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Issue 4 Aiming to Be an Asian Film Centre. Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive (FLFA)

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Features:Aiming to Be an Asian Film Centre Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive (FLFA)  A film archive is for preserving films as cultural property. Many countries have set up film archives to preserve domestic and foreign film heritages. In Japan, only the Film Centre of Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art and Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive have joined the International Federation of Film Archives. FLFA is a significant Asian film archive facility. In addition to being the venue for the annual Fukuoka International Film Festival, Fukuoka has made enormous effort to promote film cultures from various Asian countries and regions. Let's see what efforts FLFA has made to ensure the future of these inheritances.  Preserving Films as Cultural Properties The Recovery of Lost Films Technology that Brings Films and Audiences Together

Preserving Films as Cultural Properties Fukuoka City's Effort in Film Archiving     About the Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive (FLFA) FLFA has preserved about 920 films, including all of the films screened at the Focus on Asia – Fukuoka International Film Festival, rare movies representative of Asia, classic works, Japanese films, documentary films, animated films, experimental films, and films related Fukuoka. The films are meticulously cared for, stored at a temperature and humidity controlled vault and screened regularly at Movie Hall Cine-la. The founding of FLFA is attributed to an Indian director, Sai Paranjpye, who suggested that Fukuoka City make a Asian Film Archive during a talk show at the first Focus on Asia in 1991. Many filmmakers had hoped for such an archive facility due to the economic and political instability as well as climatic conditions in many Asian countries. Therefore, FLFA was set up in 1996 in collaboration with the Fukuoka International Film Festival to preserve the films forever. Although many Asian countries and regions have since improved their film archive facilities, at that time, there were no film archives focusing on Asian films.    Films are Cultural Properties FLFA mainly stores new prints developed from master negatives. Newly made films will gradually fade and decompose after twenty years if stored at room temperature.  However, films preserved in FLFA's vault are treated as first-class artefacts, and under such conditions, their colours and clarity permanently remain as good as new.   The Film Storerooms  The facilities are maintained at a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 40%. Just before we take the films outside, we bring them to a slightly warmer and more humid preparation room, doing the reverse when we return them to storage. The total capacity here is about 3300  two-hour-long 35 mm films. We still have a lot of room.

 We do not loan out our collection. It is quite common for people to approach us about borrowing Asian films because we are the only ones who have them. Just a couple of days ago, we had an inquiry from the Vietnamese Embassy. So in a sense, we are working for the whole world. says Mr. Yahiro Yoshiyuki of the Image Data Section.  The collection in FLFA is not limited strictly to Asian films. It also includes some old films donated or entrusted by collectors and cinephiles. In 2003, Fukuoka-born actor Ken Takakura entrusted 44 of his works on 16mm film to FLFA. Mr. Yahiro says, We have some old films shot by individuals that you couldn't really call 'movies' but that capture that essence of that era. They could be very important historical materials. Researchers come here to dig into these videos several times a year. For instance, we had a Kyushu University Professor come in looking for a film about the post-WWII Japanese colonial retreat at Hakata Bay. Such films are normally almost never used, but for researchers, they are precious resources for research.    Diamonds in the Rough One of the films in FLFA donated by an individual collector is Doremiha Sensei (1951; Kyoei Productions). Because it was too old, at first, we managed to repair it to a 'watchable' state. We didn't know much about it, but we thought it was quite interesting, so we screened it as an educational movie. Afterwards, we learned of its importance in the cinematic history. Although Kenji Kita and Jun Tsukuda are credited as the film's director and playwright, the actual director was Tsukuda, who is said to have died during the shooting. His real name was Kesshu Tsukuda, and he was an active movie director and playwright of pre-war silent films. Doremiha Sensei was his last work and its sole remaining copy is sitting in FLFA! Even Tokyo Film Center has only eight of his pre-war works in its vaults, excluding Doremiha Sensei. The film is therefore a very important piece of Japanese cinematic history.    Movie Hall – Cine-la  Cine-la screens films centering around the collection in FLFA. The hall can accommodate 246 viewers (242 normal seats and 4 wheelchair seats). Admissions for normal screening cost 500 Yen for adults, 400 Yen for university or high school students, and 300 Yen for junior high or elementary school students. Admission prices for special screenings may vary.

