Sunday 6 November 2022

Battle of the Sea of Japan 1969

Nihonkai Daikaisen Japanese title.

The miniature effects were supervised by Eiji Tsubaraya and in my view they represent the best Japanese model ship effects ever put to screen. There is an abundance of models, scenic art, pyrotechnics and miniature water tank action throughout the film. In addition there is a sprinkling of matte paintings and split screen shots where foreground actors are optically combined with miniature backgrounds.


Illustration of the studio tank setup.

According to Wikipedia 170 ship miniatures were built and photographed for the film using 60 technicians.




It was also Eiji Tsubaraya's final film.

Eiji Tsubaraya on the right.



Some of the models remained out on the backlot in the weather for many years. The ravages of time have revealed some of the construction methods. 


Thanks to McTodd for suggesting this title and furnishing the lions share of the visual material, quite a few years ago. My apologies for taking so long to make use of it.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wanting to read more about Tsubaraya's work but haven't found much in English, so I'm really glad you shared these photos.

    In addition to being phenomenally convincing, the VFX are really nuanced and give the film a unique style. My favorite part is when they attempt to block the Russian port while getting bombarded frombatteries on the bluff. The shots of the spotlights sweeping over the sinking ships with all the explosions going off felt really haunting.


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