1921 (Taisho 10) On Thursday, August 18, actresses and staff members of Kokkatsu (Kokusai Katsuei), a film production company, held an unusual speech in which they criticized the company. Kokusai Katsuei was a new film company established 1 and a half years ago in December 1919. It was established by the so-called “bubble gentlemen” who raised money during the boom of World War I and the war boom. The president is Kisaburo KOBAYASHI who used to work at Nikkatsu.
With two studios in Sugamo and Tsunohazu, we will be able to mass-produce as many as 120 films in 2 years’ time. However, due to the management turmoil and the economic downturn caused by the postwar recession, the business situation has come to the surface and the closure of Tsunohazu Studio was decided. It seems that Tsunohazu Studio was in 12 companies in current Nishi-Shinjuku. All the employees of this studio were fired, but the employees barricaded themselves in the studio and resisted.
Actresses also took part in the speech to appeal to the general public. Speeches are very popular because actresses are on the podium. Popular actresses including Shizuko Miyabe and Takeko Otochi took the stage and demanded the withdrawal of the closure of Tsunohazu Studio and better treatment. However, these appeals were not received, and Kokusai Katsuei’s management did not turn around either, leading to its bankruptcy in 1925.
There is one employee of Kokusai Katsuei who deserves attention at that time. This is Eiji Tsuburaya, who used to work as a photography engineer in the photography department. He was 20 years old at the time. Eiji TSUBURAYA later moved to Shochiku, and in 1933 (Showa 7), at the age of 32, he moved to Nikkatsu. I was shocked by the American movie “King Kong” that was released this year. During World War II, he was involved in the filming of many national films at Toho, and after the war, in the 1954 years (Showa 29) he produced “Godzilla,” which was an unprecedented hit. He also made his way into television and became the creator of Ultraman. Tsuburaya died in 1970 at the age of 68.