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Sapporo Film and Video Equipment Museum / 札幌映像機材博物館


When Markus Nornes and I published the Research Guide to Japanese Film Studies in 2009 (a Japanese translation came out in 2016), we tried to offer in one section a comprehensive guide to facilities for pursing research on film in Japan. A good number of them we regularly utilized, and thus offered our hands-on experience with how to use them, while others we researched by visiting or through other means. As with any synchronic record of the state of a field, a list of such facilities can soon begin to age, as institutions change, appear, or disappear. Some of the places we described sadly no longer exist, but thankfully new institutions have been founded as well. The possibility of a new edition of the Research Guide is very much on our mind, so we regularly visit new places when we can. I sometimes write about them on this blog, such as when I introduced the Ichikawa Kon Memorial Room a while back. 


So when I visited Hokkaido this summer, I made a point of scouting out the Sapporo Film and Video Equipment Museum (that's my translation of 札幌映像機材博物館). Originally created in Noboribetsu by a former film cameraman, Yamamoto Bin, it moved to Sapporo last year into a nondescript building in a nondescript section of town in the Shiroishi neighborhood. Not all of it is organized but I tend to agree with the museum head that there is really nothing like this in all of Japan. There are just hundreds of examples of film and video equipment, from cameras, film viewers, editing machines (Steenbecks, etc.), and projectors, to sound recorders, video cameras, and editing decks. There are so many 8mm cameras they are literally in a pile. One of the largest items is a Panther crane. Many of the main items have display descriptions (though in Japanese) to help the visitor understand their significance.

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