Miyagawa collection

Mark Roberts mroberts37 at mail-central.com
Mon Mar 7 03:38:24 EST 2011


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  


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’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/

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