Katsumi Yotaro Productions (勝見庸太郎プロダクション)

Katsumi Yotaro Productions (established in 1926, ceased operations in 1930) was a film company that existed in Kyoto. Actor Yotaro KATSUMI, who had been working as a film director at Shochiku Kamata Studio, established this company and produced films in which he played the role of director as well as the leading character.

Brief history/summary

In early 1926, star actor and film director Yotaro KATSUMI left Shochiku Kamata Studio after a quarrel, and after being persuaded by his younger brother Masayoshi KATSUMI, who had been working as a director at Makino Productions, he led members of the 'Katsumi Group' at Shochiku Kamata in establishing 'Katsumi Yotaro Productions' in Kyoto. Fortunately, Makino agreed to an exclusive contract with Katsumi, and Makino Productions distributed films produced by Katsumi Yotaro Productions.

The first film the company produced was "Koi no Maruhashi" which Katsumi directed, wrote and played the leading role. Shozo MAKINO presided over the production of the film, Katsumi wrote the screenplay under the name of 'Mokusho KATSUMI', his younger brother Masayoshi gave support as an assistant director, Sadatsugu MATSUDA ran the camera and Katsumi himself acted together with Makino's actresses Etsuko TAMAKI and Utako TAMAKI. The film was a huge production with fifteen reels and was released on the same day as Makino Omuro's film "Hanashi", directed by Teinosuke KINUGASA, on November 14, 1926.

In 1927, Katsumi Yotaro Productions hired an unknown young man named Naoyuki Hotta. Katsumi recognized Hotta's talents, adapting one of his original stories into a film in March of 1928 and having him debut as a scriptwriter in November of the same year. Hotta and Katsumi's relationship continued until Katsumi's final years.
When Makino began to produce "Chukon Giretsu Jitsuroku Chushingura" at Makino Production's Chubu Studio (headed by Masahiro MAKINO) in Nagoya, Katsumi collaborated with Makino as an actor by playing a role of 'Sakon TACHIBANA.'
Katsumi's younger brother Masayoshi directed all of their films produced in 1927 as well as "Kochiyama to Naozamurai" produced in October of 1928.

In September of 1929, fifty days after Shozo Makino's death on July 25, a new administration was announced with Makino's oldest son Masahiro Makino at the head. However, neither Katsumi nor Hotta were listed in the new administration. Later on, Hotta went on to write nineteen scripts, teaming up with assistant director Kichinosuke HITOMI as a main scriptwriter of Makino's contemporary dramas rather than working on Katsumi's films. Katsumi also produced five films during that year, directing four of them.

Katsumi Yotaro Productions released no films during the first half of 1930. Operations were ceased after releasing "Merikan Jap" on July 1 and "Umibe no Romansu" on July 20. Katsumi left the filming world for a time after his company produced twenty-five films.