The News from DIGITAL MEME


03-11 March, 2011 Australia Silent Film Screening Tour with live benshi narration

Starting at Adelaide Film Festival followed by 3 more shows at Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra!

All benshi performances by Mr. Ichiro Kataoka

□ 3rd Mar Adelaide Filml Festival
□ 5th Mar Melbourne(Australian Centre for the Moving Image)
□ 6th Mar Sydney Opera House
□ 9th Mar Canberra (The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia)

21 January 2010 Japanese “Silents”: Benshi Narration of the Sword-Fighting Film Serpent

Indiana University's East Asian Studies Center presented a special performance of the film "Orochi" (Serpent), featuring benshi Raiko Sakamoto, followed by a discussion with CEO Larry Greenberg.

For more information, click here
Please click here to see the flyer.

"Orochi" (Serpent)
[Date&time] 21st Jan 7:00pm
[Place] Room "Fine Arts 015" @ Bloomington Campus, Indiana University in Bloomington,Indiana (US)

11 December 2009 Japanese Anime Classic Collection was screened at "Nippon Koma Festival 2009"

 Japanese Anime Classic Collection was screened at “ Nippon Koma Festival 2009” (12.07-12.12) in Lisbon, Portugal.

All the 13 titles from the second disc of Japanese Anime Classic Collection were screened at Nippon Koma, which features Japanese Films.

[Date&time] 11th Dec 6:30pm
[Feature Animation 1931~1933]

27 November 2009 Japanese Anime Classic Collection was screened at "19ème Festival de Films pour Éveiller les Regards"

Anime from Japanese Anime Classic Collection was screened at a children's film festival held in Aubervilliers, France, called Festival de Films pour Éveiller les Regards.

[Date&time] Nov. 27, 2009, from 20:30
[The anime below was screened]
Momotaro the Undefeated; The Stolen Lump; The Bat;
The Monkey Sword Masamune; Tiny Chibisuke’s Big Adventure;
Swim, Monkey, Swim!

15 November 2009 “Orizuru Osen” screened in Seattle

Talking Silents 2 “Orizuru Osen” was screened at SIFF Cinema in Seattle on 15th, with live music from the Aono Jikken Ensemble. Aono Jikken Ensemble is music performance group whose 'main areas of endeavor are creating innovative new works for the stage and original live scores for classic Asian silent films' (from the Aono Jikken Ensemble website).

"Orizuru Osen" Nov. 15 / 19:00 @SIFF Cinema

For more information, see the website of the Aono Jikken Ensemble

29 October,
3 November 2009
"Talking Silents" at VIENNALE 2009

TS1 "Taki no Shiraito " and TS2 "Orizuru Osen" was screened at the 47th annual The Viennale-the Vienna International Film Festival.
This film festival has been held since 1960 and is 'one of the oldest and best-known festivals in the German-speaking world' (from the VIENNALE website). We are honored to have our film showed such a historic event.
The films were screened with benshi narration by Ms. Midori Sawato.

"Taki no Shiraito" Oct. 29 /15:30 @Stadtkino
"Orizuru Osen" Nov. 3 /13:00 @Stadtkino

10 October 2009 “Recalling Kurama Tengu – Live Benshi performance at Takada Sekaikan”

A silent film screening with benshi Mr. Raiko Sakamoto was held in Jyoetsu, Niigata at the Takada Sekaikan, which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011. The film title was “ Kurama Tengu,” one of the most popular titles from our Talking Silents series. The screening was organized by the Committee for the Rebirth of Town Theaters. (Japanese)

5 October 2009 Classic Japanese Anime and Films accompanied by Mr. Greenberg’s Lecture on “The Roots of Japanese Cinema and Anime Preserving Katsuben : Unique Performance Art”

CEO Larry Greenberg did a lecture on Japanese silent films, silent anime, and benshi at the Culture Club in Muscat, Oman on October 5. The event was organized by Embassy of Japan in the Sultanate of Oman.

At the lecture, there were screenings of selected animations from  Japanese Anime Classic Collection and Talking Silents.

Time: October 5(MON) / 7:00PM START
Place: Cultural Club – Qurm, Muscat

For more details click here

31 July 2009 Japanese Silent Film Showing & Lecture
at University of the Philippines Film Institute

CEO Larry Greenberg did a lecture on Japanese silent films at the University of the Philippines on July 31. The event was organized by The Japan Foundation, Manila.

