Founded in 1912, Nikkatsu is Japan’s oldest motion picture studio, but in the industry re-organization during WWII, it was forced to merge its production facilities into Daiei, though managed to retain a separate identity as a theatre management company.
In the early post-war period, Nikkatsu returned to prosperity by screening Hollywood films in its theaters. Starved for entertainment and wowed by Hollywood glamor and production values, Japanese audiences crowded in, doubling the box office for foreign films btw 1951 and 1953, and Nikkatsu decided in 1953 that the time was ripe to re-enter production. But it was not until 1956 it produced its first mega-hit and launched its first real star. Continue reading