AW: Lost Japanese Films

eigagogo at eigagogo at
Thu Dec 11 11:50:53 EST 2008

Just to point out that 'Arima neko' (KITO Shigeru, 1937) have a final 'tower'
sequence that is an obvious reference to King Kong.

Selon Roland Domenig <roland.domenig at>:

> Hi Jasper,
> actually there were two Edo ni arawareta Kingu Kongu films made: Edo ni
> arawareta Kingu Kongu Henka no maki (released March 18, 1939) and Edo ni
> arawareta Kingu Kongu Ogon no maki (released April 5, 1938). Both were
> directed by Kumagai Soya at Zensho Kinema's Ayameike Studio in Nara. The
> studio was established by Ichikawa Utaemon, one of the jidaigeki stars of the
> prewar era, who in 1927 left Makino Production and founded his own production
> company Ichikawa Utaemon Production aka Uta Puro. He rented a parcel of land
> of the Awameike Amusement Park and build a film studio there. Uta Puro
> continued to make films until 1936 when Utaemon joint Shochiku. Uta Puro was
> absorbed by Shochiku; their last film was Akutaro shishi by Nakagawa Nobuo
> who had made his directorial debut with Uta Puro in 1934. A few month after
> the closing of the studio Utaemon's elder brother, Yamaguchi Tenryu, founded
> the production company Zensho Kinema and reopened the Ayameike Studio. Zensho
> Kinema lasted until 1941. In 1940 it had come under the control of Shochiku
> which eventually absorbed Zensho Kinema. In January 1941 the Ayameike Studio
> closed its doors and fell into oblivion. The last of the about 170 films
> produced by Zensho Kinema (and almost all lost) was directed by Kumagai Soya,
> the director of the King Kong films.
> As Alex Jacoby already mentioned, Saito Torajiro made a Japanese King Kong
> version (Wasei Kingu Kongu) for the Shochiku Kamata Studios as early as 1933,
> only a few months after the release of the original King Kong film.
> Roland Domenig
> Vienna University
> ________________________________________
> Von: owner-KineJapan at
> [owner-KineJapan at] im Auftrag von Jasper Sharp
> [jasper_sharp at]
> Gesendet: Mittwoch, 10. Dezember 2008 18:29
> An: kinejapan
> Betreff: RE: Lost Japanese Films
> Talking of lost films, something that keeps coming up in conversations
> recently has been the following title:
> King Kong Appears in Edo (Edo ni arawareta Kingu Kongu,
> 江戸に現れたキングコング, Kumaga Sôya, 1938)
> It's listed in the jmdb simply as キングコング
> Can anyone confirm it ever existed? It seems to good to be true.
> There's some information on the web, namely
> It appears it only screened for one week only at most then disappeared, but
> I've never even heard of its production company Zenshou Kinema (Zenkatsu
> Kinema?) before - it makes me realise just how much weird stuff in the prewar
> period there was. So sad its all vanished!
> Jasper
> Midnight Eye
> ________________________________
> Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 13:39:06 +0000
> From: macyroger at
> To: KineJapan at
> Subject: Re: Lost Japanese Films
> Dear Christiane Gruen,
> You ask -
> "Therefore we ask if anybody knows of any Japanese films, which are believed
> lost, that they please post to the list or get in touch with me at the email
> address listed below."
> Alas, for Japan, the question is overwhelming, if not mocking, since most
> Japanese films are lost.  Of the many thousands of films made before 1940
> (such as to be found on the JMDb website) all but a few hundred, I believe,
> are lost.  And plenty after this date are also lost - for example, Jasper
> Sharp points out, in his new book that most pink films have not been
> preserved.
> So, for practical reasons, our focus is on what films are preserved.  We have
> had recent threads on this list as to the availability of information on
> which films are preserved - see 'Film archive catalogues' and 'Japanese
> governmental agencies/film culture promotional policies'.  Due to the lack of
> easy availability of preservation information, Professor High's pointer to
> his book is particularly useful.
> The discussion on your website as to what might constitute a 'lost film' is
> valuable.  But whilst we have your attention, may I ask one question and make
> one suggestion, please?
> Question: (Assuming the Deutsche Kinemathek is the institution in Germany
> that holds information on films preserved in Germany,)  Is it one of those
> institutions that puts on line the listing of those films it has preserved?
> If so, what is the link, please.  If not, a listing of any East Asian films
> up to 1945 that are held would interest scholars, particularly as there are a
> few films that may have reached Berlin via Moscow.
> Suggestion: There is another category of found films that are hidden, in so
> far as there is no budget to produce projection copies.  Publicity for these
> might produce the positive result of procuring sponsorship for their
> projection and distribution.  For example, the only copy of a 1923 film by
> Conrad Wiene, DIE MACHT DER FINSTERNIS, (with Russian actors and, presumably,
> a Russian script) exists at Waseda University, Tokyo with English titles -
> see the report by Dr. Uli Jung in Filmblatt, Summer, 2003.  Perhaps your
> institution could find the budget to combine the revival of this hidden
> German film with that of a Japanese film in a similar state?
> sincerely,
> Roger Macy
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Christiane Gruen"
> <Christiane.Gruen at<mailto:Christiane.Gruen at>>
> To:
<kinejapan at<mailto:kinejapan at>>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 3:52 PM
> <>
> ________________________________
> Great search results, great prizes. Search
> now<>

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