The Relationship History of Chinese and Japanese Film and Television: after 30 years of alienation, it finally welcomes the honeymoon period.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Chinese-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship. On 9th May, the two governments signed a number of cooperation, including an agreement to support the co-production of films between the two countries. In the future, Chinese-Japanese co-films will enjoy the treatment of state films and will no longer be subject to restrictions on the number of imported films.

Not long ago, Youku and Fujitsu reached a copyright partnership on more than 500 Japanese dramas, and the three films being shown are all related to Japan. The Japanese Golden Palm film the Family of Thieves, the Chinese-Japanese co-film Flavors of Youth and Decoding Game have Japanese popular male star Yamashita.

Chinese-Japanese relations have finally ushered in a honeymoon period in 40 years?


▲In 1980, Liu Xiaoqing, Zhang Jinling, Ryoko Nakano and Kurihara Komaki began on the right.

As early as 1978 to 1990, when China and Japan signed the treaty of friendship, they had their first honeymoon cooperation, Chasing and looking for the countryside and other Japanese film and television dramas, anime and the introduction of China. In 1982, China and Japan also filmed the first co-production film, "an unfinished game of chess." Between the two honeymoon periods, Chinese-Japanese relations are sometimes good and bad, and have been subtly estranged.

In fact, China has signed a partnership agreement with 20 countries or regions, such as Britain, France, India, and so on. China and South Korea signed a partnership agreement in 2014, and progress is in full swing, while Japan arrived late after four years.

"Although Japan is our neighbor, it is the least familiar with us," said Zhang Jin, CEO of Zhuoran Pictures. "China and France, China and Britain, and China and the United States all have very mature associations and cooperation models, and we can just do a good job of commercial cooperation. When we talk about cooperation with Japan, we face many problems, such as different working methods, different habits, and the problem of trust. "

Since Stand by Me Doraemon grossed 530 million at the box office in 2015, more and more Chinese filmmakers have gone to Japan to buy films and seek cooperation in the past three years, but there are many companies that have hit the wall and failed one after another. It is reported that Japanese copyright parties are often not directly considering the highest bid, some Chinese buyers are willing to pay hundreds of millions of yuan to buy the One Piece modification rights, but the Japanese side on the ground that the other side does not know the content of the cartoon and refused.

Compared with the Korean wave, this Japanese wind is not only late, but also a little clear-minded?

Two days ago, Japan led the establishment of the institutional "Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association" at the "wanton youth" press conference, the official appearance. The purpose of this association is to promote Chinese-Japanese film and television co-production, headquarters and core organizations in Tokyo, the office is set up in Beijing, after the flow of Korea, Hefeng attack, Chinese-Japanese co-production will shoot up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain?

With these questions, Entertainment Capital (ID:yulezibenlun) also interviewed Adayazhi, vice chairman of the Association, Zhang Jin, CEO of Joy Pictures, and Takagan Fukuda, cultural counsellor of the Japanese Embassy in China.

Transformation , the change and invariance of the film market

"in the past 40 years or so, there is no need for Japanese film creators to go overseas to explore the market, and the Japanese domestic market can satisfy them," said Fukuda Kakan, cultural counsellor of the Japanese Embassy in China.

Japan, which has been sitting in the world's second-largest economy for 42 years, replaced it with China in 2010. Two years later, he exchanged seats with China for the world's second largest film market. In 2017, the total box office of mainland China reached 55.9 billion yuan, while the box office revenue of Japanese films was 220 billion yen, or about 12.7 billion yuan. The box office of Japanese films has basically remained at this level for nearly a decade. Japan has been in sharp contrast to China's current situation, which has been like a day in the past decade.



"China has changed, we have not changed," Fukuda said. "for us, the sense of existence in the Chinese market has never been as strong as it is now."

In addition to this strong sense of external impact, in fact, the internal problems of Japanese films have come more violently.

"with the trend of aging, minority children, and population decline in Japan, the film market is actually showing a trend of gradual reduction. Japanese live-action films show a more introverted nature, and the number of works with this characteristic will gradually increase," said Adayazhi, vice president of the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association.

What he is talking about is that in recent years, with the general reduction in Japanese film production costs, an extreme independent production model has emerged, and more and more filmmakers have redefined low-cost films as almost cost-free. The situation worries many Japanese filmmakers, not only widening the gap between large Japanese corporate production and most independent production, but also likely to lead to the disappearance of medium-cost films such as the Family of zThieves.



