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General histories are of course important in describing the broad course of Japanese film history and providing the background for any specific film or artist. Quite a number of histories have been published of particular periods, studios, and movements, but there are actually few comprehensive histories for Japanese film. I introduce a few of these here that are particularly useful as reference books when researching films, persons, or institutions. Tanaka’s seminal works are also useful as filmographies, and describe industry figures other works do not. Satō follows up on Tanaka’s research and the Sekai no eiga sakka volume is one of the first produced by academics. I include the Yamamoto because it is a treasure trove of information not only about transnational influence, but also film theory and criticism. Other older works can give you a sense of how history was narrated over time.