TOKYO — Google Japan and the Toei studio have partnered to set up a pop-up period drama studio in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills entertainment, shopping and business complex where Google Japan has its corporate headquarters.

Young YouTube creators will get together with veteran Toei period drama staff to make clips for Google-owned YouTube.
The studio has two Japanese-style rooms that can be converted to four types of period settings. Toei staff will be on hand to provide everything from scripts and extras to costuming, lighting and other technical assistance. The studio will operate free of charge to YouTube creators until the end of May.
The idea is to revive interest in the period drama genre among the younger generation of creators and fans, who have largely given it a pass for various reasons including relatively high costs and a lack of expertise.
Films and TV shows set in the feudal past featuring top-knotted samurai were once a mainstay of production in Japan, but the genre has encountered hard times with the decline of its now mainly aged fan base.

Toei’s Kyoto studio once devoted itself almost entirely to period drama production but the long-nurtured skills of its staff are now in danger of professional extinction.