 Mr. Yahiro continues, We learned about Tsukuda's story after we received an inquiry from his family living in Toyama Prefecture who came across our screening information. They saw 'Doremiha Sensei' when they were young and have tried to find it everywhere. We got another inquiry from Kamakura City from some people who were looking for records about a local composer, Hideaki Yashima, who wrote 'Sakuragai-no-uta' and 'Azami-no-uta'. 'Doremiha Sensei' is the only movie in which he appeared. The fact that we were able to make contact with these people is another merit of the widening use of the Internet.  Films are irreplaceable Recently, a growing number of movies are being shot and even screened digitally, including some movies screened at Focus on Asia. While most people think digitalised data takes up very little space and can be handled easily, Mr. Yahiro rebutes, If the digital format of the source differs from your system, you can't play it and you don't even know what it is. The digital evolution never stops, so renewing our facilities and updating the system to catch up is a formidable task!  He further elaborates, On one hand, DVDs and 'video' (non-film media) can be accessed easily; on the other hand, 35 mm film is the common standard of cinema. We are never bothered with other standards as long as we have a projector. Even films that are over 100 years old are screened with the same projector. I think film is an excellent means to show and store pictures.  The most important thing in archiving digital works is to first unify the format. As a film archive, it is ideal to have all digital works converted to and stored on film. Doing that will rule out the possibility of unreadable formats. After a few decades, the value of the property that FLFA owns will be inestimable.

The Recovery of Lost Films Film Restoration: Finding Diamonds in the Rough Preserving films as cultural property does not mean simply shoveling those films into storerooms; thorough quality control is necessary. In addition, old films must be restored in order to determine whether it is worth storing.  We have carried out an interview with the video data quality manager of Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive (FLFA), Mr. Keiji Matsumoto  Film Management When we receive a film, the first thing we do is examine it to determine the extent of its exposure. Then, we translate the film's condition into numbers (such as the positions and number of frames that have been edited) and enter this into a logbook, which is like a medical chart for the purpose of recovery if any parts of the film have to be cut out and inserted. In this way, we go through the whole film, putting descriptions about the film into the logbook.  Keeping these logbooks is particularly useful for films that are lent out for screening after a long period in storage (10 years, for example). They might be edited for screening, and when they are returned, we may not know that such an edition had been made. So we compare the film with the chart so that we can maintain the film's original state. We also repair old films, doing whatever it takes to be able to put them back onto an editing machine and eventually a projector.  Decomposed Films We have to handle films made with different materials in different ways. We take special care when handling old, flammable films because they could be very dangerous. In a lot of cases, these precious films have started decomposing, and we end up breathing in the toxic gas while work to restore the films using various chemicals. Film decomposition is caused by the hydrolysis of an element called triacetate. Hydrolysis occurs under highly humid conditions and forms acetic gas. Once this happens, the film roll will gradually start to melt, eventually becoming a solid disk. Normally, hydrolysis starts to occur within twenty years of the film being exposed. For colour films, fading is also associated with hydrolysis. It is too late to save films from the 70's; they've already faded and appear pink. From now on, people must preserve films from the 80's.

Excavate the Lost Films There may be films decomposing and fading all over the world. They should be rescued as soon as possible. Decomposition and fading can be avoided by storing films in an environment controlled at 41 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity. Although FLFA is only fourteen years old, none of the films that have been created since the 80's and stored in here has faded. FLFA will prove its worth as time goes by: the older the archive data gets, the more valuable it will become.  An orphan film is work that has been abandoned by its producer. It should have been scrapped, but for some reason, it is possessed by some individual.   We adopt these orphan films that lie dormant in people's storerooms. Many of them have decayed, but we manage to fix them up to a watchable state. Occasionally, we find that some of these films were mixed up with some stunning works, like Yoris Ivens'. Knowing that we may find a gem among the mountain of seemingly worthless orphan films, we are able to bear the putrid smell of decomposing film, find that film, and give it back to the world (after looking into their copyrights, of course).

