Regional Film Archive in Transit

Yasui Yoshio and Kobe Planet Film Archive

Authored by: Shota T. Ogawa

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138685529
eBook ISBN: 9781315534374
Adobe ISBN:


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Kobe Planet Film Archive boasts an impressive collection of over 16,000 films and 10,000 titles of books and magazines, which makes this private entity the nation’s second largest film archive. As impressive as this might sound, such national-scale perspective detracts our attention away from the personal dimension of the collection that belongs to cine-club organizer Yasui Yoshio and the regional dimension of the Keihanshin metropolitan region (connecting Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe). The goals of this chapter are to position the spontaneous origin of the collection in Keihanshin’s robust cine-club movement in the late 1960s and the 1970s, to contextualize its relocation from Osaka to Kobe in 2006 in the broader spatial politics of post-Hanshin Earthquake reconstruction, and to demonstrate the transnational scope of the regional archive’s activities. While I draw on the growing body of regionally inflected film scholarship and the regional film archive discourse, it is my aim to question the proliferation of the “regional” in recent cultural discourse. If the regional turn has helped to counter the hegemony of national-scale thinking, it has also served as a smokescreen to obscure the ongoing reconcentration of capital in Tokyo and discount the transnational operations of many of the regional cultural institutions.

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