Collection of Kinema club covers


How to obtain the necessary resources, ranging from the films themselves to books and magazines.


One of the problems in studying Japanese cinema is the difficulty in obtaining the necessary resources, ranging from the films themselves to books and magazines. This section introduces some of places you can find materials, but also check out the Bibliographies section in Research.

Searching for Scripts

To find a published scenario

A significant difference between Japanese cinema and many other national cinemas is the respect paid to screenwriting. A pleasant side-effect of this attention is the publication of screenplays. There have been quite a few journals devoted to nothing other than printing screenplays, and magazines like Kinema Junpo regularly include the scenarios of important films.

Learn how to find scripts
Nihon bashi movie poster

Film Distrubutors

Searching for Prints

One of the challenges facing any teacher or programmer of Japanese film is finding prints to show. Information is everything, but it is scattered around in the catalogs of all the distribution companies. We used to be able to rely on the Limbacher book, which can still be found in any library. However, this resource is hopelessly out of date now. Luckily, there are two places to help you find what you are looking for.

Learn more about where to get prints
Movie poster

Film Specialty Bookstores

Browsing for New Books in Tokyo

Of course, any book in print can be ordered from any book store. However, if you want to browse for new books, there are a few that stock decent selections of film books. In Kanda, take the A7 Exit and walk down Yasukuni-dori away from Iwanami Hall.

Learn more about bookstores
Kamata movie poster

Libary Holdings

Finding books and periodicals

A number of libraries are collecting moving image related books and periodicals in Japanese. One can use WorldCat and other online databases to search for regularly cataloged materials, but not everything in a library’s holdings appear in their regular catalog. There are special collections or not-yet-cataloged materials. This section tries to introduce a few of these. 

Learn more about libraries that have these references
Suiten Kan Weekly cover

Japanese Bibliography

This bibliography contains English-language books and articles about Japanese cinema. It is long, but hardly complete. Suggestions for additions are more than welcome.

Reference the bibliography