A Hole of My Own Making. 1955. Japan. Directed by Tomu Uchida. Courtesy of National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

An artful stylist and shrewd social critic, the Japanese filmmaker Tomu Uchida (1898–1970) left an illustrious body of work little seen or acknowledged outside his home country. Working within the Japanese studio system, he proved to be a dexterous, adaptable visionary comfortable at the helm of any production—from samurai films, thrillers, and literary adaptations to social satire and even a pseudo-Western set in Japan’s “Wild North” of Hokkaido. Uchida started making films during the silent period, found his career as a director interrupted by a decade spent in Manchuria at the end of WWII, and later returned to Japan to amass a rich and far-reaching body of work. This retrospective, the most extensive ever held outside Japan, includes 35mm prints of works from the early 1930s through the late 1960s, when Uchida’s films tracked monumental social and political changes in Japan with a cinematic flair that puts the director among legends like Masaki Kobayashi and Kihachi Okamoto.

Organized by La Frances Hui, Associate Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, in collaboration with independent curators Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström, and the National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Special thanks to Masaki Daibo and Max Carpenter, intern.

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Film Fund.

Past events

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

If you would like to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA, please contact Scala Archives (all geographic locations) at firenze@scalarchives.com.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.