An updated and revised version of this page is available at the new Re-Envisioning Japan.
FILM: SELECT ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS
Containing amateur films, news films, and other non-feature films related to Japan
George Eastman Museum
Harvard Film Archive Home Movies Collection
Home Movie Registry (online resource)
Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive (USC School of Cinematic Arts)
Human Studies Film Archives (Smithsonian Institute)
The HSFA YouTube channel, HSFAFilmClips, features many wonderfully diverse excerpts of amateur travel films of Japan.
Internet Archive (online resource)
Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division
Captured Foreign Collections: Japan
Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC)
Digital Video Repository, University of South Carolina University Libraries
Over 100 entries for Japan, including home movies and outtakes and released newsreels from the Library’s extensive Fox Movietone News collection (circa 1919-1944). This collection includes Fox News (silent, 1919-1930) and Fox Movietone News (sound, ran from 1927 through 1963).
NHK 戦争証言アーカイブ (NHK Sensō shōgen aakaibu)
Japanese language site featuring films and other media documenting World War II
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Shōwa-kan (昭和館): National Shōwa Memorial Museum (J/E)
FILM: FILM PRESERVATION LINKS
Association of Moving Image Archivists
Non-profit professional association established to advance the field of moving image archiving
Film Archives Online
Multilingual. Access to catalogue information of film archives from all over Europe. Works can be searched for by content, filmographic data and physical characteristics. Search results provide information about existence and location of the materials and contact details to facilitate access. Focuses on non-fiction material; i.e. documentary and educational films, newsreels, travelogue, advertising, scientific, industrial, experimental, sports films, and animation films
Newly launched by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this is “a central resource for best practices in film preservation that provides guidelines for dealing with the preservation of all types and formats of film materials. It addresses the requirements for preserving black-and-white and color film and nitrate, acetate, and polyester-based film. It also addresses specific issues for motion-picture film, sheet film, still roll film, microfilm, and aerial film, as well as the management of collections containing a variety of media types (certainly the most common real-life situations encountered in the field). This approach focuses primarily on storage, condition surveys, and the development and implementation of best-fit environment-based strategies. Users can create a FREE account to evaluate their own collections and get specific guidance on next steps for best practices for film preservation.”
Film Forever: the Home Film Preservation Guide
For DIYers who find gold in family attics, flea markets, etc.
Moving Image Archive News: a clearinghouse of information on film archiving and related endeavors
Current film archival activities (preservation projects, symposia, access information etc.) around the world
National Film Preservation Foundation (USA)
The Pordenone Silent Film Festival (Le Giornate del Cinema Muto)
Features special programs of films from Japan in 2001, 2005, 2010, 2011, etc., has searchable database
“Preserving the World of Burton Holmes”
Podcast by George Eastman Museum (formerly George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film), introduction to travel-lecturer Holmes and efforts to preserve a collection of his work
Small Gauge Film: The Basics
Tutorial helpful for identifying small gauge films.
Video Aids to Film Preservation
Helpful videos demonstrate film care, preservation, and restoration
FILM: OTHER ONLINE ARCHIVAL RESOURCES
The Burton Holmes Archive
The World’s largest repository of films, photographs, programs, scrapbooks and other ephemera related to the life and career of travel photographer, filmmaker and lecturer Burton Holmes
Huntley Film Archive
Independant, commercial film archive with an extensive and unique range of films related to Japan, including newsreels; commercials; travel, informational and educational films; and amateur home movies (1890s-2000).
Media History Digital Library: Online access to the histories of Cinema, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound
Texas Archive of the Moving Image: Education Kit (“Guide to Using Archival Film in the Classroom”).
This site is particularly useful for K-12 teachers but has good information for everyone.
Toy Film Museum/おもちや映画ミュージアム (Japanese)
The Travel Film Archive (Stock Footage from Around the World)
Includes clips of Bits of Life In Japan (Burton Holmes, 1921); Japan in Cherry Blossom Time (James A. Fitzpatrick, 1932); The Island Empire (James A. Fitzpatrick, 1932); The Farmers and Fishermen of Japan (1950s); Deane Dickason’s Japan’s Rising Sun (1953); and others
JAPAN: DIGITAL HUMANITIES
Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures (Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto)
Japanese Association for Digital Humanities
Art of the Japanese Postcard – The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Database of the Pre-1945 East Asian Postcards (Kyoto University Area Studies Center for Integrated Information)
Japan Picture Postcard Society (JPPS)
Japan National Tourism Organization
Official Tourism Guide for Japan Travel (“Japan: Endless Discovery”)
Japan National Tourist Organization
Selected Locations and Events:
Hōzugawa-kudari (Hōzu-gawa River Boatride)
16 kilometer, two-hour boatride from Tanba Kameoka to Arashiyama, Kyoto dating back to 1895 as a sightseeing experience (see postcards depicting the boat ride under “Cities and Sites” – “Kyoto”)
JAPAN: VISUAL and MATERIAL CULTURE
Asia and the Eastern Pacific Rim in Early Prints and Photographs (The New York Public Library Digital Collections)
East Asian Image Collection
Dr. Paul C. Barclay, Founder and Curator (Lafayette University)
An open‐access digital archive of over 5100 visual records that contains postcards, prints, negatives, slides, and other visual records of Japanese imperialism, the postwar American occupation, and Chinese history.
