The year was 1939. The entry into the grim era.
But for the New Year Film Fest, Nikkatsu released "Oshidori Utagassen", one of the most delightful Japanese musicals ever. It was directed by Masahiro Makino in about 10 days. In fact the star of the film Chiezo Kataoka was ill at the time, so his screen time is minimum (shooting was only 2 hours long, it was said), and the rest of the film was filled with the most delightful examples of cinema making ....
I wrote "one of the most delightful Japanese musicals ever". It's a musical you would never have dreamed of. Jazz Operetta set in 17th century Edo. The young lord breezily walking the streets with his subordinates, singing "I am a young load ..." See it for yourself.
It may remind you of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Author's Court (1946)", but that one involves time travel. This film is a straight Jazz musical set in the feudal era, no gimmicks.
Every now and then, another Japanese film director is "discovered" by western audiences.
First it was Yasujiro Ozu, then Mikio Naruse, Hiroshi Shimizu, Sadao Yamanaka and so on. Apparently, Masahiro Makino has not been discovered by West, yet. But he was the Japanese cinema.