Film Posters

Li Hoo Cheong lbhcli at
Mon Sep 6 03:22:22 EDT 1999

I like to re-introduce my queries on Japanese film posters
regarding their collection, exhibition, and sales.

First, who collects them.  I guess every country's national
archive collects its own posters, and only collects foreign film
posters if donated.  But are these collections listed or
catalogued?  Where are the noted collections of Japanese
film posters?  Do art galleries collect film posters?  Do
film studios keep good record of them?

In Nov. to Dec. 1998, the National Film Centre in Tokyo
held an exhibition of "Japanese Film History in POSTERS
from the Collection of Kyohei Misono."  The publicity
leaflet informs us that the Misono Kyohei collection holds
about 3,000 items.  Some past exhibitions of film posters,
especially posters of Kurosawa's films, were held during
the Tokyo International Film Festivals.  Even if exhibited,
exhibition catalogues of film posters are rare,  if not

This leads to the question of sales as posters are collected
by movie fans and film lovers.  In Japan, film posters are
sometimes available for sale when a Japanese film is first
released.  A standard size one costs 300-500 yen, and
it may costs more later at shops selling movie memorabilia.

By standard size, I mean the B2 size at 52cm.X 73 cm.
Some film posters are double that size, and some huge
ones are four times that size.  I have collected a few
Roman-poruno film posters that are half that size (26X73)
with kanji and kana only but no illustration.  One Higashi
Yoichi film poster has an odd size of 34X73 cm. with an

I have in hand a poster sales catalogue of 107 items issued
by Inagaki Shoten in Tokyo at about 1990.  A 1951 Rashomon
poster with Venice triumph costs 90,000 yen, a 1960 mint
condition Dodesukaden poster costs 10,000 yen, a 1960
mint condition Spider's Web (revival) poster costs 4,000 yen.
The "revival" note means that the poster is not the original one
when the film was first released.  Three undated posters of
Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and Red Beard (all revivals) also costs
4,000 yen each. Now that the Master is dead, one would
expect that the prices of his film posters have also risen.
In 1993, there is a new revival film poster of Ozu's
Tokyo Story.

I was told that posters cost more in Tokyo than other cities.
In Japan, the Kurosawa posters available are presumably
Japanese ones, but there are other Kurosawa film posters
produced in other countries.  After Kurosawa, Oshima,
Itami, and Kitano have also become quite international.

Auction of Hollywood film posters are not uncommon
and in Australia, there used to be an annual auction sale
of movie memorabilia held in Sydney.  I wonder if there
were any recorded auction sale of Japanese film posters,
in Japan or elsewhere.

Any information on this topic is eagerly expected.


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