Japan Movie Production Federation (日本映画プロダクション連盟)

Japan Movie Production Federation (May 1928 - February 1929) was an association in Kyoto made up of film companies focused on independent films. Its establishment was centered around five production companies owned by popular actors who had quit Makino Productions.

History and Summary

In April of 1928 Tokujiro YAMAZAKI of Sankyo, the company led by Shozo MAKINO that had been distributing Makino films in the Shikoku area, conspired with the top execute of Bando Tsumasaburo Productions named Ryosuke TACHIBANA to get in contact with 150 independent theater owners throughout Japan, such as Kikumatsu OSHIMA of Kikusui Kinema in Kobe who was greatly interested in Indies films, to cooperate in establishing 'Nihon Katsudo Josetsukan Kanshu Renmei Eiga Haikyu Honsha' (Distribution Company Headquarters for Movie Theater Owners in Japan; also known as "Kanshu Renmei" [the Theater Owner's Association]) to eradicate the intervening contracting company and introduce policies that would provide direct production fees to independent film productions.

Chiezo KATAOKA was the first to quit the company, Chozaburo ARASHI, who went back to using his acting name after quitting Makino and called himself Kanjuro ARASHI, Toshio YAMAGUCHI (New School Actor), Ryutaro NAKANE, Kobunji ICHIKAWA, Reizaburo YAMAMOTO, Ryuzo TAKEI, and Umetaro NAKAMURA (sending back to using his acting name 'Makino Umetaro'), and approximately fifty popular actors quit Makino Productions. Kataoka established 'Kataoka Chiezo Productions' (Chie Pro) on May 10 of the same year, while Arashi, Yamaguchi, Nakane, Kobunji, and Yamamoto also established their own production companies, thus forming the 'Japan Movie Production Federation' with five, star production companies centered around 'Chie Pro' and 'Arashi Kanjuro Productions' (The First Period Kan Pro).

Inspired by Yamazaki, Makino's chief stagehand Hiroshi KAWAI and camera technician Juzo TANAKA quit Makino and founded a rental studio called 'Japan Cinema Studio' (Narabigaoka Studio) in Narabigaoka, Kyoto. This studio was also called the 'Studio for the Japan Movie Production Federation' and the association rented it, using the same staff and cast and collaborated in producing films.

However, Yamazaki's association that had been shouldering production investment costs and promotions collapsed early at the end of July of the same year and every film company except 'Chie Pro' and 'Kan Pro' were forced to liquidate. Movie theaters that cooperated with promotions such as Kikumatsu OSHIMA's 'Kikusuikan Theater' in Kobe remained, but Kan Pro disbanded the following February in 1929 and Arashi joined Toa Kinema Kyoto Studio (Tojin Studio).

Chie Pro' opened its own shooting studio called 'Chiezo Movie Studio' in Sagano in January of the same year and continued film production after leaving Narabigaoka Studio. Ryuzo TAKEI became independent from 'Chie Pro' and established 'Takei Ryuzo Productions' in Narabigaoka Studio to make three films, but then went under and disbanded. Most of the cast, including the popular actors and staff, moved to major film shooting studios other than Makino, and those that came from theatrical performances returned to the stage.


Kataoka Chiezo Productions (Chiezo KATAOKA)

Arashi Kanjuro Productions (Kanjuro ARASHI)

Nakane Ryutaro Comedy Productions (Ryutaro NAKANE)

Yamaguchi Toshio Productions (Toshio YAMAGUCHI (the new school actor))

Ichikawa Kobunji Kabuki Eiga Productions (Kobunji ICHIKAWA)

Yamamoto Reizaburo Productions (Reizaburo YAMAMOTO)

Takei Ryuzo Productions (Ryuzo TAKEI, became independent from Chie Pro)


Actors such as Umetaro NAKAMURA (changed his name from 'Makino Umetaro'), Seinosuke HAYASHI, Ryosuke KAGAWA, Kazuichi NARIMATSU and Kiyoshi SAWADA

Directors such as Hiroshi INAGAKI, Mansaku ITAMI and Shinro TOMIZAWA

Film photographers such as Hideo ISHIMOTO and Juzo TANAKA.

[Original Japanese]