Therefore, the situation of small and medium-sized cost directors in Japan is not easy. As director Koji Oda put it, Japanese directors are usually paid for their own work only because of their own efforts. "I eat with Oshida in Tokyo, and I take the initiative to pay for it," the Shanghai International Film Festival film selection consultant told Entertainment Capital (ID:yulezibenlun). "the Japanese market is shrinking so much that the director certainly has to look overseas." This is why, long before the signing of the joint shooting agreement between the two countries, the directors of Japanese literary and art films such as Shunji Iwai, Isao Yukisada, Sion Sono, and Takashi Miike have already begun to contact the Chinese side for cooperation.

In the Chinese-Japanese film market two days of ice and fire, Adayazhi believes that the Chinese film market healthy and vigorous development, with a greater ability to allocate funds and market digestion, may be a way out for Japanese live-action films, so that Japanese films are no longer confined to small production, have the opportunity to present some large commercial films with relatively large and better investment.



Adayazhi, vice president of the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association

But why is the Japanese wind late than the Korean wave?

"mainly because there have been no successful examples in the past, so Japan has some psychological barriers to challenge cooperation with the Chinese people. But now pass Your Name. after waiting for better success stories, we will have greater confidence to challenge them," he said. Fukuda explained.

According to the Shanghai International Film Festival film selection consultant, in fact, when China and South Korea co-shoot hot, Japan's Toho, TOEI, Matsuka, and Kadokawa four major film companies began to inquire about the Chinese-Korean co-production, showing interest in Chinese-Korean co-production. However, compared with South Korea, Japan has carried out a long water test process on the Chinese market.

Before the 2014 Chinese-South Korean co-production craze, South Korea introduced 14 films to China, with only 76 million of the highest-grossing Snowpiercer. The number of Japanese films reached 17 before the popularity of Japanese films in 2016, and as many as 11 were introduced in 2016. Until you have Doraemon, Your Name. over >00 million at the box office, as well as the good performance of the Chinese-Japanese co-production the Legend Of The Demon Cat in the Japanese market of 1.6 billion yen, gave the Japanese confidence to cooperate.


Zhang Yan, a professor at Beijing normal University and an Asian film researcher, believes that the reason why Japan promoted co-production later than South Korea is that Japanese films themselves have experienced ups and downs, and the Japanese film types after the new century have their limitations compared with South Korea, which gives less inspiration to the Chinese market and is more suitable for docking with the rapidly developing commercial type of the Chinese market. On the other hand, the Korean government has a clear overseas promotion policy of Korean films. The Korean Revitalization Commission and the Korean Cultural Academy have stationed offices in all countries. Therefore, compared with South Korea, Japan is not as enthusiastic as South Korea in overseas expansion and cooperation.

"China has already had a partnership agreement with many countries, but this is the first time that Japan has signed such an agreement," Adayazhi said. South Korea itself has an active overseas expansion policy, and it is no wonder that Japan has been in a passive state for a long time, passively giving way to the second place and passively seeking cooperation with China.

Opportunity: set up a co-production association, will the spring of the co-production come? 

"We are so close and culturally connected, it is even more necessary to solve the problem of cooperation as soon as possible, so there will be the birth of this association," Zhang said.

This association is the Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association, which is led by Japan. The chairman is Yuke Okada. He is also the chairman of the Japan Film Association, the chairman of the Japan Film Academy Award, and the chairman of Toei Tokyo. Most of the members to be invited by the Association are members of the "Union of Japanese Cartographic producers", that is, the four largest film companies in Japan.


Japan accounts for a relatively large Japanese Television Station (NTV), Asahi TV station (EX), Tokyo TV station (TX), Tokyo Broadcast Holding (TBS), Fuji TV station (CX) five major private TV stations are not on the list.

Adayazhi believes that the first phase, as a joint start-up period, the "Japanese Cartographic producers Union" should be the first wave of members. Because they are established and big companies with a long history of film and excellent experience, "we are more confident that they will exchange and cooperate with each other, so that more television stations will also be willing to join the association when they enter the next stage of substantive launch."

In fact, it has been mentioned earlier that the four major film companies have been exploring the situation of co-production in the early stage. This time, according to the Shanghai International Film Festival film selection consultant, they also began to ask them early about the proposed invitation to Chinese members.


