- only japanese movies
- no foreign posters (must be from japan)
- preferably old (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s)
- no upscaled shit
- if you have a better version please post it
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
100 Monsters (Yôkai hyaku monogatari) (1968, Japan)
Widow's Boarding House- Scent of Orgasm (Mibojin Geshuku- Hatsunaki) (1979, Japan)
Toho Co. was the major player in live Japanese theater during the period these Takarazuka School musical notes were appearing on their movie posters. Their nearest rival was Shochiuku, which had taken control of all the (major) Kabuki venues. Toho, which operated seven live stages during this time frame, was more focused on modern fare. The studio was the first in Japan to stage a western style musical, in this case MY FAIR LADY, with an all Japanese cast, and western setting in 1963. This proved so successful that Toho built the iconic Imperial Theater in 1966 primarily as a venue for similar, albeit grander Japanese productions of western favorites.
Wanting to open the Imperial with a sure fire hit, the studio made history by being the only theatrical operation in the world to successfully negotiate a deal with the estate of Margret Mitchell for the rights to mount a stage version of GONE WITH THE WIND. The story was divided into two shows, with part one running about five hours! This ran for 197 shows over a five month period. The first part ended with the destruction of Atlanta, and here we see a wonderful example of the synergy Toho's Co. had developed between its film and theatrical divisions. In order to create this scene on stage, a miniature set of civil war era Atlanta was constructed and burned, on film on a sound stage at Toho under the technical direction of SFX master Eiji Tsuburaya. A rear screen projection set-up was artfully constructed into the stage setting, and one of the most famous scenes from the MGM film version was recreated before a live audience, providing what was considered by many to be the highlight of the production.
Part two debuted the following Summer (part one had opened in November 1966), ran for four hours and played for four months. Toho created a third version which edited the two down to six hours and turned it into a musical, via the talents of an established Broadway veteran Harold Rome, who had previously turned down an offer to turn the story into a stage musical by no less than David O. Selznick. While this collaboration between east and west was not without its share of cultural confusion and style of operations related problems, the final result was another hit. This led to Toho Co.'s successful productions of shows including, THE KING AND I, MAN OF LA MANCHA and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.
So I suspect that these Takarazuka School musical notes on Toho posters during this busy 60s era of theatrical innovation were a way of celebrating and promoting Ichizo Kobayashi's entrepreneurial vision, of providing the Japanese public, the customers of his Hankyu Electric trains, with an alternative to more traditional forms of live Japanese theatre, an effort that was just part of a vision that helped build a middle class by providing the populace with transport, goods and entertainment, via his trains, department stores and theatrical endeavors. Efforts that paid rewards with the establishment of the Takarazuka Revue in 1913, and were still going strong in the 1960s, as the company continued to innovate and expand. Even today Live theatre remains a very respected part of the company's operations.
Most of the information here was uncovered via material written by Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. in the book Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (click for more info). I also looked at Stuart Galbraith's book on Toho which goes into great detail about Kobayashi and the evolution of his theatrical ideas from nickelodeons forward.