Nikkatsu Corporation

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by
kidinbed, Lazlow, Nova and Logohub

Captures by
kidinbed, Lazlow, Nova, Logohub, MizukiAccent48 and Henrynguye5

Editions by
MizukiAccent48 and others

Video captures courtesy of
shimomov, Peakpasha, Logohub, LogicSmash, EnormousRat, Moe Szyslak (a.k.a. CenturyUniversalify), Nova, szjdfgsALT, ifrequire, and LogosForTheWin


The Nikkatsu Corporation was founded on September 10, 1912, when Yoshizawa Shōten, Yokota Shōkai, Fukuhōdō and M. Pathe, merged to form Nippon Katsudō Shashin, making it Japan's first film studio and one of the oldest film studios still in operation today.

Nikkatsu was one of the most popular Japanese film studios after the American Occupation (alongside Daiei, Shochiku, Toho, and Toei). They gained fame in the 1960's when they produced big-budget films about the yakuza (Japanese organized crime), in addition to adult films such as the Roman Porn series.

On July 1, 1993, Nikkatsu declared bankruptcy[1], but Namco invested 3 billion yen in the company in December.[2] Nikkatsu eventually became a wholly owned subsidiary of Namco in 1997.[3] They were later sold off to Index Holdings in 2005 as a result of Namco's merger with Bandai.

1st Logo (September 17, 1925)

Nikkatsu (1925).jpeg

Logo: On a black background, we see a silhouette of a thick "N" with a "K" inside on a circle with two plant-like objects on both sides. The company's name is above and below the logo.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: So far spotted on Furusato No Uta. Likely appeared on other films from the time period.

2nd Logo (1928)

3rd Logo (1935-1937)


Logo: The bunched-up "NK" inside the white circle outline (the Nikkatsu emblem) is on a gray background with the company's name under it.

Technique: Model work.

Music/Sounds: None, or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Extremely rare. [Examples?]

4th Logo (1937-1940)

Logo: Same as before, only the background now has vertical stripes.

Technique: Model work.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Extremely rare. [Examples?]

5th Logo (1954-1955)

Logo: Same as before, but now the emblem looks as if it was hewn out of rock. The emblem is smooth, while the background is rough.

Technique: Model work.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Extremely rare. [Examples?]

6th Logo (1954-1956)

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Logo: Same as the last logo, but on a white wood-like background and with the addition of the kanji "製作".


  • On color movies, the emblem is red.
  • On its CinemaScope movies, the text is larger and more spaced.
  • There is a distribution variant with the "Production" replaced with "Distribution".

Technique: Model work.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Appeared on yakuza films of the time period, like Buta to Gunkan. The "Distribution" variant is rare and was spotted on some films, like Fuji sancho and Shirotori (Taking the Castle), and the color variant is seen on many movies by the company since 50s. It was also seen on The Burmese Harp.

7th Logo (1957?-1979?)

Logo: On a background with different colored moving spikes, we see the Nikkatsu "NK", below it is the kanji "日活株式会社製作" (translation: "Produced by Nikkatsu Corporation").


  • Starting in 1970, the "NK" is in metallic gold.
  • The trailer of Eagle and Hawk has the inverted moving spikes in the logo.

Technique: Live-action.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Uncommon, bordering on rare.

  • It can be seen on films from the time period, such as the Roman Porn films, Danger Pays, and Gappa: The Triphibian Monster, among other things.
  • The 1957 variant can be found on a trailer of The Eagle and the Hawk.

8th Logo (1979-1982)

Nikkastu (1979-1982).jpg

Logo: Essentially an updated version of the previous logo. On a background with blue moving spikes, the abstract N in red and orange colors appears turning up, and Japanese text appears below.

Technique: Live-action.

Music/Sounds: None, or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Rare. [Examples?]

9th Logo (1982-1985?)

Nikkastu (1982-1985).jpg

Logo: On a sunset backdrop with some waves, we see the red Nikkatsu logo fading in.

Variant: A 70th anniversary variant exists.

Technique: Live-action mixed with camera-controlled animation.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Rare. Seen on some films around the time period, such as Jealousy Game. The 70th anniversary variant was discovered on said film.

10th Logo (1985-1988)

Nikkastu (1985-1988).jpg

Logo: We start in a side view of an updated version of the same backdrop as before, and we see the Abstract N in gold zooming in. The water then changes to grass, and that changes to snow. The Japanese text then fades in.

Variant: A version exists where after the logo, two silver halves of a letter "X" zoom in, combine, and glow.

