Shochiku

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
kidinbed, StephenCezar15, Yukabacera, Liwakip, Gilblitz112, Logohub, jupiterboy, DatuDimatablan

Editions by
DatuDimatablan

Video captures courtesy of
quaestor1968, Nlangkirby135, ArhiVid, TEAMLABNET, and shimomov


Shochiku Kinema


Shochiku Films


Shochiku Kinema

Background

Shochiku (松竹) was founded in 1895 as a kabuki theater company. Its name was read as Matsutake after the founders, Matsujirou Shirai and Takejirou Otani, until 1937, when it was officially changed to "Shochiku", the Chinese reading of the name, as opposed to the initial Japanese. The film production division, Shochiku Kinema, was established in 1920, with its main studio initially at Kamata until 1936, when they relocated to Ōfuna (near the city of Kamakura).

1st Logo (1929)

Logo: On a brick wall, we see the name of the company: "松竹キネマ株式會社" ("Shochiku Kinema Co., Ltd."), written from right to left. Below that is the Shochiku Kinema symbol and the year 1929, and on the bottom of the screen is the text "蒲田作品", which means "Kamata Production" (referring to the company's main studio in Kamata), also written from right to left.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1929, such as Yasujiro Ozu's Days of Youth and A Straightforward Boy.


2nd Logo (1930)

Logo: Over a set of clouds on a dark background, an archer is seen standing on the Shochiku Kinema symbol about to shoot an arrow. The same text from before is seen, with "松竹キネマ株式會社" arched above the archer, "蒲田" and "作品" on the right and left sides of the archer, respectively, and the year 1930 below everything else. All kanji are written from right to left like before.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1930.

3rd Logo (1931)

Logo: The logo opens to a scene of a city set in stone with a giant man standing above it, his leg raised. The name of the Kamata Films studio is in the upper left corner. The Shochiku Kinema symbol is in the center of the screen. Below it is the name of the Shochiku Kinema company.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1931, such as Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Chorus.


4th Logo (1932)

Logo: On a stone background featuring an abstract human figure holding a sword on the left side and an image of a lion lying down, with the year 1932 written on it, toward the bottom. The name of the Kamata Films studio (now displayed as "蒲田映画") is on top of the screen. Below that is the Shochiku Kinema symbol. Below the lion is the name of the Shochiku Kinema company.

Variant: A visually similar but slightly different logo exists. The only things that differ are the shape of the year 1932 and the positioning of the text.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1932, such as Yasujiro Ozu's Where Now Are the Days of Youth and Mikio Naruse's No Blood Relation.


5th Logo (1933)

Logo: On a gray background, ornate decorations can be seen. In a field in the center of the decorations are the symbol of the main Shochiku company and the year 1933. Above that is the name of the Kamata Films studio. Below the decorations is the name of the Shochiku Kinema company.

Variant: A very similar version exists, featuring different decorations and the name of the Kamata Films studio written in a more delicate way.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on many films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1933.


6th Logo (1934)

Logo: A large representation of an eagle on a honeycomb-like background can be seen. The year 1934 and the symbol of the main Shochiku company can be seen to the left of the eagle's head. On his wings are the name of the Kamata Films studio and the Shochiku Kinema company.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on many films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1934.


7th Logo (1935)

Logo: TBA

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

Availability: Seen on many films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1935.


8th Logo (1935-1936)

Logo: The logo consists of a representation of a warrior riding a horse, holding a spear and shield. On the shield is the year of production (1935 or 1936) and the symbol of the Shochiku Kinema company. Above the image is the name of the Kamata Films studio, and below is the name of the Shochiku Kinema company.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Kinema in 1935 and 1936. This was the last logo used by Shochiku Kinema to feature the name of Kamata Films, before the studio was closed down in 1936.


9th Logo (1936)

Logo: The logo opens with a view of Mt. Fuji with moving clouds in front of it. In the center of the screen, the name of Shochiku's Ōfuna Films studio (大船映画) can be seen. The Shochiku Kinema symbol separates the name in two, and around it are the words "AN OHFUNA PICTURE". On the bottom, the name of the Shochiku Kinema company can be seen.

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Presumably seen on films produced by Shochiku Kinema at the Ōfuna Films studio in 1936.

Shochiku Films

Background

In 1937, Shochiku Kinema (film) and Shochiku Kōgyō (theater) merged into one company: Shochiku Films (松竹映画); The company headquarters is currently located at Chuo, Tokyo. From this point, films were mostly released under the Shochiku Films name; however, some were occasionally released under the Ōfuna Films name, but without the Shochiku Kinema byline. Shochiku is one of the four members of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPPAJ), and the oldest of Japan's "Big Four" film studios.

