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Benshi: Silent Film Narrators in Japan


Benshi: Silent Film Narrators in Japan is a growing digital archive that features a curated collection of historical materials relating to benshi performance and fan culture from their beginnings in the early decades of the twentieth century up to the present. It includes synchronized audio and video clips of historical and contemporary benshi, VR movie theaters, and a digitized collection of ephemera such as theater programs, benshi scripts, and fan ranking charts.

Matsuda Shunsui

Benshi: Who Are They?

The term “benshi” derives from the longer designation, katsudo shashin benshi, which parses literally in Japanese as “motion picture speaker.”

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What is the Benshi Archive?

The benshi archive is growing corpus of digitized historical materials relating to benshi performance and fan culture.

Virtual Reality Benshi

The Missions of the Benshi Archive

The benshi archive has five interrelated missions, each with its own distinctive technical challenges, requirements, and solutions.

Contact Information


Kyoko Omori

Project Director
Benshi: Silent Film Narrators in Japan
Hamilton College

Benshi: Silent Film Narrators in Japan


A growing digital archive that features a curated collection of historical materials relating to benshi performance and fan culture

Project Team

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