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Music/Sounds: A calm synth tune combined with bass.

Music/Sounds Variant:

  • There's also a more relaxing tune done fully in synth.
  • On the variant, a "ding" like sound, accompanied by a female announcer saying "Presenting to you the most exciting...", when the halves of the "X" combine, a transformation-like sound is heard, then the announcer says "Nikkatsu Roman X-rated films."

Availability: Rare. Might have been seen on their films from the time period. [Examples?]

  • The "Roman X" variant was discovered on Hako no naka no onna: Shojo ikenie.

11th Logo (August 27, 1988)

Logo: Following the Ropponica logo, we see two pieces of text: 配給 シネ・ロッポニカ (Distribution: Cine Ropponica) and 製作 にっかつ (Produced by Nikkatsu), with the latter having a small Nikkatsu print logo next to the "Nikkatsu" text.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Only known to appear on Akutoku no sakae.

12th Logo (September 15, 1992)

Nikkatsu (1992).jpg

Logo: The camera pans away from the clouds to reveal a CGI red Nikkatsu logo. Once the camera settles in its position, "にっかつ" zooms in below the logo.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Only known to appear on The Setting Sun.

13th Logo (possible 14th logo placeholder) (April 7, 1998)

Nikkatsu Corporation (1998 - Ayane's High Kick - Central Park Media print).png

Logo: On a blue background, the white Japanese text "日活株式会社" in Kozuka Mincho Pro Bold wipes in through segments, then, its English translation "NIKKATSU CORPORATION" in Adobe Garamond Pro Bold fades in below.

Technique: Basic computer editing effects.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Only known to appear on Central Park Media's release of Ayane's High Kick.

14th Logo (May 27, 2000?-October 19, 2004?)

Nikkatsu Corporation (2002).jpg

Logo: On a grey background, we see a rotating chain of several spike-like metal/aluminum pieces. The text "NIKKATSU CORPORATION", and "日活" on top, both in the same fonts as before, fade in.


  • This logo is based on "Cycle", which was shown at SIGGRAPH 2000.
  • The objects in this logo are a metaphor for people who live and work in the Tokyo area. "These people are extremely busy, due to daily tedious, exhausting tasks. A sudden explosion sets them free for awhile, but succeeding days are as oppressive as ever".

Variant: A short variant for trailers exists.

Technique: CGI animation by Nobuo Takahashi.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Ultra rare. It is known to appear on Freeze Me, The Sea is Watching, and EX-Driver the Movie.

15th (known) Logo (January 27, 2007-)

Logo: We start near moving copper rods and move further to reveal the inner structure of a film projector while a filmstrip (of the logo's final product) is running. Then we zoom out into the light, a folded and joined "NK" figure with the black text "NIKKATSU" in Univers below it fly into the center, and are surrounded by trembling light with a brown background.


  • In its early life, "AN INDEX GROUP COMPANY" in black that fades in below the logo after it flies in.
  • Additionally, the logo sometimes has the word "SINCE 1912" in black do the same thing as the "AN INDEX GROUP COMPANY" byline variant.
  • A variant exists where in the beginning, we see a black background with the number "1O" stays on a blue line, and the number "O" in the left has legs and has it's right foot on a stair. Above the number "1O" is the text "since 1912". And below all of it, we see the word "新たなるステージへ" ("To a new stage") in white sandwiched by two lines of white dots. Then shortly after, everything fades into a dawn over a forest, the sun gets brighter, a lot of trees and a river start to appear, and the "NK" figure with word "NIKKATSU" in white, the small "SINCE 1912" word in white below, and "100th Anniversary" in white under "SINCE 1912" fade in at the center of the screen. And after that, the "SINCE 1912" variant plays. This was made for Nikkatsu's 100th anniversary in 2012.
  • There's a still variant which has the print logo on a black background.
  • There's a short variant where the logo is cut to its last few seconds.

Technique: CGI animation.

Music/Sounds: At the beginning, we hear the sound of a film projector running. Then, a soft piano/violin soundtrack plays over when we move further to the film projector, while at the same time still keeps the projector sounds. After that, when we zoom into the light, a short piano chime is played over.

Availability: Current. Seen on the studio's newer productions, such as Yatterman (2009) and Alien vs Ninja.

  • The 100th anniversary variant can be seen on Tokyo Tribe and Killers, both of which are oddly from 2014, 2 years after the 100th anniversary.

Legacy: Thanks to the animation and the soundtrack, this is seen as one of the greatest logos from Japan.


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