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 However, this resource is hopelessly out of date now.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.

First, Abé Mark Nornes and Rie Yamaoka of Kinema Club compiled a straightforward list of print sources in 1997. Beware: this list includes many prints from distribution companies that no longer exist. Where the prints went would be nice to know…

Second, a far more useful site is being developed by Brett Johnson and Kevin Martin of the University of Michigan’s Center for Japanese Studies. Since they run summer and fall film series, they are constantly tracking down prints. Rather than let this precious information go to waste they are sharing it with us. This is in the form of a database, and includes hard data and synopses that are easy to cut and paste into your own PR.