, pp. 19-47.
  17. ^ See Nornes, Japanese Documentary Film.
  18. ^ a b Dave Kehr, Anime, Japanese Cinema's Second Golden Age, The New York Times, January 20, 2002.
  19. ^ BFI | Sight & Sound | Top Ten Poll 2002
  20. ^ Prince, Stephen (1999). The Warrior's Camera. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01046-3. , p.127.
  21. ^


  • Anderson, Joseph L.; Donald Richie (1982). The Japanese Film: Art and Industry (Expanded ed.). Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691007926. 
  • The Benshi-Japanese Silent Film Narrators. Tokyo: Urban Connections. 2001. ISBN 4-900849-51-0. 
  • Bernardi, Joanne (2001). Writing in Light: The Silent Scenario and the Japanese Pure Film Movement. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0814329268. 
  • Bordwell, David (1988). Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691008221.  Available online at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
  • Bowyer, Justin, ed (2004). The Cinema of Japan and Korea. Wallflower Press, London. ISBN 1-904764-11-8. 
  • Burch, Nöel (1979). To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema. University of California Press. ISBN 0520036050.  Available online at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan
  • Cazdyn, Eric (2002). The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan. Duke University Press. ISBN 0822329123. 
  • Desser, David (1988). Eros Plus Massacre: An Introduction to the Japanese New Wave Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253204690. 
  • Dym, Jeffrey A. (2003). Benshi, Japanese Silent Film Narrators, and Their Forgotten Narrative Art of Setsumei: A History of Japanese Silent Film Narration. Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0-7734-6648-7.  (review)
  • Gerow, Aaron (2008). A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. ISBN 9781929280513. 
  • Hirano, Kyoko (1992). Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: The Japanese Cinema under the Occupation, 1945-1952. Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 1560981571. 
  • Lamarre, Thomas (2005). Shadows on the Screen: Tanizaki Junʾichirō on Cinema and "Oriental" Aesthetics. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. ISBN 1929280327. 
  • Mellen, Joan (1976). The Waves At Genji's Door: Japan Through Its Cinema. Pantheon, New York. ISBN 0-394-49799-6. 
  • Nolletti, Jr., Arthur; Desser, David, eds (1992). Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253341086. 
  • Nornes, Abé Mark (2003). Japanese Documentary Film: The Meiji Era through Hiroshima. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0816640459. 
  • Nornes, Abé Mark (2007). Forest of Pressure: Ogawa Shinsuke and Postwar Japanese Documentary. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0816649081. 
  • Nornes, Abé Mark; Gerow, Aaron (2009). Research Guide to Japanese Film Studies. Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. ISBN 978192928053X. 
  • Prince, Stephen (1999). The Warrior's Camera. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01046-3. 
  • Richie, Donald (2005). A Hundred Years of Japanese Film: A Concise History, with a Selective Guide to DVDs and Videos. Kodansha America. ISBN 4-7700-2995-0. 
  • Sato, Tadao (1982). Currents In Japanese Cinema. Kodansha America. ISBN 0-87011-815-3. 
  • Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo (2008). Nippon Modern: Japanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824832407. 

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