Benshi Book

A. M. Nornes amnornes
Tue Oct 9 09:43:34 EDT 2001

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 17:28:11 +0900
From: Yoko Midoro <midoro at>
To: sakirby at

3 October 2001
The Hidden Stars of Japanese Cinema-Focusing on the Art of the Benshi

[THE?Benshi-Japanese Silent Film Narrators]

In the early days of Japanese cinema, films were silent and the narration of
the actor?s voices was left to the prowess of the benshi or film narrator.
Screening silent films with benshi commentary and narration was the norm in
Japan and the benshi?s style of delivery evolved into a distinctly Japanese
cultural art form. Regrettably this art form virtually disappeared when
talkies replaced the silent film genre. Still, its historic importance
cannot be overlooked.

 This publication outlines the superlative benshi narration of 50 Japanese
silent movie classics and presents an introduction to the activities of the
benshi, including their profiles. It also features an essay by film critic
Sato Tadao and an interview with Sawato Midori, the only professional benshi
still active. This volume is an excellent resource for anyone interested in
the origins of Japanese cinema.

 In addition, readers can enjoy visual clips and sound recordings of the
benshi narrations introduced in the Benshi- Japanese Silent Film Narrators
on Masterpieces of Japanese Silent Cinema (DVD-ROM for Windows, 18,900yen or
$200.00) the definitive Japanese silent film database.

 Of particular interest to movie lovers, film researchers, cultural
researchers, students and anyone else interested in Japan or cinema, The
Benshi-Japanese Silent Film Narrators and Masterpieces of Japanese Silent
Cinema are essential companions for learning about the history of Japanese


B6 size; full color cover; black and white text; 180 pages

ISBN NO4-900849-51-0

Price: US$25.00

[Inquiries and Orders]

Urban Connections

Contact: Ms. Yoko Midoro

Tokyo Nissan Shibuya Bldg. 8F, 16-10, Higashi 2-chome, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

TEL: 03-5467-4721  FAX: 03-5467-4722   E-mail: books at


?Digital Publishing Division
?Urban Connections
?Tel: 03-5467-4721?Fax: 03-5467-4722
?E-mail: midoro at

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