Dramatic Science! Yamagata Science Theater
  • Science as an Art: The Amusing World of Jean Painlevé
  • Palpable Stirrings of Science: A Selection of “Culture Films” from the German UFA
  • Cosmologist of Life: 100 Years of Higuchi Genichiro
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 1: Watch! Learn! Understand!
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 2: The Beauty of Nature
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 3: Recording Creatures
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 4: Space Mission!
  • Japanese Masterpiece Selection 5: Science in Our Daily Lives
  • E program   Japanese Masterpiece Selection 2: The Beauty of Nature

    Featuring, among other things, the delicate beauty emanating from snow crystals and the pulsation of life transmitted by cell division, this is a program that entrances us with the beautiful shapes to which nature gives birth.

    - Snow Crystals (prewar version)

    (“Yuki no kessho”)

    JAPAN / 1939 / English / B&W / Video (Original: 16mm) / 13 min

    Director, Photography: Yoshino Keiji
    Technical Advisor: Nakaya Ukichiro
    Assistant Photographer: Oguchi Teizo
    Production Company: Toho Film Co., Ltd.
    Source: Nonaka Kazutaka
    With the assistance of Nippon Eiga Shinsha

    - Highly appraised in overseas academic conferences, this is a film of Hokkaido University “Professor of Snow” Nakaya Ukichiro’s (1900–1962) research in a cryogenic laboratory. Cinematographer Yoshino Keiji (1906–1972), who came from narrative film, photographed the figures of the glasswork-like snow crystals. In later years he was a successful producer for Iwanami Productions.

    - The Birth of Frogs

    (“Kaeru no hassei”)

    JAPAN / 1955 / Japanese / B&W / 16mm / 11 min

    Director, Photography: Yoshida Rokuro
    Script: Yoshida Rokuro, Oguchi Hachiro
    Producer: Yoshino Keiji
    Production Company: Iwanami Productions
    Planning, Source: Kyohai Educational Media, Inc.

    Observe what it looks like on film when a frog is brought into being, starting as an egg and passing through the tadpole stage. The sight of egg cells splitting one after the next is movingly beautiful. Yoshida Rokuro (1919–1995), who worked as Yoshino Keiji’s assistant, produced many of the wonderful Iwanami and Toei films that capture the microscopic world.

    - Marine Snow: The Origin of Oil

    (“Marin Snow: Sekiyu no kigen”)

    JAPAN / 1960 / Japanese / Color / Video (Original: 35mm) / 25 min

    Directors: Noda Shinkichi, Onuma Tetsuro
    Script: Yoshimi Yutaka
    Director of Photography: Kobayashi Yonesaku
    Photography: Kasuga Tomoyoshi, Toyooka Sadao
    Music: Mamiya Michio
    Commentary: Takashima Yo
    Producer: Okada Sozo
    Planning: Maruzen Oil (now Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd.)
    Production Company: Tokyo Cinema Co., Inc.
    Source: TokyoCinema Inc.

    This work, featuring color film of the beautiful sight of sea plankton, has been praised all over the world. Tokyo Cinema, established by Okada Sozo (1903–1983), brought together microscopy expert Kobayashi Yonesaku (1905–2005) and other excellent staff and led the world of science cinema through the 1950s and 60s.

    - The Bone II

    JAPAN / 1986 / Japanese / Color / Video (Original: 16mm) / 22 min

    Director: Kaneko Fumio
    Script: Funakoshi Mieko
    Photography: Sakamoto Yuzuru, Kaneko Fumio
    Music: Ichiyanagi Toshi
    Narrator: Kobayashi Kyoji
    Scientific Advisor: Kumegawa Masayoshi
    Producer: Kobayashi Yonesaku
    Planning: Teijin; Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
    Production Company: Yone Production Co., Ltd.
    Source: Science Film Museum (NPO)

    Not only do they serve to support the body, bones also serve as a repository of calcium. Explore how bones receive the hormonal information that the body gives off, and how the workings of the bones maintain the balance of the internal system. A triumphant medical movie by Yone Productions Co., a spinoff of Tokyo Cinema.

    - A Grain of Barley

    (“Hitotsubu no mugi”)

    JAPAN / 1962 / Japanese / Color / 35mm / 28 min

    Director, Script: Matsukawa Yasuo
    Photography: Sato Masamichi
    Time-Lapse Photography: Suzuki Kiyoji
    Illustrations: Kajikawa Katsuyoshi
    Music: Mamiya Michio
    Narrator: Yagi Jiro
    Supervisor: Kano Ryuichi
    Planning: Asahi Breweries, Ltd.
    Production Company: Nippon Sangyo Eiga Center, Ltd.
    Source: Crix, National Film Center

    Treating business endeavors to breed barley for beer, exactly the kind of theme we would expect from the Golden Age of PR movies, this singular work ventures into that phenomenon of life known as genetics. This was a debut work of substance for Matsukawa Yasuo (1931–2006), a rare auteur who continued to make visual poetry until his passing last year.