a japanese film of sixties

harry alim harialim at dnet.net.id
Wed Aug 4 01:19:57 EDT 2004

japanese movies in the sixties in rural java,

it is just as if it is yesterday although time past so quickly, it was forty
years ago today, among kids japanese movies so popular especially the
samurai genre. as it was so popular, many kids staged the samurai like war
as a pastime after dayschool especially during dry season. this staged
samurai like war lasted until end of sixties, well some said it was started
among kids even in the fifties, among my elder brothers and their kid
friends. I do guess that this kind of afterschool pastime was instigated
even in the fifties, especially by japanese film of kurosawa's such as
rashomon, joyimbo and the like. we made sword or samurai from bamboo.

in the early sixties, zatoichi was so popular among kids, and of course
shintaro katsu,
but among teenagers of course they prefer japanese teen drama, there was one
japanese film star so popular among teenager of my elder brother and sister
but i can't remember the name.
I can remember some film of crowd gatherer such were budha, about the great
wall (the title i can't remember) and series of endless zatoichi and one or
two japanese collosal movies (the golden peacock or golden ....?)

i lived in rural java of cities possibly populated of 50.000 at those times,
we have one cinema,  and one other cinema in next small town (closed in
'65), film distributed to our cities through distributor of bigger cities,
they rent it flat for one or two days or three days.  no film dubbed but

before 65' one western popular film such as king of kings, benhur etc was
screened delayed for six months up to one year after it was screened in usa,
i have no idea on the delay of japanese movies. there was one importer who
look after the distribution for the whole indonesia. but right after 65 up
to early seventies, the delay was prolonged until more than one year, as a
result of turbulence time aftermath of '65

any film was screneed for two or three times a day depends on its
popularity, ends for one or two days or even three days if it was so
popular. it was screened at seven and nine p.m everyday but on saturday and
especally sunday morning at 10 am they used to screened more family type

any new film coming informed to moviegoers through trailer and display in
cinema. ticket sold through ticket booth, but on special occasion of special
movies such as benhur, ticket sold some days in advance.

the owner of cinema rent horse drawn cart to go around the cities at about
two three p.m to inform the city dwellers what was screened for that day
using megaphone and drum and all those noisy kit, many kids will run after
this cart to catch any flyers informing about the film screened.

japanese movies of samurai genre considered as of more family type rather
than american teeneager movies, as it was without any kissing and the like.
other japanese movies popular of these times were godzilla movies and other
science horror movies.

in the early sixties among popular film some were roman holiday (american
film), japanese film and local indonesian film and some occasionally indian

i do not think that there was any intention to choose japanese movies to be
screened by design, but it was just coincident with the influx of japanese
movies as a result of rashomon in international stage.

there was a time when influx of american movies dropped as a result of
government policy toward america and british in the eve of 65' , also
gradually influx of japanese movies  dropped in the end of sixties, possibly
as a result of decline in japan itself, and its place was gradually replaced
by hong kong production of swordman genre, italian cowboy and the rise of
local production.

in the seventies, almost no japanese movies was screened.

by the end of sixties, local kids no longer play samurai like war as a
pastime after dayschool during dry season.

regards, harry alim


From: Aaron Gerow <gerowaaron at sbcglobal.net>

> Harry,
> Thanks for joining KineJapan.
> I for one would like to hear more about your experience watching
> Japanese movies in the sixties in Java. Were there a lot of Japanese
> films showing, even in rural areas? Were they dubbed? Why were Japanese
> films showing in Indonesia at that time? Were some Japanese stars like
> Katsu Shintaro famous? How were films sold to audiences and received?
> Anything you remember would be appreciated.
> Aaron Gerow
> KineJapan owner

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