Miyagawa collection

faith faithbach at yahoo.co.jp
Mon Mar 7 22:08:24 EST 2011

One would think Sato Tadao would be the best man to contact on this, no?  He also has his Cinema Uni opening soon in a nice new building which may be looking for collections?  A farther out idea is Waseda's theatre museum, the "Enpaku," a very distinguished old museum which also has a film collection, leaning towards artifacts & print.  An annotated production book for Chikamatsu Monogatari is, after all, Chikamatsu...

--- On Mon, 2011/3/7, Linda Ehrlich <linda.ehrlich at gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for your message, Mark. Yes, that was my question as well. The sense I got from Miyagawa Jiro is that there have been no real $B!/(Bbites$B!/(B on this line within Japan, esp. within Kyoto. I didn$B!-(Bt press him for details because he seemed rather embarrassed about the fact.  Linda E.

On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 3:38 AM, Mark Roberts <mroberts37 at mail-central.com> wrote:


Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

The National Film Center wasn't interested in this collection? Why not?

Is it really the case that no institutions in Japan want to preserve this?


Mark Roberts

Research Fellow, University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy

On Mar 7, 2011, at 5:18 PM, Linda Ehrlich wrote:

Dear KineJapan: Recently in Kyoto I had the pleasure of meeting Miyagawa Jiro, the son of the great cameraman Miyagawa Kazuo (1908-1999). In his design studio, I was able to view some of a large collection of objects (documents, photos, scripts, etc.) from the father$B!G(Bs long career with such directors as Kurosawa (RASHOMON), Mizoguchi (UGETSU, SANSHO THE BAILIFF), Ichikawa (KAGI), Shinoda (McARTHUR$B!G(BS CHILDREN), Kurisaki Midori (SONEZAKI SHINJU), and so on. It is an extraordinary collection which includes Miyagawa$B!G(Bs own drawings on the scripts, rare photographs, even some reels of film. As just one example--I saw one photo of a young Miyagawa Kazuo with Yamanaka Sadao$B!=(Ba photo I have never seen in print.

But the sad news is$B!=(Bthe Miyagawas have not been able to find a good repository for the preservation and display of those materials. The papers and photos are mostly sitting in yellow envelopes, gradually turning to dust. Even though Miyagawa-sensei won such prestigious awards as the Imperial Order of Culture, and a special tribute from the Academy of Motion Pictures, no Japanese library or cultural center has offered to undertake the preservation and display work.

My hope in sending this to KineJapan is to let Japanese film scholars and fans around the world know about this priceless treasure that needs attention. Jiro-san assured me that the Miyagawa family would support professional efforts at preservation of those materials that cover a wide span of Japanese film history.  He also agreed to my sending out this message. Surely there is a university library or cultural center somewhere with funds to support the $B!H(BMiyagawa collection.$B!I(B

Years ago I had the honor of interviewing Miyagawa Kazuo in his lovely home in Kyoto. It is still a vibrant memory for me. He was not only one of the world$B!G(Bs greatest cinematographers, he was also a very warm and witty individual. 

When I held Miyagawa Kazuo's personal script for Mizoguchi$B!G(Bs CHIKAMATSU MONOGATARI in my hands, I was amazed to see his careful drawings on every page. Although I received a few scanned sheets, they are hard to read and fail to convey the real impact. I hope others in the future will have the opportunity to explore this treasure trove of materials before the ink disappears and the paper crumbles away.
Linda C. Ehrlich

Linda E.


Linda E.


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