At the lecture, there were screening of selected animations from  Japanese Anime Classic Collection and Talking Silents 2 & 8:  "Orizuru Osen" (The Downfall of Osen), and  "Kodakara Sodo" (Kid Commotion).

Time: July 31(FRI) / 7:00PM START
Place: University of the Philippines Film Institute

For more details click here

15 June 2009 33rd Katsuben in Gakushikaiza

On June 12, "33rd Katsuben in Gakushikaiza" was held, a screening of classic film planned and managed by Digital Meme. Two works were shown as a special feature on the master director Maurice Tourneur, "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Trilby." Thanks to everyone who came out and made the event a huge success!

The event, "Katsuben in Gakushikaiza" has reached the finale on October 30. Thank you all for coming.

Please click here for a press release about the event.

31 October 2008  Digital Meme’s collaboration with, a website that helps users learn languages

A new kind of SNS, helps users learn languages for free. offers online Japanese language courses to English-speaking users. Digital Meme, with its unique Japanese content, has provided one of its anime to for inclusion in a Japanese language course. We are keen for users to see our anime as a way to learn the Japanese language. Right now, a section of “Oira no Yakyu” (Our Baseball Match), from our Japanese Anime Classic Collection, is available on By sharing a venerable animation, our hope is that users will enjoy experiencing the Japanese culture of that era while they learn the language.

“Oira no Yakyu” (section only) from the Japanese Anime Classic Collection:

22-24 October 2008

Digital Meme at TIFFCOM

The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is Japan’s largest film festival. The TIFFCOM content market runs alongside TIFF, attracting more than 4,000 visitors from 40 countries and regions. It is a content market that has gained tremendous attention, both locally and abroad.

Digital Meme has participated in TIFFCOM from year 2008, where we hope to share the magnificence of classic Japanese films with a wider audience while introducing our products and projects.

April 1, 2008

The spring edition of the Newsletter of the Friends of Silent Film Association Katsukichi features an article by Ms. Aya Nagasawa of the Film Department of the Japan Society New York entitled "Dawn of Japanese Animation: a screening with katsuben by Ms. Midori Sawato in New York." The newsletter also carries an essay by Ms. Midori Sawato entitled “My performance in New York.”

Click here to view the article by Ms. Aya Nagasawa
Click here to view the essay by Ms. Midori Sawato

13 - 16 Feb 2008

Dawn of Japanese Animation
Four days of animations screened with live benshi narration, at the Japan Society, New York.

The Japan Society, which commemorated its centenary anniversary in 2007, held various events introducing Japan. This event, Dawn of Japanese Animation, was held for each theme below featuring mainly animated films from Japanese Anime Classic Collection, a DVD collection released by Digital Meme in 2007. Thirty-eight animated films was shown at the event and it was the first time ever such a large number of prewar Japanese animated films is shown overseas. Many of the featured non-animated films were also never shown overseas and we received great response for them. Each screening was accompanied with a live benshi narration by Ms. Midori Sawato.

» 13 February (Wed) 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Featured films:
Twelve animations, including Issun-boshi: Chibisuke Monogatari (Tiny Chibisuke's Big Adventure), Komori (The Bat), Dobutsu Sumo Taikai (Animal Sumo).

Soutou Ashuragai (Fighting in Ashura Town)
1938, Daito Eiga
Directed by: Takeshi Yashiro
Starring: Hideto Hayafusa, Kaido Ooka, Momoyo Okawa, Eiichi Takamura, Mitsuo Matsumura

» 14 February (Thu) 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

Featured films:
Six animations, including Oira no Yakyu (Our Baseball Match), Sanko to Tako: Hyakuman-ryo Chinsodo (Sanko and the Octopus: A Fight Over a Fortune), Dekobo no Jidosha Ryoko (Dekobo the Big Head's Road Trip), Hinomaru Taro: Musha Shugyo no Maki (Taro's Early Training Days).

