There is a series of good and bad news regarding the Akira Kurosawa’s Paintings section on this website:
Good: Some time ago I was contacted by HoriPro Inc., the company that currently holds the license to Akira Kurosawa’s drawings and paintings. I am always happy when I get in contact with Kurosawa-related people.
Bad: Unfortunately, they were not entirely happy with the fact that I was displaying pictures of Kurosawa’s paintings on this website. Despite of their small size and number, they saw this as copyright infringement and asked me to remove the images. Apparently, the decision is not entirely theirs, but is a strong wish from the Kurosawa Productions who owns the copyrights.
Good: HoriPro’s request and other communication has been extremely kind and understanding. Furthermore, I can understand that they are keen to keep control of the distribution of these images, as only that way can their value in terms of exhibitions and reproductions be maintained at a level that makes it possible to do business with them.
Bad: All the images that previously appeared on the page have now been removed.
Good: The kind people at HoriPro Inc. have agreed to provide me a set of images with which to replace the old ones. They are now available at the redesigned Akira Kurosawa’s Paintings section.
Bad: Unlike the original images displayed on this site, these new images are not the ones that I originally displayed — a selection that was more or less based on my personal tastes and ideas of what would be a representational set of Kurosawa’s painted arts. This also prevents me from doing what I had been thinking of doing in the future: creating a more in-depth section about the paintings by looking at their influences, as well as in the case of storyboard paintings comparing them to the scenes in the films that they depict.
Good: But at least now I am clear of all copyright infringements.
Bad: The images come with a rather visible “SAMPLE” text on them. While this rightfully prevents anyone from making any commercial use of them, it also slightly hinders enjoying these images.
Good: There are now links to HoriPro’s Akira Kurosawa Drawings Shop where you can purchase reproductions of these and other drawings and paintings. These come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as well as materials ranging from the more conventional paper/cardboard and postcards to memo pads, shirts, bags, fridge magnets, mirrors, bookmarks, fans, mouse pads, coasters, key rings, and even micro-fibre cleaning cloths so that you can wipe your glasses or computer screens with official Akira Kurosawa merchandise. They also have the Akira Kurosawa Digital Museum CD-ROM on sale, as well as some collectible figures.