Miyagawa collection

Linda Ehrlich linda.ehrlich at gmail.com
Mon Mar 7 05:04:52 EST 2011

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 ¨bites¨ on this
line within Japan, esp. within Kyoto. I didn´t 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:

> Linda,
> 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?
> Best,
> Mark Roberts
> Research Fellow, University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy
> http://utcp.c.u-tokyo.ac.jp/members/data/mark_roberts/index_en.php
> 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’s long career with such
> directors as Kurosawa (RASHOMON), Mizoguchi (UGETSU, SANSHO THE BAILIFF),
> Ichikawa (KAGI), Shinoda (McARTHUR’S CHILDREN), Kurisaki Midori (SONEZAKI
> SHINJU), and so on. It is an extraordinary collection which includes
> Miyagawa’s 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—a photo I have never seen in print.
> But the sad news is—the 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 “Miyagawa collection.”
> 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’s greatest cinematographers, he was also a very warm and witty
> individual.
> When I held Miyagawa Kazuo's personal script for Mizoguchi’s 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.
> http://sites.google.com/site/lceprofess/

Linda E.

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