[KineJapan] Viewing 'Nippon'

Adrian- Restoration Asia adrian at restorationasia.org
Mon May 17 00:16:17 EDT 2021

To possibly answer Roger’s question on copyright in ‘Nippon’, if this film was created by UFA then Transit Film GmbH, as successor to their rights pre-1945, may have an interest.


The addition of German intertitles and sound to extracts from three Japanese productions would most likely create a new production with it its own copyright. That said, I am not a lawyer!


Regardless it is certainly a film I would also very much like to see.


Best regards,


Adrian Wood,



From: KineJapan On Behalf Of Maria Jose Gonzalez via KineJapan
Sent: 17 May 2021 11:51
To: Roger Macy via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu>
Cc: Maria Jose Gonzalez <tkarsavina at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [KineJapan] Viewing 'Nippon'


A Foreigner’s Cinematic Dream of Japan <https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=d2MNEAAAQBAJ&lpg=PA34&ots=_oONz61fBN&dq=Carl%20Koch%20Nippon&pg=PA34#v=onepage&q=Carl%20Koch%20Nippon&f=false> 




A Foreigner’s Cinematic Dream of Japan

In early 1936, a German film team arrived in Japan to participate in a film coproduction, intended to show the '...




On Monday, 17 May 2021, 04:47:05 AM GMT+9, Roger Macy via KineJapan <kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu <mailto:kinejapan at mailman.yale.edu> > wrote: 



Dear All,

I’ve been asked by Wayne Arnold, of the University of Kitakyushu, who is researching ‘Arthur Miller and Japan’ about what ‘Japanese films’ Arthur Miller had seen when he wrote, in Paris, on 17 October, 1933 (underlining is ours) :-

A most beautiful end to a most wonderful day was Sylvia
Sidney’s performance of Cho-Cho-San—Madame Butterfly. I was
thrilled. More than that, deeply moved. Having seen the celebrated
films by the Japanese players some time ago (Ancient, Medieval, and
Modem Japan) I had some basis of comparison whereby to judge her
interpretation. All that an Occidental could bring to the role I felt
she had brought. It is one of the most restrained, most artistiq films
America has produced. A pure film with the operatic melodies well
subdued and never intruding. The dignity of the theme worthy to
make you weep.

Miller had arrived in Paris in 1932 and the range of films with Japanese players to be seen was limited.  One film fits his description very well – the European-edited compilation by Carl Koch, Nippon. Pordenone says 

cut versions (each 20 minutes) of three Japanese silent films — two 1928 jidai geki, Tempei Jidai-Kaito Samimaro (The Time of the Tempei Shamimaro) by Eichi Koishi and Kagaribi (Torches) by Tetsuroku Hoshi, as well as Daitokai Rodoshahen (The Life of Workers in the Big City), a gendai geki by Kiyohiko Ushihara .... This anthology is structured as a historical panorama, from the early Tempei era via the Tokugawa period up to the present.

Clearly, Miller’s yardstick of the authentic was heavily pre-digested and seems to accord with his romanticized view. But Wayne would like to see it and, indeed, so would I.   Does anyone know of a viewing source outside the archives ? (I can’t see that anyone could claim copyright on it.)



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