“Banji,” as Banjiro Uemura likes to be informally called, can be described as the entertainment industry’s Japanese cultural ambassador to the world, and the world’s cultural ambassador to Japan.

Now, Uemura’s 50 years in the television business are being celebrated in the VideoAge L.A. Screenings Studio edition, as its 18thInternational TV Distribution Hall of Fame honoree.

The 88-year-old Uemura retired from the business seven years ago and now Tohokushinsha Film Corporation (TFC), the company that he founded in 1961, is run by his son, Tetsu.

In Tokyo and around Japan, people are used to seeing, in public, a stern-looking Uemura—as tradition demands of leadership figures—but all of his friends and associates throughout the world cannot imagine Uemura without his captivating smile and great sense of humor.

Uemura’s accomplishments in film and television production and distribution, as well as the TV channel, TV satellite and dubbing business are too numerous to list, but VideoAge will attempt to do just that with an historical feature in its May Issue.

The feature was compiled thanks to the cooperation of several TFC executives, including Tetsu Uemura, over a several-month period.