Yamagata Household Cinema
YIDFF has been holding “Discovering Nostalgic Yamagata Project,” a collection of old footage created by local citizens, corporations, and the public sector for various purposes in the pre- and postwar eras and the years of high economic growth. This time we are going to show films shot by two natives of Yamagata.
The charm of these discovered films lies in the fact that everyday life at the time is shown as it is without any pretense. Across time and space, you will see not only the lifestyle of real people but also images of Japan in those days, together with people’s surprise, bashfulness, or smiles brought on by the presence of the camera.
Shinjo and the South Seas(Shinjo to nanyo)
- Circa 1937 / Silent / Color, B&W / Video (Original: 8mm) / 36 min
Photography: Oba Jotaro
Source: Oba Hideo
At the end of the Taisho era, young Oba Jotaro from Shinjo City, Yamagata, went to Java (now Indonesia). He started working at Nanyo Shokai, which became successful as a chain of general stores called Toko Nanyo in Java. The company was eventually dissolved, but he continued working in Java for its successor. In addition to precious landscapes from the South, you will see prewar footage shot in Shinjo City.
- 1932–1941 / Silent / Color, B&W / Video (Original: 16mm) / 42 min
Photography: Hasegawa Kenzo
Hasegawa Silk Manufacturing was one of the biggest companies in prewar Yamagata. Among other films shot by Hasegawa Kenzo, who was also the founder of Kaisendo Art Museum, and his family, is some long-lost 16mm footage recently discovered behind the “hina dolls” in a closet. This film shows the lifestyle and the look of the silk factory in those days. The camera also captured the rare moment when future prime minister Koiso Kuniaki, the son of a feudal retainer of the Shinjo domain (now Yamagata Prefecture), visited Hasegawa’s factory.