Kodakara Sodo (Kid Commotion)
1935, Shochiku Kamata Studio
Directed by: Torajiro Saito
Starring: Shigeru Ogura, Yaeko Izumo

» 15 February (Fri) 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

Featured films:
Eleven animations, including Kokka Kimigayo (The National Anthem Kimigayo), Sora no Momotaro (Momotaro's Sky Adventure), Norakuro Nitohei: Kyoren no Maki/Enshu no Maki (Private 2nd Class Norakuro), Dobutsu-mura no Daisodo (The Animal Village in Trouble).

Kenkoku no Haha: Yasukuni Jinja no Megami (Mother of the Nation)
1936, Godo Eiga
Directed by: Shiro Nakagawa
Starring: Namiko Kawashima, Yasuhisa Takeshita, Kunimatsu Ogawa

» 16 February (Sat) 2008 at 5:00 p.m.

Featured films:
Nine animations, including Kuro Nyago (The Black Cat), Kobu-tori (The Stolen Lump), Mura Matsuri (Harvest Festival), Cho no Sainan (The Unlucky Butterfly).

Oshidori Utagassen (Singing Lovebirds)
1939, Nikkatsu
Directed by: Masahiro Makino
Starring: Chiezo Kataoka, Ryosuke Kagawa, Takashi Shimura

Orochi (Serpent)
1925, Bantsuma Production
Directed by: Buntaro Futagawa
Starring: Tsumasaburo Bando, Misao Seki, Utako Tamaki

* Live benshi performance in English by Leon Ingulsrud, based in New York.

Japan Society

12 Dec 2007 An article about Digital Meme was published in the December 11th evening edition of the Mainichi Shimbun. Click here to view the full article.

You can order Digital Meme DVD products from our website. These masterpieces of classic Japanese cinema could be the perfect Christmas gift for your loved ones.

20 Nov 2007 Friends of Silent Film Association 593th Screening
The 19th Sawato Midori’s katsuben recital commemorating her 35th anniversary as a benshi narrator
Wings, the film that won the First Academy Award for Best Picture and ranked fifth in the top ten foreign movies chosen by Kinema Junpo in 1928, was shown with professional katsuben performance. The director William A. Wellman used to be in the army as pilot, and he brought to the silver screen his experience about air combat by directing Wings and other films, such as The Legion of the Condemned and The High and the Mighty.

Movie title: Wings
Produced by Paramount Pictures, U.S.A., 1927
138 minutes (with break)
Director: William A. Wellman
Cast: Clara Bow, Charles Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Ralston, Gary Cooper, El Brendel

Date: 29 December 2007 (Sat) from 6:00 p.m.
Venue: Kinokuniya Hall in Shinjuku
(From Shinjuku Station East Exit or Tokyo Metro Shinjuku-Sanchome Station, on the fourth floor of Books Kinokuniya, in front of Mitsukoshi.)

General: 1,800 yen
Student: 1,600 yen
Advanced reservation: 1,500 yen
Members: 1,000 yen

14 Nov 2007 Thank you for the high number of orders from Japan and various other countries for Talking Silents 1 & 2 since their release on October 24. An American film director interested in silent films came to our office to purchase these DVDs. As you can see, silent films are gaining overwhelming support by cinema fans and people from the film industry.

20 July 2007 Benshi Performance at Osian's Cinefan, 9th Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema

At Osian's Cinefan, 9th Festival of Asian & Arab Cinema held from July 20 in New Delhi, India, Director Kenji Mizoguchi's Taki no Shiraito (The Water Magician), a masterpiece of the silent film era, was shown. Ms. Yuko Saito, a student of Ms. Midori Sawato, acted as benshi for this film, and Digital Meme coordinated her performance.

In addition, film critic Mr. Tadao Sato was invited to this film festival, and there was a discussion on Japanese film.

Larry Greenberg (Digital Meme, CEO) appeared on Okamura Yoichi Cinema Street (Kawasaki FM)

Larry Greenberg (Digital Meme, CEO) appeared on Okamura Yoichi's radio show Cinema Street (Kawasaki FM). The show is scheduled to air on June 24. 

28 Apr 2007

24th Revival of Japanese Films Award Ceremony
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16 Mar 2007

Digital Meme Posts Online Preview of Rare Classic Anime Collection
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14 Feb 2007

Digital Meme's Details on Japanese Anime Classic Collection
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31 Jan 2007 Digital Meme - Website
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12 Jan 2007 Digital Meme - Release of Rare Classic Anime on DVD
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