Restoration of Old Films The biggest restoration we've done so far was on 'The Princess of Baghdad' (1948; Sanko Eiga-sha). It is a feature-length, black-and-white animated film found among the films donated in Fukuoka. Although there is a copy at Tokyo Film Center (TFC), the difference between their copy and ours is that theirs does not have opening or ending credits, while ours is the entire work (which we spent a month restoring from its shabby condition). We taped it and sent it to TFC. After TFC reviewed the video, they found some discrepancies between our copy and their copy, so they decided to collaborate with us to combine our copies. Both versions were missing parts that the other version had, so we combined them to create the longest version of the film yet. TFC has made English subtitled for the movie which should have been being screened at an animated film festival in Germany now. I think we have made a big achievement for being able to show an old movie discovered in Fukuoka to overseas. The Film Restoration Procedures of The Princess of Baghadad 1) Take the decomposed film out of the tin. The film of The Princess of Baghadad, an old 35mm film has undergone hydrolysis. It is one of about 800 films donated by an individual collector in 2005.  2) Wind the Film The archivist, wearing a goggle and a surgical mask to protect him from the acetic gas, wind the film while using alcohol to clean the sides of the film roll. 3) Vacuum Packing The archivist has considered means to prevent the acetic gas leaking out from the film. He attempted to seal the film in a vacuum bag. It seems to have worked! 4) Preserve the Film in the Vault The vacuum packed film is preserved in a vault which is maintained at a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 40%. 5) Repairing the Film The archivist repairs the films while using the Film Viewer to view the image. The perforation patch tape can be hardly obtained in Japan. 6) Investigation of the Film The library provides plenty of reference materials. The archivist looks into the back issues of magazines to find out the film's profile. 7) Recovery of the Film After the repairing, the film appears like a brand new film. However, it is only the side of the film roll. The actual images it stores are to be found out. 8) Viewing the Pictures using the Film Viewer (Steinbeck) The archivist uses the film viewer to compare the pictures of the Fukuoka City Public Library Film Archive's copy and the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art Film Center's copy. FLFA and TFC collaborate to concatenate the missing parts of each other's copy and made out the longest version.

Technology that Brings Films and Audiences Together Movie Hall Cine-la Movie Hall Cine-la Cine-la is also equipped with a 16mm film projector, as well as projectors that can display subtitles and videos (non-film media). Traditional Screening Technology On one hand, it is crucial to maintain precious films; on the other hand, the value of these films can be only reflected in screening to the general public. Fukuoka City Public Library periodically screens the films in its collection in its movie hall Cine-la. Some of the films are the only remaining copies of the work, and are therefore handled with the utmost care.   35 mm feature films (around two hours long) are cut into six or seven 1500-foot-long rolls (each 15-20 minutes in length) and stored in individual tins. FLFA screens the films in the traditional method, using two projectors to play film rolls rotationally. A seamless transition from one projector to the other requires a highly skilled projectionist.  A national qualification used to be required to project films, since films were flammable and therefore considered hazardous material. Mr. Kazuo Kashiwagi was certified as a projectionist in 1957. After his nearly 20 years of projectionist work at Fukuoka theatres, he worked in a movie production company's publicity department until his retirement. He became a projectionist again when the FLFA opened in 1989 and took charge of the screening at Cine-la. Nowadays, films are connected onto one roll, and many theatres have the whole thing automatically run by machines. The screening process has been greatly simplified. Current 'projectionists' don't need a license. It is so hard to train a professional projectionist, says Mr. Kashiwagi.   Presenting Each Film at its Best There are a variety of screen sizes, each differing in width and height, such as the Academy ratio (1.37 : 1), European standard (1.66 : 1), flat (1.85 : 1), and CinemaScope (2.35 : 1). Surprisingly, not many cinemas in Japan adjust their screens to fit the ideal image proportions before screenings, so sometimes the top and bottom are cropped off. Cine-la adjusts the projector's aperture to the right size, changes the lens, and changes the sound track sensor in accordance with the recording system (such as Dolby Digital).  Because our collection is comprised of works from different eras as well as different countries and regions, some films may have slight differences in frame size and elasticity than the standard specifications. We pay attention to the details of each film, taking measures such as adjusting the screen mask sizes to fit the movie size in order to create the best environment (in terms of both picture and sound) for audience. says Mr. Kashiwa. Only Cine-la, equipped with both traditional screening methods and the latest screening gears, can handle all kinds of films at any time. It's not as simple as flipping a switch to start and stop the screening, but that's what makes FLFA's Cine-la special.   Normally, films are played at a speed of 24 frames per second (fps), while silent movies run at just 16 or 18 fps. The projector can adjust the playing speed by increments of 1 fps from 15 to 25 fps and even 30 fps.  The timing of switching from one projector to the other (when one film roll ends) must be impeccable and is a technique that requires years of experience. Mr. Kashiwagi always keeps a close eye on the projector during screening to avoid a mispositioned focus or frame holder, or other unpredictable trouble.  Mr. Takakura visited Cine-la unannounced when we were having a special screening of his works. He came into the projection room to talk to me. I was so glad to be able to meet with him again after a long time.

