The Makino Collection (牧野コレクション)

On November 11, 2011, The Makino Collection Symposium,
"The Makino Collection at Columbia: the Present and Future of an Archive," was held at Columbia University.
Presentations from the symposium can now be viewed online!
For program details and to watch the online presentations on YouTube or Academic Commons, visit the Makino Collection Symposium webpage.

"Hachinosū no kodomo" scrapbook and flier for the film, "Hachinosū no kodomo"/蜂の巣の子供たち/"Children of the Beehive," Directed by Shimizu Hiroshi, 1948, Makino Collection

The Makino Mamoru Collection on the History of East Asian Film (Makino Collection/牧野コレクション) was purchased by Columbia University in 2006, processing began in September 2008, and continues today. The collection focuses on print materials mostly related to Japanese film that were collected over the course of fifty years by former documentary filmmaker and film researcher, Makino Mamoru.

Mr. Makino began collecting materials related to Japanese documentary film, and then expanded his collection to cover film theory, movements, censorship, and other non-film film-related materials.  These include such themes as 1930s modernism, the proletarian film movement (Prokino), and prewar film regulations.  They cover various genres of film, including experimental film, educational film, documentary film, news film, amateur film, and animated film, among many others. 

The Collection contains over 1,000 pre-war scenarios, valuable because many are handwritten, and may include several versions of the same script or even related storyboards, sketches, or photographs (see below).  In addition, there are over 3,000 leaflets or handbills (chirashi) from regional movie theaters (more than 70 theaters, mostly in Tokyo) from the 1910s through 1940s.  Film production companies and movie theaters relied on the distribution of these handbills or programs to promote their films, enticing viewers to theaters and notifying them of weekly schedules. 

Mr. Makino developed an early interest in film due to his purchase of a book written by Charlie Chaplin in a used bookstore.  Prewar materials in the Collection therefore include items related to Charlie Chaplin and his Japanese assistant, Kono Toraichi.  In addition, the Makino Collection contains valuable company documents and reports relating to major Japanese film production companies (film studios) including Tōhō (P.C.L.), Shōchiku, Nikkatsu, and independent film studios. It also has the complete works and personal collections of film critics, including Kishi Matsuo, Tanaka Jun’ichirō, Iwasaki Akira, Iijima Tadashi, and Yodogawa Nagaharu.  There are also photographs and albums once belonging to cameramen such as Miki Shigeru and Kikuchi Shū and materials related to the films they worked on with the documentary filmmaker Kamei Fumio. There are full runs of commercial film magazines and issues of harder to obtain minor film publications such as coterie magazines, university film research journals, and amateur film publications (kogata eiga).

Japan has cultivated a vibrant print culture related to cinema since the beginning of Japanese film production over a century ago.  Many of the print materials found in the Makino Collection - books, magazines, film scenarios, company documents, and ephemera - date to the early twentieth century when books and critical reviews about cinema proliferated.  Due to their ephemeral nature and association with popular culture, many of the texts and promotional materials from early Japanese cinema production and distribution were not collected by libraries and archives. Although mainly a collection of Japanese film materials, Mr. Makino broadened his collection to include sources from Okinawa, China, Taiwan, the former colony of Manchuria, and South Korea. It also includes postwar materials, film theory, movie theater programs and when fully archived will be a useful resource for those interested in film and history more broadly.

Processing the Makino Collection

Makino Boxes at ReCAP Makino Boxes at ReCAP await processing
Processed Makino Boxes Processed Makino Boxes Await Pickup by ReCAP

How Processing Works

8_miri_hacchan comic

There were 906 boxes (approximately 906 cubic feet in total) in all when the Makino Boxes first arrived at our off-site library shelving facility (ReCAP).  These boxes contain approximately 14,576 volumes of books, 10,028 volumes of magazines, 1,805 miscellaneous files (most containing multiple items per file), and about 341 other items of various formats – VHS videotapes (291), posters (over 60), and sound recordings (8).  The total estimate for the collection is approximately 80,000 items.

Processing began with the archival materials first, with monographs to be cataloged for the general stacks at a later date.  Journals are considered part of the archival materials, while reprinted and bound journals are treated as monographs to be cataloged. 

Makino Collection boxes are located at ReCAP, Columbia University Libraries' shared off-campus shelving facility in New Jersey, and requested to be brought to Starr Library for folder level archival processing.  Most of the materials will ultimately be stored in ReCAP, with special archival items remaining at Starr Library and monographs cataloged for the general stacks or ReCAP. At the same time that the Collection is physically arranged and re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes, an Arrangement draft is frequently updated to organize the collection.   Folder level content information is entered into Excel files (with series descriptions, scope and content notes, and folder listings).  These will ultimately be linked to the Finding Aid.

