Toei Kyoto Movie Studios, Kyoto, c. 1960.

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Toei Kyoto Movie Studios, Kyoto, c. 1960.

From the wiki: “Uzumasa, a neighborhood in Kyoto, was the ‘Hollywood’ of the Japanese motion picture industry. The first motion picture facility in the area was built nearby in a neglected bamboo forest in 1926 by Bando Tsumasaburo. The original studio was called ‘Bantsuma Productions’ but was renamed several times until the end of the WWII, when it became ‘Toei Studios Kyoto’.

“Toward the end of the WWII, the studio was forced into dormancy due to government wartime restrictions. In 1947, feature film production was resumed on the lot as the ‘Toyoko Motion Picture Company’. In 1951, Toyoko Eiga, Oizumi Eiga and Tokyo Eiga Haikyu were consolidated under Toei Company Limited; Toyoko Eiga Studios was renamed Toei Studios Kyoto. Soon, Toei rose to the top of domestic box office sales, with its samurai fiction becoming popular with everyone from children to senior citizens.

“During Toei’s 1950s-1960s heydays, the studio produced such masterpieces as Blood Pear Fuji and Miyamoto Musashi. Toei also produced Japan’s first ‘wide-scope movie’ (CinemaScope) in 1957, the same year the studio was also tops at the box-office among the six major movie studios (including Toho).”

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