Fua's Asian trip A course that reviews history in temples.  1.Hakata ward, Gokusho, Reisen course  Old and historical temples and houses still remain in Gokusho and Reisen areas.  If you step into a narrow alley, you feel as if you were at Kyoto where it is very quiet and there is a lot of greenery.  You can enjoy a kind of a short tour. 「Gokusho and Reisen Light up Walk in 2010」will be held from November 3rd until November 7th.  I'd like to introduce you four shrines and temples, in which the event will be held.    2.Touchouji (The Tochouji Temple)  I was surprised that the largest wooden seated Buddha weighing 30 tons with a height of 10.8 meters was at the entrance as if it welcomed me to the temple.  I didn't know that there was the largest Buddha in a business district by Hakata station.   Let's visit the temple as there is no admission free.   You can go through the「Hell and Heaven tour」immediately under the Buddha.  Total darkness made me nervous and excited during 「the tour.」The 「Hell and Heaven tour」adds a charm to the Touchouji temple.    3.Myorakuji (The Myourakuji Temple)  Myorakuji was built in 1316(Showa 5) in the Kamakura period.  There was an eye-catching stone monument.  It said, The birthplace of Uiro.」 (a well-known sweet in Nagoya )」  When it comes to Uiro, it always reminds me of Nagoya.  It said that Uiro was the name for Chinese herbal medicines.  The Uiro derived its origin from Hakata.  「Hakata Bei」 is the mud walls embedded with broken roof tiles in the Sengoku-period and various other things. (There were lots of wars in the Sengoku-period)    Hakata Bei still remains.  I found Ebisu(the God of wealth and commerce) in the wall.   I couldn't help gazing at the wall.

