Nishikawa Katsumi

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow at
Wed Apr 7 10:41:49 EDT 2010

The news services report that Nishikawa Katsumi, the director of many  
of the great postwar youth films, died on April 2, 2010, of pneumonia.  
He was 91.

Nishikawa was born in 1918 in Tottori and graduated from the Arts  
Faculty of Nihon University before entering Shochiku in 1939. The war  
interrupted his career - an experience he would later write about -  
but he returned to being an assistant director to Shibuya Minoru and  
Nakamura Noboru before directing his first film in 1952. He switched  
to Nikkatsu in 1954 when it resumed production, making films in a  
number of genres - including action movies - but it was his youth  
films starring Yoshinaga Sayuri or Takahashi Hideki that proved to be  
big hits. He moved to television when Nikkatsu turned to Roman Porno,  
but he returned to film in order to shoot the youth films starring  
Yamaguchi Momoe and Miura Tomokazu, including movies such as Izu no  
odoriko and Eden no umi that he had shot at Nikkatsu before.

I have seen film scholars talk about Japanese "youth films" (seishun  
eiga) but end up only talking about New Wave cinema. The truly popular  
youth films, however, were those directed by Nishikawa and his  
brethren. A real study of these still has not been done.

There are some books on or by Nishikawa in Japanese, however:

Nishikawa Katsumi and Gondo Susumu. Nishikawa Katsumi eiga shugyo.  
Waizu Shuppan, 1993.

Nishikawa Katsumi. Izu no odoriko monogatari. Firumu Atosha, 1994.

Nishikawa Katsumi. Shiroi karasu: Ikinokotta heishi no kiroku.  
Kojinsha, 1997.

Aaron Gerow
Associate Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University
53 Wall Street, Room 316
PO Box 208363
New Haven, CT 06520-8363
Phone: 1-203-432-7082
Fax: 1-203-432-6764
e-mail: aaron.gerow at

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