The logo most consistently used is of Japan's Mount Fuji, paralleling the Paramount Pictures mountain logo.

1st Logo (Ōfuna Films) (1936-1940?)

Logo: An updated version of the last logo, with more clouds. In the center of the screen, Shochiku's name and the name of the Ōfuna Films studio, separated into two halves by the symbol of the newly-merged company, can be seen.

Technique: The moving clouds.

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

Availability: Occasionally seen on films made by Shochiku at the Ōfuna Films studio before World War II.


2nd Logo (1937-1943, 1945-1946)

Logo: The logo opens to a scene of the symbol of the consolidated Shochiku company on a spinning paper fan or wheel. The characters "松竹映畫" (meaning "Shochiku Films") "flip" into the frame above the fan. These are followed by the characters "製作" on the bottom left of the fan and "提供" on the bottom right (meaning "production" and "offering/sponsoring", respectively, here used in the sense of the English word "presents"). Then, the company's full name appears below the fan, and the image fades out. This time, all kanji are written from left to right.

Technique: The fan spinning and the characters appearing.

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

Availability: Seen on films made by Shochiku Films between 1937 and 1943, and also some post-war productions from 1945 and 1946.


3rd Logo (1943-1944)

Logo: The logo opens with Mt. Fuji with moving clouds in front of it. The Shochiku Films name is in the center of the screen. On the bottom of the screen there is some text. (TBA)

Technique: None.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku's wartime productions made in 1943 and 1944.


4th Logo (1947)

Logo: The logo opens with a bouquet of flowers and a glass-like ring spinning around it. Five stars and the kanji for Shochiku Films (now displayed as "松竹映画" from this point on) can be seen on the ring. Below the bouquet is the year 1947, written in transparent numbers.

Technique: The ring spinning around the bouquet.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku productions from 1947.


5th Logo (1948)

Logo: On a background with stars that shine occasionally, the Shochiku symbol can be seen. A bouquet of flowers balancing on a spinning globe, lit from the back, appears behind it. The symbol retreats into the background and disappears when it reaches the bouquet. Then, the words for "Shochiku Films" appear above the bouquet. The year 1948 on the globe appears from the right and the globe stops spinning when the numbers are directly under the bouquet.

Technique: The stars shining, the symbol moving toward the background, the globe spinning, the name appearing.

Music/Sounds: Various different fanfares, depending on the film.

Availability: Seen on Shochiku productions from 1948.


6th Logo (1949-1950)

Logo: The logo opens with the camera zooming in on a spinning globe on a background of shining stars. When it gets close, the zooming stops and a light appears behind the globe. The kanji for Shochiku Films "flip" in from the bottom of the screen and the Shochiku symbol appears beneath them. Then, the year 1949 or 1950 appears below the symbol and the logo fades out.

Variant: On the 1950 variant, the words are written in a slightly different way, and the year is written using different numbers. The symbol is also larger when it appears.

Technique: The zooming, the globe spinning, the stars shining, the light appearing, the words, symbol and year appearing.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku productions from 1949 and 1950.

7th Logo (1951)

Logo: The logo opens with a globe spinning on top of clouds. It stops spinning and the words for "Shochiku Films" appear. Then, the Shochiku symbol and the year 1951 appear below the words and the logo fades out.

Variant: A variation exists where the globe is more zoomed in, and doesn't stop spinning during the logo.

Technique: The globe spinning, the words, symbol and year appearing.

Music/Sounds: None, a custom fanfare depending on the film, or the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Seen on some Shochiku productions from 1951. Shochiku began using the famous "Mount Fuji" logo during 1951, so these logos are a bit rarer.


8th Logo (1951-1980)

Logo: We see a picture of Mount Fuji with moving clouds. The white kanji "松竹映画" (which means "Shochiku Films") in a semi-cursive script and a small fan (Shochiku's emblem) fade in.

Variants:

  • For black-and-white films released from 1951 to 1954, the year mark is displayed on the bottom right of the screen.
  • On Shochiku films produced in GrandScope (which is similar to CinemaScope), the katakana "グランドスコープ" (which means "GrandScope") zooms in. After a while, the text fades out before the company name and fan fade in, and the appearance of Mt. Fuji, the kanji, the fan and the clouds is different.

Technique: The moving clouds and the fading in. Nice effects for its time.

Music/Sounds: Usually silent or the opening theme of the film. On some movies dubbed by American International Television, that logo's 1967 theme was used.

Availability: Seen on a lot of Japanese movies and tokusatsu of the time period such as Carmen Comes Home (1951) and The X From Outer Space (1967). Shochiku released some very famous films directed by Yasujiro Ozu (up to and including his final film in 1962, An Autumn Afternoon) among others, so be on the lookout. It was also seen on a Mongolian National Broadcaster airing of an Pinky & Killers film The Season of Love (1969).