 4.Jyotenji (The Jyotenji Temple) Jotenji was founded in 1242(Ninji 3) as a Zen temple by the reverend priest Shoichi Kokushi during the Kamakura period.   This is a site with a cavalcade of stone monuments for the birthplaces of some Japanese items.   First, the temple is the place where Udon and Soba noodles were introduced.   And it is also the birthplace for Manjyu cakes.  The Priest Shoichi Kokushi is said to have encouraged people to spread Manjyu cakes, Udon and Soba noodles as cooking methods, which use powder, while showing a milling process.   There must be something interesting here.  Hakata has been an Asian gateway all through the ages.    5.Kushida Jinjya (The Kushida Shrine) The shrine was built in 757(Tenpeihouji 1) as grand tutelary deity of Hakata.  It is the oldest in Hakata as well as the most histrorical.   The Kushida Shrine is not only the place to pray to the deity, but also the place to have notable features:  Kazariyama is a float over 10 meters with the statues of the God of the Wind and the Thunder.  (The God of wind is sticking out his tongue at the God of Thunder who is beating a drum.)  Etoehoban (Chinese zodiac with luck direction), and Meoto Icho ( a pair of Ginkgo trees) that may bring romance.  There are many long-nosed goblin masks painted red or black.   When the light-up event starts, the hall of worship will light up.  It will be beautiful.   6.Gokusho and Reisen Light-up Walk in 2010 The four temples and shrines will be elegantly illuminated.   Additionally, we have special opportunities to have the honor of seeing the hall of worship in the Kushida Jinjya, Jyotenji Hojyo, Kaizando, Tochoji Rokkakudo, and Myorakuji Kaizando.  Those areas are usually forbidden to enter.  Don't miss this opportunity.   There are Hakata Yoru Ichi (an open-air market at night) at the street before the Shotenji.   Food associated with Hakata such as Udon noodles and Manjyu cakes as well as traditional crafts will be sold.   A light-up concert for the classics will be held.  It must be a romantic event for comfortable autumn night.  11/3 – 11/7 (sun) 6 p.m – 9 p.m (The event wil be canceled only in case of heavy rain)  Same-day ticket : 800 yen;  advanced ticket : 600 yen (one set is four tickets;  each facility is on ticket;   all children must be accompanied by a parent. Inquiry : 092-711-4355 (Fukuokashi Promotion Department)

A Leisurely Trip through time Fukuoka's connection with the rest of Asia is not at all recent. In fact, Fukuokans have had contact with their Asian neighbors since ancient times. Walking through the city, you will come across places reminiscent of these historical ties. This column features an introduction to several such places. Why not take a trip back through time on your next stroll in Fukuoka?  Chapter Four Yaguramonato~The gate that protected Hakata in the Sengoku period (The Age of Civil Wars)~ Fujita park is located on the west side of the Hakata Ward Office.   You can find a secluded stone monument with「Yaguramotoato」 written on it at an approach of narrow street between the Fujita park and the Hakata Police Station.  Hakata was an autonomous city equivalent to Sakai in the Sengoku period.  Christian missionaries who visited Japan were surprised that Hakata looked like the city of Venice at the time. Luis Frois who was granted an audience with Nobunaga Oda (A military commander) described in his book,「Nihonshi that「People in this country were businessmen who were financially well-off in affluent circumstances」.   In the year of 1419(Ouei 26), Korea attacked Tsushima and is referred to as「Ouei no Gaiko.」 At that time, Korea was suffering from the attacks of the Wako (Japanese pirates) who looted food and trade goods and then went missing without a trace as fast as could.  The Koreans were most terrified by the people living on the sea in Tsushima.  Yoshimochi Ashikaga, the shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate, sent Mugairyogei, a monk of Hakata Nyorakuji(The Hakata Nyoraku temple), as an envoy and Yoshihisa Hirakata, a  Hakata merchant, as an assistant envoy to Korea in order to investigate the truth. Korea delegated Song Hee Gyung to Japan.  It is said that the gate was built on the street to protect the envoys from the pirates when the delegates visited Japan.   There was also another gate that was connected to other cities and a gateman was deployed in the latter half of the 16th century.  As the gates were indispensable to protect the autonomous city, wars sometimes caused the gates to shut down.   「Sekijyoshi」 a book that described locals in the Edo period, says that Usukiawanokami Shigetsugu, the Otomo's general, had built a fort at the place where the stone monument was located.  Later he established the gate on the south side of the monument by digging a moat in the early times of the Genki period (1579-1573). Although the name 「Yaguramonmachi」 was used as a reminder of the memory of the gate, now this area is named 「Hakataekimae 2 chome.」 So the stone monument is the only witness that reminds us of the autonomous town of Hakata.  References 「Sekijyoshi」 written by Genko Tsuda/ Genkan Tsuda / 1765/「Yomigaeru Chuseino Hakata」Asahishinbun Fukuoka Honbuhen  Ashi shobo 1990/「Zaikai Kyushu」 「Hakatagaku」 Yoko Takeno  2003/ May issue/「Nihonsh」 Luis Frois  Heibonsha  Toyobunko  1965

