「What’s up with the DGJ?」 The Directors Guild of Japan 80th Anniversary Commemorative Events

Founding members of the DGJ (1936, at Atami Kinjokan) (Back row, from left) Yamamoto Kajiro, Gosho Heinosuke, Itami Mansaku, Naruse Mikio, Suzuki Shigeyoshi, Uchida Tomu (Middle row) Kinugasa Teinosuke, Ozu Yasujiro, Inoue Kintaro, Mizoguchi Kenji (Front row) Tasaka Tomotaka, Shimizu Hiroshi, Yamanaka Sadao, Abe Yutaka, Murata Minoru, Ikeda Yoshinobu, Shimazu Yasujiro, Ushihara Kiyohiko

A Celebration of Film in Asakusa!

Greetings. We express our thanks for your continuing support of our Guild’s activities.

On February 26, 2016 the Directors Guild of Japan will celebrate its 80th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, the DGJ will host a symposium, a party, and a film series from February 26 to 28, in Asakusa, the birthplace of Japan’s film theaters. The events as a whole will take place under the title, What’s up with the DGJ?

Along with the opening of the first commercial movie theater, the Denkikan, in 1903, Asakusa flourished as a center of popular entertainment for many decades. However, on October 21, 2012, the last silver screen in Asakusa came down.

That being the case, we decided to turn Asakusa into a movie town once again, through our own efforts, to open the “DGJ Theater” for admission-free screenings and talks, placing the power of film and the power of the directors who make those films center stage.

At the same time, we must always be sensitive to the future of film. Anyone is free to make films, and there are always places to show films freely. In the present era, people are finding ways to enjoy films other than watching them in theaters. Principles like the film director’s right to copyright and freedom of expression must be defended in any era, but we are also proud to have the flexibility to respond to the times. Building on our history of 80 years, we hope to have full discussion of these issues at our symposium.

What is a film? What is a film director? And what’s up with the association of directors, the DGJ? We hope to examine these questions and, together with our many friends who has been inspired by the movies, to have intense discussions and passionate fun.

Please share the schedule of What’s up with the DGJ? events widely. We look forward to your participation.

With best regards,

Sai Yoichi, president

Isaka Satoshi, event committee chair

Directors Guild of Japan


What’s up with the DGJ?

Schedule of Events

  • Symposium: What’s up with the DGJ?

February 26 (Friday) 16:30–18:00          Place: Asakusa View Hotel 3rd floor

Panelists (scheduled)

Ito Shintaro (Member, House of Representatives; Secy-genl, Diet Members League for Arts and Culture)

Sugimoto Seiji (Niko Niko Video)

Noda Seiko (Member, House of Representatives; Chair, Diet Members League for Films)

Fukui Kensaku (attorney, Nihon University visiting professor [copyright])

Kajima Shunichi (DGJ director; copyright committee chair)

MC Sai Yoichi (DGJ president)


Ours is an era of diversification in film production and distribution, while music and film copyright violations are rampant on the Internet, generating the need to reform the system of copyright of film and video images. TPP-induced changes in copyright law are also just around the corner.

The DGJ seeks a free exchange of opinion among all the stakeholders, and the unbounded development of the film and video industry, based on mutual recognition of benefits. We hope the symposium will produce future-oriented perspectives on the issues.


  • Party Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of the DGJ

February 26 (Friday) 19:00–21:00 Place: Asakusa View Hotel 4th floor (By invitation)

After the symposium, there will be a party at the same hotel to celebrate the 80th anniversary. The MCs will be Okuda Eiji and Tanaka Minami. A wide range of actors who have graced the silver screen and a full lineup from the world of Japanese film will come together to revive the high life of Asakusa and mark the anniversary in splendor.


  • Film screenings “The DGJ Theater”

February 27 (Sat.) & 28 (Sun.) Place: Kaminari 5656 Kaikan • Asakusa Hanayashiki

Free admission, registration by postcard (see DGJ Website for details)

Films range from classics set in Asakusa, to Ultraman and Kamen Rider films, as well as silent films with benshi. A showcase of films by DGJ directors. Guest appearances by directors and actors. Talk shows, concerts, and live performance—a vibrant film festival suited to Asakusa, home of popular entertainment.

(Organized by the Directors Guild of Japan, with support from Taito City)

For more information and interview requests, contact the DGJ office:

03-3461-4411 (tel)   03-3461-4457 (fax)   E-mail: y.namba@dgj.or.jp