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News: Tohokushinsha Film founder, Banjiro Uemura dies at 90 years old.

Banjiro Uemura, founder of Tohokushinsha Film died at 90 years old.

It is thanks to Mr. Uemura, who shaped me into the man I am today. I began working for his company after finishing college in 1988 and was assigned to the first-ever satellite broadcasting division.

 

My. Uemura had a strong intention not only to run a major commercial production but also to run a TV station. A number of TV stations such as Star Channel and Super Channel (currently Super Drama TV) were launched. I was involved in a new business at the time, and I quickly worked my way to the top. I was able to work alongside Mr. Uemura every day and study his art of business techniques.

 

  • Besides business, we went to Cannes together to film and chase Halley’s comet with a single-lens camera
  • Auditioned the next generation of politicians at a restaurant in Hibiya.
  • He was taught how to package wine by the president of Paramount Film.

Mr. Uemura had lots of style and had an interest in art, movies, food and travel. He took me to Hollywood, London, Milan… he showed me the world. I resigned in 1997, after 9 years of working most days and nights together. It was intense but always fun.

I remember one day, Mr. Uemura gathered his staff at the production company, TV Technica (now Omnibus) decided to produce an autobiographical program. It was an idea that was refused by publishers because it was the era of videos. In the middle of the meeting he got angry because the script wasn’t right, and the autobiography was canceled. To this day the autobiography has not been released.

Another time, I remember walking around the city of Cannes with Mr. Uemura. We sat on a bench across from an Omega shop, while he started to talk about his past. He was working as a bartender at a US military base when he was serving a man wearing an Omega watch. “I wanted a watch like that, I will work hard for it,” he said. I remember it like it was yesterday.

 

I really appreciate everything, Mr. Uemura. Rest in Peace.

Atsushi