Dr. Barclay has published articles about Japanese imperial postcards and the visual history of empire and nation‐building in East Asia. See his related blog:
Japan-in-American: The Turn of the 20th Century
Dr. Gregory A. Waller, Project Director, Department of Communications and Culture (Indiana University at Bloomington)
“This exhibit samples the vast number of images, stories, performances, and accounts of Japan that circulated in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. At no time has the interest in and significance of Japan for Americans been greater than between 1890-1913, a rich and complex historical period for both nations. Marked by the emergence of broadly available media (including motion pictures and mass-circulation magazines), the early twentieth century was also a time when the United States expanded into the Pacific and became increasingly aware of Japan’s modernization and its new geopolitical role, particularly after its victories in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War. It is, in fact, difficult to overestimate how Japan’s military successes, rapid modernization, and emergence as a global power captivated and troubled the imagination of Americans. At the same time, this era also saw ongoing controversy about Japanese immigration to Hawaii and the West Coast, the appearance and immense popularity of Madame Butterfly (as novella, opera, play, and film) and the continuing fascination with an exoticised, non-Western Japan, a heroic, traditional Japan, and a racially “pure” homogenous Japan.”
MIT Visualizing Cultures
Launched in 2002 “to explore the potential of the Web for developing innovative image-driven scholarship and learning. The VC mission is to use new technology and hitherto inaccessible visual materials to reconstruct the past as people of the time visualized the world (or imagined it to be).” Of particular interest: the two-part “Globetrotters Japan: Foreigners on the Tourist Circuit in Meiji Japan” (“Places” and “People”), with essays by Allen Hockley; and the two-part “Felice Beato’s Japan: An Album by the Pioneer Foreign Photographer in Yokohama” (“Places” and “People”), with essays by Allen Hockley and Alona C. Wilson. There are several other units that explore 20th century Japan through visual culture.Makino Collection Blog: Archiving East Asian Film Studies at Starr Library (Columbia University)
Informative blog on the extensive collection of Asian film ephemera (the collection of film scholar Mamoru Makino) at the C.V. Starr East Asia Library.
Meiji and Taishō Eras in Photographs (National Diet Library, Japan)
Photographs of Tokyo, Kansai and Tōhoku from the collection of the National Diet Library, Japan)
Metadata Database of Japanese Old Photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (Nagasaki University Library Collection)
Approximately 7000 photographs taken all over Japan from the latter half of the 19th c. through approximately the first decade of the 20th c.
Minwa-za: Magic Lantern Entertainment in Japan
劇団みんわ座 影絵人形劇 江戸写し絵 (Japanese)
Nihon zanzō, shashin de miru Bakumatsu, Meiji – Hōsō Daigaku Fuzoku Toshokan Furushashin-ten (Japanese)
Images of Japan during the Bakumatsu and Meiji period in the collection of the Open University of Japan Library.
North American Japanese Garden Association
“Japanese gardens are an international phenomenon. They are found in at least 53 countries, North America alone has more than 250. Despite their popularity and social function, there have been few regular forums for the exchange of information and ideas about them, until now. In 2010, leaders in the field of Japanese gardens outside of Japan embarked on an initiative to create a network, the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA). NAJGA is a not for profit organization devoted to connecting people within the network of Japanese gardens. Through public education, professional development and research NAJGA connects the Horticulture, Human Culture and Business Culture of Japanese gardens in the US and Canada.”
Our Sense of Place: Exploring Sites in Japan, the United States, and Beyond
Website developed to accompany the 2015 exhibition at the Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania that brought together 20th century prints on the theme of “famous places” (名所). This subject was influential in the development of landscape imagery in Japan, and was associated with the courtly poetry practice that named and praised significant sites. As the website explains, by the late 18th century the exigencies of the contemporary publishing market had transformed this practice to accommodate a new set of famous locations. Modern print artists also referenced the landscape tradition established in ukiyo-e prints in their own work, often reflecting changes in the 20th century landscape.
VISUAL and MATERIAL CULTURE
“Collecting Souvenirs in Japan: A Diary” (curated by Sara Pimpaneau and Inge Daniels, The British Museum website)
The focus is the “scope and variety of souvenirs in domestic travel, their role as gifts, and their place in the home,” but the objects showcased are also relevant to the topic of inbound tourism.
The Ephemera Society of America
Graphics Atlas (Image Permanence Institute, Rochester NY)
A comprehensive resource for the identification and characterization of print and photographic processes
The Magic Lantern Society