9th Logo (1980-1994?)

Logo: It's basically a redone variant of the previous logo, with an orange light behind the mountain at the beginning of the logo to constitute the transition between the beginning and duration of the day. The white kanji "松竹映画" and the Shochiku fan fade in, with the kanji now in a bold Mincho type and the fan looking more streamlined than its previous appearance.

Technique: All practical effects.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku films from the era. Also, it was spotted on Kinji Fukasaku's Fall Guy (1982) and a Japanese dub version of Heart of Dragon (1985) (which plasters the Golden Harvest 1978 logo on the Fortune Star DVD release) and a Tora-san film series from the era.

10th Logo (1993-2003)

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Logo: We see a view of Mt. Fuji with clouds at the bottom, and it zooms closer to the mountain. As the clouds clear, we see the Shochiku Films text, and under it is the Shochiku fan with the word "Shochiku" below it in an italic sericffont.

Technique: Practical effects.

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

Availability: Appeared on movies through the period. However, when the next animation debuted in 2000, some movies like The Twilight Samurai continued to use this logo until 2003.

11th Logo (July 15, 2000-2014)

SHO2000s

Logo: The logo opens with the aurora borealis or northern lights. They ripple and transform into a stylized Mount Fuji. A gold version of the new Shochiku logo (the Shochiku fan and the company's name in a bold, uppercase Times-like font next to the fan) fades in. The logo shines and the top of Mt. Fuji fades from blue to yellow.

Technique: Everything in gorgeous CGI.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku films from the era. Outside of Japan, it is usually kept intact on US releases of Japanese films and anime released by Shochiku such as the 2003 version of Zatoichi (distributed by Miramax), Tsubasa Chronicle/xxxHoliC: The Movies (2005), Vexille (2007), Shinobi: Heart Under Blade (2005) (all distributed by Funimation), and the K-On! movie (2011, distributed by Sentai Filmworks). Its earliest appearence was on Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: the Sealed Card.

12th Logo (December 2014, 2019-)

Logo: From a bird's-eye view, a drop of black ink falls onto a white canvas, its splash spreading out to create an artistic 3D rendition of Mount Fuji. The camera then moves to show the mountain at the now-familiar front angle as the darkest ink of the mountain dissolves into white particles, revealing a blue-gray hue behind. When the camera is at the front angle, the kanji "松竹" (which means "Shochiku"), the Shochiku fan and "Shochiku" in a much smaller font (in uppercase and below the fan) fade in.

Variants:

  • For Shochiku's Blue Line label introduced alongside this logo, which would have been dedicated to showcasing up-and-coming talent had the logo been in use, the animation is largely the same but Mount Fuji is depicted as a Tron-esque digital design, the Shochiku fan is blue and the text presented is "Shochiku Blue Line" entirely in English.
  • When the logo was finally used in 2019, the text is the same as the "Blue Line" variant, although without the aforementioned text.

Trivia: The logo was designed by Tokyo-based art and design company teamLab.

Technique: Absolutely beautiful CGI.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: For many years this logo was unused. The fact that the logo is listed on teamLab's portfolio alongside products that are definitively in use asserts its official status and suggests that it was a pitch for a new logo that lost out to the next logo. Nevertheless, the logo can be seen on teamLab's official YouTube channel. Eventually the logo would appear on movies such as Josee, the Tiger and the Fish and Sing a Bit of Harmony.

13th Logo (January 10, 2015- )

Logo: Essentially a modernized, high-definition version of the 1951-2003 logo, specifically the 1980-1994 version. The kanji "松竹" (Shochiku) and the 2003 Shochiku fan and the wordmark (below the fan) fade in.

Trivia: The logo was designed by VFX firm Imagica West.

Technique: According to the official press release for the logo, it's live-action footage of Mount Fuji enhanced with CGI.

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

Availability: Seen on Shochiku films starting with The Next Generation Patlabor Chapter 7 on January 10, 2015. Outside of Japan, the only film with US releases bearing this logo, as of the end of 2015, is Love Live! The School Idol Movie (2015). Also appears on Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Reflection (2017), Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Detonation (2018) and Cube (2021).

14th Logo (January 10-December 2015)


Logo: On a black background is the word "SHOCHIKU" in an arc. Below the word is a cloud-shaped leaf with two grains each on either side, and below it is the phrase "120 Anniversary". To the left and right of the "120 Anniversary" phrase are three cloud-shaped leaves and three opened grains (each bunch is attached to a curled wire), respectively. Below all these is a stylized depiction of Mount Fuji. The entire logo is colored metallic gold with 3D effects.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Precedes the previous logo on several films made in 2015.

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