In an interview, Adayazhi also said that he was not shy about his visit to China. "I have worked in large Japanese companies and Japanese legal affairs, and I have participated in some international business cases and commercial cooperation in international exchanges. I think this experience can greatly promote the specific docking, promotion and implementation of many projects," Adayazhi said in an interview.



But some people interviewed in Japanese fans circles, such as the FIX caption group, which has long translated Japanese TV dramas, generally say that such cooperation can easily stay at the official level. The Shanghai International Film Festival selection consultant also thinks that the original intention of the association is very good, "but afraid that politicians will run it, will it end up as a government face-saving project?" It's like a Japanese film week that amuses itself.

If the official nature of the Japanese side is too strong, the private nature of the Chinese invitation list is even more prominent, including Tencent, Mao Yan Culture, Yaolai Film and Television, Wuzhou release, as well as the star company with outstanding box office in recent years, Xu Zheng's Joy Leader, Chen Sicheng's Shine Asia, as well as Joy Pictures and Haoliners Animation.


It is worth mentioning that Joy will set up the first overseas Chinese cinema in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, and is expected to open in March next year. Zhang Jin believes that communication should be interactive, not one-way. "so few Chinese films have been shown in Japan for so many years, they remember the recent Legend Of The Demon Cat and the previous Red Cliff.

Both China and Japan believe that animation is a cut in cooperation between the two countries. "compared with the field of live-action film, the potential and space of cooperation between Japanese animated films is greater," Adayazhi said.

Introduced fall in love with you 100 times, Miracles of Namiya General Store, Pokemon the Movie: Volcanion and Mecha , in the real person and animation field have been involved, Zhang Jin said: "We have tried a lot of types, I think it should be better cut into, but also more rapid progress should be animated movies, mainly based on the Japanese animation animation in China." 



Dream animation founder Li Haoling early with Your name. "Kawaguchi Kawaguchi, president of the production company CoMix Wave Films, was married and the two discussed cooperation in 2013. Until you finish Xinhaicheng Your Name. After that, the two talents caught up with an opportunity to cooperate and co-produced "wanton Youth," which also became the first project assisted by the "Japan-China Cultural Industry Exchange Association."

So, what is the effect of the first collaborative animation, Flavors of Youth?

Estrangement: There is a long way of co-production to go 

"The film has brought me a fresh feeling, some of the scenery I saw on the film screen, I have experienced in China, including rice noodles, old houses and so on. The film adds a Japanese-style aesthetic filter, which brings me a strong sense of intimacy." Fukuda Gaogan sighed at the exchange meeting after the reflection of Flavors of Youth. 


From left to right, Dr. Qiai Ai, Li Haoling, Kawaguchi, Fukuda

To some extent, Flavors of Youth is a lot like an experimental film, so Shinkai Makoto's production team CoMix Wave Films to draw a Chinese story, Zhang Jin responded: "do movies dare not do experiments, so what other industry can do experiments?" The experimental film must bear certain risks, and the limited distribution mode of the Arts Federation has been chosen for the distribution in China.

Li Haoling, the chief director of Flavors of Youth, revealed that, CoMix Wave Films, including in the production of director Xin Haicheng's works, has been carrying out a strict real-world material extraction process. This time, the whole film team went back and forth to Shanghai, Beijing, Hunan and Guangzhou for a long time to ensure that the scene was highly restored. "they will even eat rice noodles to feel the texture, eat 30 or 40 bowls a day, and really eat all the rice noodle stalls." Until I can't eat until I can't eat it. I'm very dedicated to my work. "



The Japanese are rigorous, on the one hand, they are serious, on the other hand, they are also serious. Li Haoling believes that the speed of the final clip should be fast-paced, but Japan believes that there are some pictures to slow down, need to tell this story slowly, slowly experience feelings, and finally can not reconcile the two sides, compromise the release of two versions, the Japanese version slows down the fast version, the Chinese version puts on the fast version.

Li Haoling said that the issue of cooperation is also obvious in the trivial details of life. For example, it is difficult for Japanese artists to understand the different living habits of the Chinese and the Japanese, such as greeting and not bowing, and subway station stations are not in a straight line. In fact, the Japanese in the film still draw Wechat, a social software commonly used by the Chinese, as a chat interface for Line.

President Kawaguchi of CoMix Wave Films also added: "the way China and Japan do things is not the same. Japan is used to arranging all the preliminary work first, drawing the script first, drawing the story lines all together, and then starting work, but Li's style is done first, then slowly think about it, and then slowly change it." the Japanese president, Mr. Kawaguchi, also added: "the way China and Japan do things is different. Japan is used to arranging all the preliminary work first, drawing the script first, and then starting work." 


