Saturday, January 20, 2007

History of Japanese Animation:part one.1

Yasushi Murata who is a friend from the time of the child of Yamamoto will join the Yokohama Cinema in 1923. This company was supplying Charles Pathe's films in Japan, and Murata was engaged in work of title writing here. PATHE is also the distribution contractor of the Bray's films, and Murata memorizes interest in animation through this work. Then, he calls at Yamamoto, studies the method of making animation, and invents his original method at last by the paper-cutting method which was the mainstream of animation manufacture of our country at the time (The method of manufacturing animation has been a secret for every animator at the time. Therefore, I wrote "invents his original method". Yamamoto did not teach the place of an important point, even if it taught foundations.)

First, it makes "JIRAFU NO KUBI HA NAZE NAGAI(Why is long of neck of giraffe)" (26) as an experiment, "TAKO NO HONE(Bone of Octopus)" (27) is announced continuously, and work of making animation will be done.

Murata announced most many works in pre the World War II days, he made about 50 animations before 1936. It was as advanced as the technology of the paper-cutting animation trained in this time had not been imagined from present.

However, the problems are contents. For example, "SARUMASAMUNE"(30). This tale is that HIKYAKU(a carrier of Edo period) helps a monkey, gets a noted sword from a monkey as gratitude, and escapes from a crisis using the noted sword. Teaching-side are pushed out by the front of the film and it is hard to tell a compliment that it is interesting. It is because it was regulated by the state of the thinking of the Japanese of pre-war days which imagination cannot attach from present us.

If Murata was a paper-cutting group's representation, a cell group's representation was Kenzo Masaoka. Although he graduated from the art school in 1917, and it learned under Seiki Kuroda(famous painter) after that and being aspired after the way of pictures, it will go into the Makino movie in 1925, and the way of a movie will be followed.He becomes independent at the time of abolition of the educational film part of Nikkatsu which was working as a technical chief, and will manufacture "NANSENSU MONOGATARI:SARUGASHIMA(Nonsence Story:Island of Apes)"(30)("NANSEN" mean wrecked ship) by the tie-up with Nikkatsu in 1930. The story that the baby whom only one person survived by wreked ship was brought up into apes was made using paper-cutting technique. Although it was not a work with exceptional novelty, speedy story deployment which is symbolized by the attractive title was superb.

It continues, "NANSENSU MONGARARI DAI2 HEN:KAIZOKUSENN(UMI NO BOUKEN)(Nonsence Story part 2:A Pirate ship (Marine adventure))" (31) is made, and "TIKARA TO ONNA NO YONONAKA(The world of power and woman)" was made in 1932, using a cell extensively. This film was also the first full-scale all talkie animation in Japan. Since the print of this film is not existing, I want to withhold evaluation. However, it deserves attention that it was the nonsense story animation new as that time which can be guessed from a title.

Just before starting manufacture of "The world of power and a woman", the one youth has jumped into Masaoka's place. He was Mitsuyo Seo. He was making the first two feature length animated cartoons in Japan, "MOMOTARO NO UMIWASHI(Sea Wark of Momotaro"(43) and "MOMOTARO UMI NO SINPEI(God soldier of sea, Momotaro)"(45) (although it was opened to the public just before defeat of the Second World War and had become the work of a phantom for subsequent confusion, evaluation with a masterpiece was obtained). His way until to make two feature length works is telling very symbolically the locus which the animation (rather the whole of art than a animation field) which continues until defeat of the World War II.

After working under Masaoka for a while, independently Seo made "OSARU SANKITI, BOUKUUSENN NO MAKI(Sankiti of Ape-Air defense game)" (34). However, nontheatrical works will be made from this time because the American colored works which began to be released in our country.(The same case is repeated also in the postwar period). Therefore, advertising movie of Morinaga(Confectionery Company)"OYAMA NO TAISHOU"(General in Mountain)(35) and WAKAMOTO's (the neon sign of this company appears in "Blade Runner")"NINOMARU HATANOSUKE"(38) will be made. It can be said that in the latter HATANOSUKE as Popeye and WAKAMOTO as spinach was very intelligible, so had a little doctrinarian to enter, and pushed deployment and drawing of an invigorating tale. Even if it sees now, it is one attractive piece.

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