Shinnyo-Do Temple has a monument to the birth of local cinema in Kyoto, Japan. It’s to the left as you face the main temple. The plaque explains:
In 1895 the Lumiere brothers developed the Cinematographe in France. Two years later, in 1897, businessman Katsutaro Inabata brought it to Japan and the first projections took place here in Japan. (The Cinematograph was not only a camera but also a projector.)
Films at that time were documentary style, not dramas. But motion pictures on screen fascinated viewers. In 1908, Director/Producer Shozo Makino (father of Japanese cinema) directed and produced the first dramatic film in Kyoto. “Honnô-ji Gassen” was shot at Shinnyo-Do Temple.
Since then many features have been shot in Kyoto– supported by trandional performing arts, craftsmanship, the lovely locations and historical environments in Kyoto– all part of the local culture. This monument commemorates a century of film and wishes future success to the film industry.