Daiei Film

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

(Redirected from Daiei Motion Pictures)


Daiei Film Co., Ltd. (大映映画株式会社) was a Japanese film studio. Originally founded in 1942 as Dai Nippon Film Co., Ltd. (大日本映画製作株式会社), it was a product of Japanese government efforts to reorganize the film industry during World War II. The Japanese government originally planned to combine all film studios in Japan at the time into two studios, but Masaichi Nagata, an executive at Shinkō Kinema, pressed hard for an alternative plan to create three studios. Thus, Dai Nippon Film Co., Ltd. was established from a merger of Shinko Kinema, Daito Eiga and the film production arm of Nikkatsu In 1945, Dai Nippon Film was renamed to Daiei Co., Ltd. (大映株式會社), and in 1947, the relationship with Nikkatsu was dissolved.

It was a major studio during the Golden Age of Japanese cinema. In the late 1960s, Daiei faced financial difficulties due to Nagata's profligacy and a general decline in industry attendance. To survive, Daiei formed a partnership with Nikkatsu, leading to the creation of Dainichi Eihai. Unfortunately, these efforts were not enough, and Daiei eventually declared bankruptcy in December 1971. Following the bankruptcy, art director Yoshinobu Nishioka and some employees established Eizo Kyoto Film Company. However, other union members managed to convince Yasuyoshi Tokuma, the president of Tokuma Shoten publishing house, to revive the company in 1974. Consequently, Daiei continued its operations as a rental studio under Tokuma Shoten's subsidiary, with reduced production activities during that period. After Tokuma's death, Daiei was sold to Kadokawa Shoten in 2002 and renamed Kadokawa Daiei Motion Picture Co., Ltd., later Kadokawa Pictures.

Dai Nippon Film Co., Ltd.

Logo (October 1, 1942-1945)

Visuals: A large emblem is seen which consists of two circular outlines with a triangular cut on the bottom, as well as "映" on the top. Then, the company name zooms in from the center of the emblem, arranged like so:

社作‎ ‎ ‎ ‎

The emblem then fades out, leaving the company name.

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Audio: The opening theme of the movie or none.

Availability: Found on early Daiei films such as Shinsetsu, Tiger of Malaya, and In this way God's wind blows.

Daiei Film Co., Ltd.

1st Logo (1945?)

Visuals: Same as before, except the text now reads "大映製品" (reading right to left).

Technique: Camera-controlled animation.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Unknown, this was seen on a logo history video made by Kadokawa.

2nd Logo (November 8, 1945-January 4, 1949)

Visuals: On a night sky background with sparkling stars, the Daiei emblem fades in. The stars fade into clouds that scroll upward. "大映株式會社製作" (reading right to left) then zooms in from the emblem and slides down.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A custom fanfare.

Availability: Seen on films from this period such as Kitsune no kureta akanbô (狐の呉れた赤ん坊) and Tengu hikyaku (天狗飛脚).

3rd Logo (November 18, 1950-April 30, 1952)

Visuals: On a textured stone background, the Daei emblem is seen carved out of stone. "大映株式會社製作" is also carved, protruding below the emblem.

Technique: A painting filmed by a camera.

Audio: A custom fanfare or none.

Availability: Appearing on films released from this period (such as Kojiki Taishō (乞食大将) and Gorotsuki-bune (ごろつき船), this logo has been used to plaster the Dai Nippon Film logo. Current prints of several Dai Nippon Eiga-era films such as Kurama Tengu (鞍馬天狗) and Iga no suigetsu (伊賀の水月) include this logo instead of the Dai Nippon Film logo.

4th Logo (March 26, 1953-June 15, 1958)

Visuals: On either a smooth or a patterned background, the Daiei emblem in white is seen with the company name "大映株式會社製作" below. The logo is being lit from the left. Starting in 1958, the text is changed to "大映株式会社製作".


