J-GLOBAL         Last updated: Jan 12, 2019 at 16:18
National Film Archive of Japan (Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art
Job title
Twitter ID


OKAJIMA, Hisashi
Director, National Film Archive of Japan [2018 - ]

Former Adviser, National Film Center (NFC), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo [2017 - 2018]
Former Chief Curator [2005 - 2017], NFC
Former President [2009 - 2011], International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)

OKAJIMA Hisashi (b. 1956 in Aichi pref., Japan) is the inaugural Director of National Film Archive of Japan (NFAJ), one of the six national museums of the Independent Administrative Institution National Museum of Art.
The former body, National Film Center (NFC) ceased its operation to be separated from The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo on March 31, 2018, and new NFAJ officially came into existence on the following day.

Okajima became staff member of the National Film Center, the film department of The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo since he graduated in film study at Nihon University/College of Arts in 1979 (as the recipient of the university's presidential award), and in the same year he also started his professional career as a film critic. After his twenty-six year involvement in all kinds of NFC's undertakings for film screening, archiving, and other film-related projects, he was appointed to Chief Curator, the head of NFC, the only national film institution in Japan, in April, 2005.

His academic researches at the NFC are focused on the history of cinema and film preservation and he has presented and published various theses and essays in terms of theory and role of film archiving. His publications relating to film archives include the records of international symposia held in Tokyo, Four Tasks of Film Archives (Japanese and English, 1992) and Redefining the Tasks of Film Archives (Japanese only, 2003).

He has been active in various operations of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) and is particularly proud of his contribution to (1) organizing the 63rd FIAF Congress in Tokyo, (2) drafting the FIAF 70th Anniversary Manifesto which features the slogan "Don't Throw Film Away," (3) assisting the editorial work of the Journal of Film Preservation, and (4) working as the interlocutor to FAFA (Forum of Asian Film Archives), a FIAF's regional group of Asian film archives established in 2004. In May 2009, he was elected the 12th President of the FIAF at its 65th Congress held in Buenos Aires for the two-year term.

The South East Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) has appointed him to be one of its founding Fellows together with the other three notable archival pioneers in Asia-Pacific region since 2010.

Since the late 1980s, he has given quite a few number of lectures at universities mainly in Tokyo such as Kyoritsu Women's University (1988-94), Waseda University (2005-08), Nihon University (2008- ), Rikkyo University and University of Tokyo (1998, and 2015- ) as well as Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and participated as a speaker in a variety of outreach events like panels and symposia held not only in Tokyo but also in cities such as Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Busan, Cartagena, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Inuyama, Kanazawa, Kawasaki, Kochi, Kyoto, Los Angeles, Ljubljana, Madrid, Montevideo, Nagoya, New York, Oslo, Paris, Pordenone, Prague, Rochester, Sagamihara, San Francisco, Sapporo, Sendai, Seoul, Singapore, Skopje, Stockholm, Taipei, Takamatsu, Telluride, Toyama, Urayasu, Yamagata, Yamaguchi and Yokohama on film history and film archiving.

He was a member of the board of directors of the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences [Vice-president, 2012 - 2014] and is that of the Kawakita Memorial Film Institute, and also is appointed as an advisory committee member of several domestic film festivals [including TIFF Tokyo], of the municipal film cultural institutions in Fukuoka and Hiroshima, and for important projects relating to Japan’s moving image culture conducted by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Foundation, Nagasaki Prefectural Library and others.

He enjoyed his serving as a jury member of the New Directors section for the 56th Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2008, and also as that of the International Competition section for the 32nd Busan International Short Film Festival in 2015.

In 2016, he received the Jean Mitry Award in Pordenone, Italy.

After 11 year serving as Chief Curator of NFC, he assumed the position of Adviser on April 1, 2017.

(Updated on January 12, 2019)

Committee Memberships

Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences  member, Board of Directors

Awards & Honors

Oct 2016
The Jean Mitry Award, Provincia di Pordenone - Le Giornate del Cinema Muto
Mar 1979
Nihon University Presidential Award


Study of visual arts and museum activities abroad
1988 - 1992
International search for pre-war Japanese films which have been believed to be lost
2000 - 2001