• Japan Institute of the Moving Image

Japan Institute of the Moving Image


JIMI – The first and the only university in Japan specializing in cinema.

The Japan Institute of the Moving Image develops individuals into those capable of contributing in a wide range of fields including the production of videos and motion pictures. Every day, a large number of students are striving not only to learn the skills and knowledge of cinema production, but also to receive quality general education and acquire the academic intelligence of film theory, film history, and critique of cultural works. We help promote interaction with our local communities and cultural exchange with the rest of Asia and the world as a research institution.

Information summary for prospective students

We offer a four-year bachelor’s degree course in 4 related areas:

  • Directing, Acting, Documentary,
  • Camera, Sound-recording, Editing, VFX Cinematography
  • Script-writing, Critical writing
  • Production and Management

All classes are taught in Japanese only, and therefore, most of our international students hold the N2 or above certificate in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at the time of entry. Students generally spend up to two years at a Japanese language school before starting our course in April.

The initial fees payable are 1,090,000 Japanese yen, which includes entrance fees, six-month tuition fees, and other costs. The total amount payable for four years is 6,620,000 Japanese yen. For more details, please visit here:

While there is no entrance scholarship for international students, we do offer some financial support to those in need upon their application during their study. The details may be found here:

Application deadlines are announced every June, with entrance exams for international students held multiple times throughout the year, usually commencing in November. Please visit here for the latest information:

If you are interested, we strongly advise that you visit us to ask questions, and meet our students and teaching staff at one of our open campus events. Please find the scheduled events here:

General information 1: What happens after graduating

Our Career Centre and International Student Support division work together to provide the latest information and to help prepare for the selection process for jobs in Japan.

Foreign passport holders are not allowed to work as freelancers, and therefore, they will be subject to vigorous job-hunting processes. However, international students who have graduated from JIMI with good results are often able to work in Japan with a work permit visa, often in production companies.

We have an extended network of people working in all areas of TV and film production. It is a well-known fact that any shooting site you visit will find one or more of our graduates among the film crew.

We are actively aiming to build an international community of filmmakers and educators, particularly in Asia. Among the signatories of associated universities are Beijing Film Academy, Korea National University of Art, Taipei National University of Art, with which we collaborate in student filmmaking, participate in international student film festivals, and facilitate research exchanges between faculty members. Outside Asia, JIMI is a member of CILECT, a prestigious international film school association around the world; we also have collaboration agreements with All-Russian State University of Cinematography and The Leon Schiller's National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in Poland. JIMI graduates will find these official connections to be of assistance when seeking work or further study outside of Japan.

General information 2: How we teach our students

1. Students Create Classes

Students receive detailed guidance in small classes, which are designed to place students in an active stance towards their learning. Students learn not only at their desks but also by finding their own subjects of study through filmmaking and fieldwork in groups. They will discover problems for themselves and approach problem-solving from various angles, such as on-going peer discussion. It is a process of trial and error, through which students learn to express their opinions, listen to others, and to share ideas. These are the activities that require a high level of autonomy and social awareness, through which filmmaking skills may be nurtured.

2. An Intensive Learning Environment

The year is divided into 4 terms, each running for 8 weeks. During the practical term, students will be focusing on one particular area of learning every day of the week. These are followed by 8 weeks of theory, attending lectures or workshops on a wide range of general knowledge such as language, history, social science, international relations, and film theory. After repeating these alternate terms, students will begin their graduation projects in their fourth year, which may range from a documentary, to a drama, or other types of productions. 

3. Highly Qualified Teaching Staff

We aim to produce graduates who are equipped with both practical and theoretical knowledge in film studies. To this end, the teaching staff is varied, from professional filmmakers to critics and researchers; the number of “creative” teaching staff is matched by the number of “theoretical” teaching staff. All of our creative staff are presently active in film production, and consequently are able to offer up-to-date information about the current state of the film industry.

4. Collaboration and Omnibus Lectures

In order for students to understand film from different viewpoints, we offer a number of lectures in collaboration or omnibus formats. In these classes experts in different fields are present in the same classroom to demonstrate different approaches. At other times they give consecutive lectures on the same topic. By having professional filmmakers and critics teach the same subject, students are immersed in stimulating discussions and learn to acquire their own points of view through critical thinking.

5. Bachelor of Film Studies

We are the only university qualified by the Japan Ministry of Education and Science to offer this degree in Japan.