ASIANTOPICS Ajibi (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum) Exhibition Report Volume 3   The Asian Museum is not  simply the museum to see arts.   The museum offers artists and research workers from Asian countries to stay in Fukuoka in order to interact with citizens through exchange programs at workshops.  An exhibition that visitors can take a look back at the last 10 years since the museum opened is now being held.   What performance did the artists do in Fukuoka?   All about Fukuoka – The 10 years of FAAM Artist – in Residence Program  2010/09/30 (Thursday) – 2010/12/25 ( Sunday) Place  Asian gallery A At first, 「 All about Fukuoka 」 is the theme of the works on display now.  That is what the artists knew about Fukuoka during their stay in Fukuoka.  「 History class (Fukuoka)」 by Sutee Kunavichayanout was created by carving illustrations and characters of her images on the surface of the desks after she had interviews with people about the Great Fukuoka Air Raids.  She used desks from the arts and crafts class at the now closed Ohama elementary school, and locals also participated.   Using papers and pencils, you have a chance to learn about the Great Fukuoka Air Raids by transferring those illustrations and characters to paper by pencil.   Next  corner「People in Fukuoka」shows portraits, pictures, and movie images on people in the city.  「Swing – Mother's Mirror 」 by Kim Young Jim  was a work shot using 229 women living in the city.  Women in different generation ranging from girls to the elderly were calling 「Mom」 or  somebody's name as if they were looking for them, while going on a swing.  In the center of the movie, the swing that was rocking back and forth looked just like a clock ticking down.  The image of the swing made me feel that I stepped into different space and time.  I really realized that the works would bring out the full potential of each individual as the image made by each woman  was very appealing.   Editor s notes This corner shows the history and the people in Fukuoka through the eyes of foreign artists.   The works give us opportunities to see the city in a different a different light.   I was surprised by images that many people in the city had joined.  I'd like to join 「the works」 since the exchange programs will be continued.  Why don't you join them?  The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum All about Fukuoka – The 10 years of FAAM Artist – in Residence Program  Admission fee:  Asia gallery / Adult 200 yen/  high-school and older  150 yen / children under 15  free. Hours  10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays

ASIAN TAKARABAKO Asian Asian Column Volume 2  Okushidasan  (The Kushida shrine is warmly referred to as Okushidasan)is an international shrine   I feel myself compelled to draw a paper fortune whenever I visit the shrine.  The grand tutelary shrine of Hakaka, is widely called「Okushidasan.」   Aside from Japanese, the shrine has paper fortunes written in English, Chinese, and Korean.  Do you know that ?   Lately, the number of foreign tourists has sharply increased in Fukuoka-city. 「If there is something that promotes the tourism industry in Fukuoka-city...」 said a member of the City Tourism and Promotion Division.  At that same moment, the shrine placed paper fortunes in English on October, 2008 and then Korean and Chinese versions were added.  As I had little chance to draw the paper fortune written in foreign languages, I tried.  (I knew I couldn't read them, but each of them cost only 30 yen.  It's affordable.)  In fact, the paper fortune in English said 「lucky,」 and the Chinese and Korean said,「a good fortune.」 There were many paper fortunes in other languages tied to the small rope.  Some took it with them as a memory or souvenir of Hakata.  Paper fortunes seem popular among foreigners too!  A story of each country about paper fortunes.  I was wondering if there would be paper fortunes in foreign countries.   So I asked foreigners in the editorial division about paper fortunes in their countries.    China  You can draw paper fortunes in the southern part of China where Buddhism is catching on.   In the northern part of China like Beijing, paper fortunes have never been seen.   In China, people shake a bamboo tube containing long sticks with numbers until one falls out, while concentrating on their wishes.   A monk will explain what the number means.  Mr. T from Hong Kong  Korea There is no paper fortune at all.  But Korean people seem to believe fortune- telling more than Japanese people do.  For example, when it comes to the date of the wedding or move-out day, people leave it up to a fortune-teller.  Many young people believe that couples who go on a date on the first snow become happy.  Taegu Park hyunchul   

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