50000 Films Found?

Aaron Gerow gerowaaron
Sat Feb 12 18:00:08 EST 2005

It's interesting how these stories start spreading on the internet. 
Just the morning I did a search on Abe's name and only got a couple 
hits, and now in the evening there are many more. I even found an 
anti-Korean right wing 2-channel site in which some members call for 
the burning of Arirang, or who say that the existence of 
Arirang--produced under Japanese colonial rule--shows how Japanese rule 
allowed even greater freedoms to Koreans than either South or North 
Korean today. (Remember these sites when talking about the "kanryu" 

As I said, I did find one piece this morning that mentions Abe being 
involved in explosives research during the war (this is an article from 
before Abe's death). But now news (rumors?) seems to be spreading about 
how Abe might have gotten all these films. While some say Abe's father 
was a film fan, and even financially aided Korean filmmakers before the 
war, others say that the Abe family was involved in experiments in 
turning film stock into explosives in the desperate days near the end 
of the war. Again, I wonder about the veracity of these reports, but 
one does wonder how many films were lost (or perhaps, if Abe did save 
these, saved) by wartime efforts to obtain the explosive materials in 
nitrate film stock.

Aaron Gerow
KineJapan owner

Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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