6. Specialized areas of study: In the second year students join the course of their choice among ten courses available as follows. (There will be a selection process for this)

{Directing}The heart of film direction lies in interacting with other people, which can be developed by engaging in the collaborative tasks of filmmaking. Our goal is to create stories that convey meanings, feelings, and possibly a new perspective. For that we teach multiple points of view of the film in addition to practical methods of directing.  

{Acting}Firstly, you will become aware of your own body and learn to control it. Secondly, you will become aware of the existence of the other who touches your body and your emotions, and that will bring about some changes in you. You will then express it all in front of the audience. That is how students in acting course learn to be an actor.

{Documentary}When documenting human beings, in order to respect the entirety of the person, students will aim to depict them as a three-dimensional existence. Thorough research of the facts surrounding the theme is the basic and most important in making this possible. Students will be practicing in small groups (2 to 5 students in a unit) and consequently, they learn to take responsibilities in all roles involved in filmmaking.

{Camera and Lighting}We train in lighting, framing, and camera work – all skills of cinematography – through digital technology and 16 mm film. Students will learn to understand how a written script and acting direction can be transformed into the moving image, and the importance of the relationship between them and the camera. In order to develop communication abilities, students will also practice making films exclusively within a group of technical crew.

{Sound-recording and editing}From initial recording at the shooting sites, and through cleaning and adding to that sound materials, students will reach the practice of final sound mixing. By learning about the effects of the sound in particular films, students will also learn how to enhance it. These practices will lead them directly to careers in sound-recording, studio mixing, or as sound effect crew in TV and film production.

{Editing}The fascination of the art of editing is this; you re-assemble the raw materials arriving from the shooting sites, and strive to present an in-depth reading of that drama in your own capacity. To this end, students will learn about the technical aspects such as nonlinear editing system and other computer editing software like After Effects and Photoshop.

{VFX Cinematography}This course focuses on visual effects that combine VFX with Japan’s unique “tokusatsu” methods. With the knowledge of cutting-edge technology and their honed imagination, students will be well equipped to work in the fields of visual entertainment, such as anime, games, VR, and in digital art in general.

{Scriptwriting}Scripts are the basis of filmmaking. We offer a particular training process, where students improvise and act in a scene in front of the camera, and later transcribe that scene to create your own script. This learning method will prompt them to “write” with their own body and emotions. Students will also practice creating film scripts from other genres including novels, manga, and poem. Best graduation works are shortlisted every year for the Novice Scenario Contest, which is regarded as the entry to one’s professional career.

{Creative Writing / Critical Writing}Students will maximize their writing ability in this course. The goal is to make a submission using the graduation work to various writing contests for young career writers. We teach film analysis and criticism, and students will participate in an exciting film festival training camp. We also teach how to write critiques in regards to contemporary and historical thoughts.

{Production and Management}Students will aim to become professionals in the film industry, learning about planning, producing, advertising, distribution, and financial management. They will need to understand the basic mechanism of film business that has supported the industry until today, as well as the knowledge required in the era of new technology.

How we support International Students

We have had a track record of creating a supportive environment for international students since the very beginning of the first film school established in Yokohama more than 40 years ago. The International Student Support division was established in 2017 to further strengthen the culture of support, and to create a watertight system to sustain it. We offer free language tutoring at the Language Support Desk, available through internet booking, where we assist students with writing assignments, speech betterment, and overall skill-ups throughout the year. We monitor students’ attendance to classes and in order to detect potential problems at an early stage, we use monthly meetings to identify issues in their study environments that may lead to difficulties. We keep records of individual visa status and assist with visa renewal applications. Three times a year, we hold a social event called “International Exchange Café” with open invitation to all students and staff members.

Location and Contact

1-16-30 Manpukuji, KawasakiAsao Ward, Kanagawa Prefecture 215-0004, Japan

Tel  +81-44-951-2511
e-mail info@eiga.ac.jp

Our two campuses are both located in the “Shinyuri: Town of the Arts” district, which is around 30 minutes by train from Shinjuku, Tokyo. The nearest station is Shinyurigaoka Station on the Odakyu Line, which has become a cultural hub within Kawasaki City. The area is now an “Arts Zone”, home to a gathering of other cultural facilities including Kawasaki Art Center, Asao Cultural Center, and Shinyuri 21 Hall. The town offers the perfect environment for art students who can participate in various cultural activities around the town, while enjoying the combination of a beautiful natural landscape and the convenience of metropolitan living.