Yamagata in Film

Screenings at the Yamagata Documentary Film Library present documentaries and movies rarely shown on television or in theaters, including works from the Film Library vaults.

Yamagata in Film 14:00- 19:00-(screens twice)

Our Institutions and Facilities


Yamagata City Newsreel No. 4

YIDFF 2013 Opening Film
1962 / Japanese / B&W / 13 min
Produced and provided by Yamagata City

Newsreel No. 4 shows the completion of a railway construction project and the celebration of the first train running on the Senzan railway between Yamagata and Yamadera, grapes being harvested on the Akahage mountainside of Motosawa district, an invitation to a dance party by Zao’s skiing school to the head of Austria’s National Ski Academy, and a young man narrating how students at the Takinohira Branch School endure a severe winter.


Yamagata City Newsreel No. 7

1962 / Japanese / B&W / 11 min
Produced and provided by Yamagata City

Newsreel No. 7 introduces the Zao region’s tourism boom in 1962 with newly built roads connecting Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures, the surge of people driving on the new roads in November 1962, a newly constructed Zao Ropeway where, in the opening ceremony, monks in goblin masks take a cable car ride, and the sewer systems in Yamagata lagging behind sewers in Western countries, inspiring Yamagata’s 15-year sewage construction initiative which began in 1956.


A New Mountain Route

1964 / Japanese / B&W / 14 min
Produced and provided by Yamagata City

From the 1950s, in order to make Yamagata less isolated from other regions of Japan, plans were made to create the Sasaya Tunnel by carving a hole through Sasaya Mountain. Through the eyes of inhabitants from Sekizawa, this filmstrip shows the importance of the completion of the tunnel for the facilitation of access to their community, which is situated on the mountain’s peaks.


Sasaya Tunnel

Circa 1960 / Japanese / Color / 12 min
Produced and provided by Yamagata City

The Sasaya Highway offers the shortest route from Yamagata to Sendai, but in the past it was a rugged mountain path. With the construction of the Sasaya Tunnel, trade routes from Shiogama’s Miyagi Prefecture (on the Pacific Ocean) to Sakata of Yamagata Prefecture (on the Sea of Japan) were connected. This scenic drive is also dotted with famous hot springs.


Our Institutions and Facilities

Production Year Unknown / Japanese / Color / 28 min
Produced and provided by Yamagata City

This film introduces Yamagata City’s municipal housing, water system, waste facilities, animal slaughterhouses, hospitals, and orphanage. We see footage of the former glory of the Yamagata Saisei Hospital—now converted into a historic building. It is estimated that this film was produced in the early 1960s.



Sasaya Tunnel


[Venue]The YAMAGATA Documentary Film Library (Yamagata Big Wing 3F)[Admission]Free admission for members (Member’s fee: free)
[Presented by]YIDFF (NPO)
[Contact]e-mail:info@yidff.jp (YIDFF Yamagata office)