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Capacity Building in Japan

Updated: Apr 8

A team comprising five members from the Northeast India AV (NEIAV) Archive embarked on a visit to Japan from February 13th to 22nd, 2024. This visit was extended as a cordial invitation from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) under the ongoing initiative titled "Preserving and Sharing Histories and Memories of Northeast India." The purpose of the visit was to facilitate learning opportunities regarding audio-visual equipment and management for archive preservation at the Fukuoka City Public Library, alongside fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange with Japanese experts in the field. 

The participating members of The NEIAV Archive team members consisted of Mr. Nathaniel Majaw, Dr. Cherry Kharshiing, Mr. Freddie Majaw, Mr. Fullstarwell Sohtun and Mr. Byntalang Nongdhar.

Visit to Fukuoka

The team commenced their visit by engaging with archivists and curators at the Fukuoka Public City Library. The director of the library, Mr. Kazuoki Takasu welcomed the NEIAV team and gave a brief presentation about Fukuoka City Public Library, its facilities, organisational structure and also introduced his staff, who would be resource persons for the next few. The NEIAV Archive team received comprehensive training in archival management techniques, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Film Archiving, Film Programming, and Cinema Screen Hall Management. The IPM session which was led by Ms. Aya Suzuki, introduced the team to various methods to prevent an archival storeroom and the materials within from insects and moulds, without using chemicals. Also, certain protocols that need to be followed to maintain a pest free environment.

On day 2, the film archiving session led by Mr. Keiji Matsumoto, demonstrated how film reels are archived at the library and how it can be catalogued, a tour of the library screening hall facilities and projection room was also given to the NEIAV Archive team. On the last day of the workshop led by Eijun Sugihara, a presentation was made by him on the importance of a film archive at Fukuoka and its focus to collect Asian films. The workshop also led to interesting discussions on why an archive is important in North East India which further led to discussions on how to attract audiences to film screenings that take place at film archive institutions. The NEIAV team were also taken to Kyushu University’s Department of Art and Design, where they got to work with the film scanner machine – Blackmagic Cintel. Additionally, before leaving Fukuoka, the NEIAV team received special training at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum by Tomohiro Hanada focusing on restoring, archiving and exhibiting photographic print materials. 

Visit to Nagasaki

After a brief stop at Unzen to experience Japanese traditional culture, the team proceeded to Nagasaki. Here, they visited the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, where they gained insights into museum exhibition practices and materials handling. A special tour was given to The NEIAV Archive team at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, where they could observe how different materials collected from the wreckage of the Nagasaki Atomic bomb of 1945, can be restored or replicated for museum purposes. The NEIAV team were deeply moved by the museum exhibits, as it projects the gruesome details of the bomb dropped, thereby how the entire world should aspire for peace. While at Nagasaki the NEIAV team also experienced the Lantern festival that took place one evening. 

Visit to Tokyo

In Tokyo, the team visited the National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ) and received training on film preservation and safety protocols from Mr. Akira Tochigi, a film archivist, Mr. Akira, explained the ease of keeping NFAJ film vaults underground to control temperature, in spite of changing seasons in Japan. He also explained how acid base films that is suffering from vinegar syndrome needs to be separated from healthy ones and why nitrate films need to properly be contained in another block, because they are highly flammable. Mr. Akira also demonstrated how a film can be inspected and also gave a tour the of NFAJ cinema hall and projection facilities. Apart from this the NEIAV team also underwent training on film restoration and digitization techniques at Tokyo Koon, facilitated by Mr. Nobu Suzuki. Mr. Nobu, also showed the NEIAV Archive team how the different equipment for film archiving and digitization can be setup and installed. Out of good gesture Mr. Nobu also gifted the NEIAV Archive team with a tape rewinder and a dehydration unit to take back to India. Additionally, the team had a courtesy meeting with Mr. Hisashi Okajima, the director of the National Film Archive of Japan to discuss future plans for the NEIAV Archive. On the last evening discussions were held at the SPF headquarters regarding potential collaborations and funding opportunities for the NEIAV Archive in the presence of Mr. Nobuyuki Konishi, Mrs. Sachiyo Ito and Ms. Kaoru Kaijigayama a special presentation about the NEIAV Archive was also given to Mr. Itsu Adachi, Executive Director. 

Armed with newfound knowledge and insights gained from the workshops and training sessions in Japan, The NEIAV Archive team returned to India on February 22nd, 2024. They express sincere gratitude to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation for the enriching experience and look forward to implementing innovative techniques in archive and library management at St. Anthony’s College. 


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