Li Haoling and Kawaguchi

The Flavors of Youth cooperation sprouted as early as 2010, and the problem of their later shooting cooperation is only a small problem of Sino-Japanese cooperation. Joy Pictures CEO Zhang Jin, as the director of the Chinese representative of the Association, said that in the process of talking about cooperation with Japan in the early stage, many domestic companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are facing many problems that are difficult to promote cooperation, and the establishment of the Association also hopes to help small and medium-sized companies to cooperate with Japan more quickly and efficiently.

The Shanghai International Film Festival film selection consultant believes that Japan's distrust of China is fully understandable, because there are too many non-professional interbank buyers of all kinds in China, and there is indeed no following situation in the course of the cooperation. That is why Japan is more willing to give well-qualified and trustworthy Chinese buyers than companies that offer higher prices.

As the second largest film market in the world, Japan has established a complete system with the United States. Just as the annual American Film Oscars are selected by the associations of various film industries, Japan also has its own film industry associations to choose their own Japanese Film Oscars.

The Chinese film that introduced Stand by Me Doraemon revealed that they were actually faced with the most stringent and high standards of production committees in the Japanese industry. "the global benefits of robotic cats, including copyright, surrounding issues, and so on, the cake partition rules are very strict. Including the angle of the robot cat beard, color and luster, the Japanese side requires accuracy, our materials to give them comprehensive supervision and repair. " 



In general, co-production is accompanied by cultural discounts as well as cultural exports. "it is difficult for all co-films to pry into the film market between the two sides," Zhang said. "coupled with the fact that all co-films will bear the risks of political relations to varying degrees," Zhang Yan said, "the Korean current is not as expected, and the wind will not be as dangerous as expected."

In the face of such a danger, Zhang Jin said, "We cannot fail to do this because of uncertain risks in the future. no matter what politics or policies are, there is nothing wrong with this in the long run. As long as we persist in doing so, there will certainly be gains." Next, Zhang Jin also said that the first difficulty they need to overcome is to train multi-type film audiences, that is, to accept Japanese type films.

In fact, the popularity of the Shanghai Film Festival film is an interesting contrast with the cold box office of Japanese films nationwide. The family of thieves, which is being shown, has been priced at more than 2,000 copies by scalpers this year, as did Daylight last year.


Shanghai International Film Festival film selection consultant told Entertainment Capital (ID:yulezibenlun) that the Shanghai Film Festival has only slowly formed a Japanese film brand in the past three years. "before 2015, with the exception of the Japanese film week, the number of Japanese films shown by the Shanghai Film Festival will not exceed 20 a year, up to a dozen, and it has been increasing every year since 2015," the Shanghai International Film Festival's film selection consultant told Entertainment Capital (Shanghai International Film Festival) that the Shanghai Film Festival had only slowly formed a Japanese film brand in the past three years. "

The curators of the Shanghai International Film Festival have explained why there are more and more film festival films because Japanese films are better at the box office and the film festival is also considered for profit. To some extent, the brand development of Shanghai Film Festival movies and the Shanghai audience's habit of watching Japanese films complement each other. Fukuda Gao Gan believes that it will take some time to train the audience of Japanese films. The Japanese film brand development model of the Shanghai International Film Festival can be used for reference, and the audience who like or accept Japanese films can be trained everywhere in the future.


Zhang Jin and Higuchi Yingshi were the chief producer and person in charge of the first television documentary Silk Road between China and Japan in the 1970s.

Zhang Jin also believes that the Japanese film is still a new thing for the national audience. It takes a process for the audience to adapt to the new thing. "give it to him once, but he may like it the third time, which is the direction of constant attempt and continuous effort."

XHC, a Japanese film critic, believes that cooperation itself is a good thing. "but we have to explore it slowly. After all, the social stages of society on both sides are different, thinking and aesthetics are different. It is no longer possible for Japan to have social events such as Dying to Survive. There will be no blockbuster movies such as Hello Mr. Billionaire, and Hollywood popcorn has long been out of the market in Japan. Marvel movies have never sold in Japan."

Although the Chinese-Japanese cooperation has come late, it hopes to go a little more steadily. After all, the road ahead is long.

Writer / Sitaxi

Selected from:The Relationship History of Chinese and Japanese Film and Television: after 30 years of alienation, it finally welcomes the honeymoon period.