As of May 2012, PORTIONS OF THE FINDING AID can be viewed here, but they have been updated since. Click on the names of the Excel Files you wish to open (These are Microsoft Excel 2010 versions). Please check with the Archivist, Miki Masuda (, to arrange a time to see items in the Collection or for more recent versions of the finding aid.

Draft Arrangement for the Makino Collection (June 2011)

Excel Files for the Makino Collection: (for more recent versions, please contact the archivist)
Materials located on-site, request in Special Collections Reading Room
Scenarios, alphabetical listing by title
Scenarios, Ikeda Tadao/池田忠雄 (Series 5 Subseries 1)
Scenarios, Inoue Kintarō/井上金太郎 (Series 5 Subseries 2)
Scenarios, Other Screenwriters/Directors (Series 5 Subseries 3)
Scenarios, Censored Scenarios (Series 5 Subseries 4)
Scenarios, Eiga Setsumei Daihon (Series 5 Subseries 5)
Scenarios, Film Studios - Daiei (Series 5 Subseries 6)
Scenarios, Film Studios - Nikkatsu (Series 5 Subseries 7)
Scenarios, Film Studios - Shochiku (Series 5 Subseries 8)
Scenarios, Film Studios - Toei (Series 5 Subseries 9)
Scenarios, Film Studios - Toho (Series 5 Subseries 10)
Movie Theater Handbills - prewar (chirashi) (Series 12)
Handbills for Vaudeville Shows and Revues (chirashi) Series 13)

Materials located at ReCAP take 1 to 3 days to arrive at Starr Library. They must be requested with assistance from library staff.
Amateur Films, Small-gauge Films (kogata eiga) (Series 6 Subseries 1)
Animated films and comics (manga) (Series 6 Subseries 2)
Censorship (Series 6 Subseries 5), by chronological order
Documentary Film (Series 6 Subseries 7)
Film School Textbooks and Shooting Techniques (Series 6 Subseries 11)
Music Songbooks (Series 6 Subseries 13)
Proletarian Film (Series 6 Subseries 16)
University Files and Coterie Magazines (dojinshi) (Series 6 Subseries 20)
Museums, Exhibitions, Film Catalogs (Series 15)
Film Festivals (Series 16)


Using the Makino Collection


Patrons currently learn about materials in this collection through direct contact with the Archivist (through e-mail, phone, or library visits).  As of May 2012, patrons may also search the draft of the finding aid to obtain box numbers for items that have been processed and then contact the Archivist (see above for the PDF of the finding aid). Patrons visit the Kress Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room when it is open to use Makino Collection archival materials that are on-site.  Once materials are processed and listed in the online finding aid, patrons will request most of the archival materials from ReCAP and use them in the Kress Rare Books and Special Collections Reading Room when open. The Makino Collection observes Starr Library Special Collections procedures for photocopy requests. To determine if copying materials in the Makino Collection violates copyright law, see The Copyright Advisory Office webpage.

Although the Collection is in process, patrons may access the Makino Collection at Starr Library in consultation with library staff.  Patrons must have a Columbia University ID Card or obtain permission through the Library Information Office (LIO).  Interested patrons should contact the archivist, Miki Masuda ( to arrange a visit.


Saiyūki/西遊記 sketch from the film, Saiyūki/西遊記, undated, Makino Collection
photograph from Saiyūki/西遊記 photograph from the film, Saiyūki/西遊記, undated, Makino Collection

Symposium - The Makino Collection at Columbia


November 11, 2011:
"The Makino Collection at Columbia: the Present and Future of an Archive."
For information about the symposium, please visit the Makino Collection Symposium web page.
Online presentations are now available to watch on Youtube! Or, Academic Commons (Columbia's Open Access Forum)

handbills_Musashino Weekly

Makino Collection BLOG

For announcements and comments on the Makino Collection, check out the Makino Collection Blog!

Links related to the Makino Collection

Prewar Proletarian Film Movements Collection
Center for Japanese Studies - Publications, The University of Michigan, Edited by Abé Mark Nornes and Makino Mamoru, with archival materials from the Makino Collection

More ideas for the Makino Collection? Let us know!

Makino Mamoru Makino Mamoru with his collection prior to its arrival at Columbia University
Makino Mamoru in front of his home in Tokyo, 2012 Makino Mamoru, Tokyo, June 2012