  • On early color films, the background is cream-colored, the outer part of the emblem is in blue, the inner part of the emblem is in turquoise, and the "映" character is in a white-red gradient color. The text remains white. On Gate of Hell, the background is smooth, while on Princess Yang Kwei Fei, tje background is patterned.
  • On films in DaieiScope, the patterned background version of the logo is shown in widescreen. The logo then crossfades into a screen with the DaieiScope logo.

Technique: A painting filmed by a camera.

Audio: A custom fanfare.

Availability: Seen on films from this period such as Sansho the Bailiff, Ugetsu, A Geisha, and others. The color version appears on Gate of Hell (Daiei's first color film) and Princess Yang Kwei Fei. The DaieiScope variant can be seen on Hakujo komachi.

5th Logo (September 15, 1953, June 28, 1956)

Visuals: The Daiei emblem and company name "大映映画株式會社製作" in white are suspended over a rocky background similar to the previous logo.

Technique: A painting filmed by a camera.

Audio: A custom fanfare.

Availability: Seen on at least two films: The Wild Geese () and Punishment Room (処刑の部屋).

6th Logo (September 21, 1955-January 3, 1957)

Visuals: On either a blue-orange (for earlier films using this logo) or a cream-orange gradient background (for later films using this logo), the Daiei emblem in a light cream color is seen. The company name "大映映画株式會社製作" then pops up under the emblem.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A custom fanfare.

Availability: This was seen on films from the period such as Shin Heike Monogatari and Zenigata Heiji torimono hikae: madara hebi.

7th Logo (1956-November 1, 1961)

Visuals: On a blank background (either black, red, or blue), the Daiei emblem in white is seen. Below is "大映株式会社製作".


  • On DaieiScope films, the logo was in widescreen.
  • On Floating Weeds, the logo is in-credit.

Technique: A painting filmed by a camera.

Audio: The opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Seen on films from the period such as Giants and Toys, Floating Weeds, Kaigunheigakkô monogatari: Aa! Etajima, and Buddha.

8th Logo (April 1, 1958-August 3, 2002)


  • The Daiei emblem is seen with the text "大映株式会社製作" below it above the clouds at sunrise. Sunrays then fade in behind the logo.
  • After Tokuma Shoten acquired and re-established Daiei, the text is changed to "大映映画株式会社".
  • Starting in 1980 with Gamera: Super Monster, the sun rays are more symmetrical and even in appearance.
  • Starting in the 1990s, the text is changed to "大映株式会社", and the emblem is made bigger and is positioned a bit further from the text.

Technique: 2D animation.


  • The size of the emblem can be vary, mostly medium size on scope films and larger size on Academy ratio films, like Being Two Isn't Easy (1962).
  • A black and white version exists.

Audio: A custom fanfare.


  • Can be seen on most films produced by the company, including the famous Rashomon, and Ju Dou. It is also seen on later films before the defunct production company's like Pulse and Akira Kurosawa's Dreams.
  • Example of the 1960s and early 1970s Nagata-era titles include Tokyo Onigiri Musume (1961), An Actor's Revenge (1963), Typhoon Reporter (Fūsoku shichijūgo-mai) (1963), The Black Trademark (Kuro no shōhyō) (1963), The Black Parker (Kuro no chūshajō) (1963), Shibire kurage (The Numbness) (1970), the Gamera film series, and the Zatoichi film series.
  • It was also seen on Kinkanshoku (1975), Kimi yo Fundo no Kawa o Watare (1976), and Gamera: Super Monster (1980).
  • It was seen on some current prints of several classic films that plastered the first logo, including Criterion Collection DVD prints of Rashomon (1950), The Loyal 47 Ronin (1958), Nuregami kempō (1958), Nichiren and the Great Mongol Invasion (1958), and Hebihime sama (1959).
Shinko Kinema
Daito Eiga
Nikkatsu Corporation (production arm)
Daiei Film
Nikkatsu Corporation (post-1947)
Kadokawa Pictures
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