Tokyo Phoenix, the Rise of Modern Japan

May 20, 2017 - History


In one hundred and fifty years, twice marked by total destruction—a terrible earthquake in 1923, and incendiary bombings in 1945—followed by a spectacular rebirth, Tokyo, the feudal city, has become the largest and most futuristic capital in the world in a transformation process fuelled by the exceptional resilience of its inhabitants, and nourished by a unique phenomenon of cultural hybridisation. Its epic story is brought back to life using exceptional colorized and restored footage.


Production :

CC&C, Arte, NHK

Broadcaster :


Format :

90 minutes or 55 minutes or 2 x 45 minutes

Distribution :


Director :

Olivier Julien

Author :

Olivier Julien, inspired by Shinji Iwata

Commentary : Éric Chantelauze

Press Reviews

"They have the beauty of Japanese prints, the sepia charm of the resurrected past. The images slept in the archives of NHK, the guardian of Japanese television memory. Exhumed and colourised, they have become jewels of brilliant hues, in a moving film that draws a century of Tokyo's history, a city of incredible resilience, twice destroyed in the 20th century."

Télérama (translated from French)