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Thursday, December 15, 2005

KAWAMOTO, Kihachiro

This posting is a stub. You can contribute to this entry by providing information through the comments link at the bottom of this post. Please organize your information following the main category headers below....

Birth/Death

Birth: 1925, Tokyo, Japan

Occupation/Title

Animator, Puppet maker, Director, Assistant Art Designer (Toho)

Bio Summary

As a child even before elementary school, Kihachiro Kawamoto was already interested in the art of puppet making. He started out making dolls which he describes as just children’s toys to dress up and play. He actually started puppets around the age of 25.

Early Life/Family

He was interested in puppets since he was a child. That interest never left him since his childhood.

Education/Training

Trained under Tadahito Mochinaga, Japan’s first stop motion animator
Stated in interview “Toho was a great school for me” 
Studied in Prague under Jiri Trnka

Career Outline

His creation of puppets didn’t turn into actual animations until he met Tadahito Mochinaga, who was one of Japanese stop motion animators. Kawamoto then trained under him which led to him to create his first animation work in 1953 for a 2 minute television commercial using stop motion puppets
He co-founded Shiba Productions with Tadasu Lizawa, which is a studio that mainly did commercials for television. He also lived in Prague to study under his main influence. He also worked in Toho studio as an assistant art designer. He temporarily moved away from puppet animation and did cut out animation in mid 70’s. He is most famous in Japan for designing puppets for a Japanese television series about “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. He then made puppets for another television series “The Story of Heike”. He made numerous shorts and two feature length stop motion films.

Comments On Style

Poetically tell stories through his animations or puppetry. It seems he cares more about the artistic style on his films instead of putting out work to be understood commercially. He also has a style which references many events or history. His latest film has influences from Buddhism and also Soviet killings in Czech in 1968.
His puppets seem simple and not too elaborate. However, there are simple and intricate details in his puppetry that makes it seem to come alive. Trnka also influence his style to draw upon many of his countries rich cultural heritage. This is shown in his work where many of his puppets are made to have a classical Japanese look to them. 

He also undergone a short brief period where he did cut out animation for two of his short films.

Influences

Tadahito Mochinaga first trained him on stop motion animation.
Jiri Trnka helped him develop a certain style to his puppets and his animation.
He also has numerous influences on his story from events in Czech history and also Buddhism. 
Ladislaw Starewicz also has some indirect influence.

Personality

Determined to create his own style or his kind of artistic work instead of concentrating on the commercial aspects of his work. He stated in one of his interviews “I made the kind of works I wanted to make. I didn't really care if it was commercially successful or not.” 

He does seem to be a hard worker considering that he worked other jobs while doing his films and puppets in order to make a living.

Anecdotes

He directed a short film with other artist in collaboration to give tribute on the famous 17th century poet Matsuo Basho.

Miscellaneous

Filmography

Bîru mukashi mukashi (1956) (puppet maker) 
Chibikuro Sambo no tora taiji (1956) Puppet 
Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (1968) Director / Animator (short film)
Anthoropo Cynical Farce (1970) Director / Animator (short film)
The Demon (1970) Director / Animator (short film)
Kenju giga (1970) Writer
The Trip (1973) Director / Animator (Short film)
The Poet's Life (1974) Director / Animator (Short film)
Dojoji Temple (1976) Director / Animator (short film)
House of Flame (1979) Director / Animator (short film)
Rennyo and His Mother (1981) Director / Animator
Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sangokushi) (1982-84) Puppet maker
The Story of Heike (Heike Monogatari) (1993-94) Puppet maker
Briar Rose or the Sleeping Beauty (1990) Director / Animator (short film)
Ibara hime matawa Nemuri hime (1990)
Winter Days (2003) Director
The Book of the Dead (2005) Director / Animator

Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1988


Related Links

http://www.artfifa.com/en/par-titre/view-175.html

Bibliographic References

http://www.100meterfilms.com/bookdead_shortlist.html

You can contribute to this listing. Click on COMMENTS below to submit information.

2 Comments:

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Johnny W said...

Birth/Death
1925,
Tokyo, Japan
Occupation/Title
Animator, Puppet maker, Director, Assistant Art Designer (Toho)

Bio Summary
As a child even before elementary school, Kihachiro Kawamoto was already interested in the art of puppet making. He started out making dolls which he describes as just children’s toys to dress up and play. He actually started puppets around the age of 25.

Early Life/Family
He was interested in puppets since he was a child. That interest never left him since his childhood.

Education/Training
Trained under Tadahito Mochinaga, Japan’s first stop motion animator
Stated in interview “Toho was a great school for me”
Studied in Prague under Jiri Trnka

Career Outline
His creation of puppets didn’t turn into actual animations until he met Tadahito Mochinaga, who was one of Japanese stop motion animators. Kawamoto then trained under him which led to him to create his first animation work in 1953 for a 2 minute television commercial using stop motion puppets.

He co-founded Shiba Productions with Tadasu Lizawa, which is a studio that mainly did commercials for television. He also lived in Prague to study under his main influence. He also worked in Toho studio as an assistant art designer. He temporarily moved away from puppet animation and did cut out animation in mid 70’s. He is most famous in Japan for designing puppets for a Japanese television series about “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. He then made puppets for another television series “The Story of Heike”. He made numerous shorts and two feature length stop motion films.

Comments On Style
Poetically tell stories through his animations or puppetry. It seems he cares more about the artistic style on his films instead of putting out work to be understood commercially. He also has a style which references many events or history. His latest film has influences from Buddhism and also Soviet killings in Czech in 1968.

His puppets seem simple and not too elaborate. However, there are simple and intricate details in his puppetry that makes it seem to come alive. Trnka also influence his style to draw upon many of his countries rich cultural heritage. This is shown in his work where many of his puppets are made to have a classical Japanese look to them.

He also undergone a short brief period where he did cut out animation for two of his short films.

Influences
Tadahito Mochinaga first trained him on stop motion animation.
Jiri Trnka helped him develop a certain style to his puppets and his animation.
He also has numerous influences on his story from events in Czech history and also Buddhism.
Ladislaw Starewicz also has some indirect influence.

Personality
Determined to create his own style or his kind of artistic work instead of concentrating on the commercial aspects of his work. He stated in one of his interviews “I made the kind of works I wanted to make. I didn't really care if it was commercially successful or not.”

He does seem to be a hard worker considering that he worked other jobs while doing his films and puppets in order to make a living.

Anecdotes

Miscellaneous
He directed a short film with other artist in collaboration to give tribute on the famous 17th century poet Matsuo Basho.

Filmography
Bîru mukashi mukashi (1956) (puppet maker)
Chibikuro Sambo no tora taiji (1956) Puppet
Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (1968) Director / Animator (short film)
Anthoropo Cynical Farce (1970) Director / Animator (short film)
The Demon (1970) Director / Animator (short film)
Kenju giga (1970) Writer
The Trip (1973) Director / Animator (Short film)
The Poet's Life (1974) Director / Animator (Short film)
Dojoji Temple (1976) Director / Animator (short film)
House of Flame (1979) Director / Animator (short film)
Rennyo and His Mother (1981) Director / Animator
Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sangokushi) (1982-84) Puppet maker
The Story of Heike (Heike Monogatari) (1993-94) Puppet maker
Briar Rose or the Sleeping Beauty (1990) Director / Animator (short film)
Ibara hime matawa Nemuri hime (1990)
Winter Days (2003) Director
The Book of the Dead (2005) Director / Animator

Honors

Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 1988


Related Links
http://www.artfifa.com/en/par-titre/view-175.html

Bibliographic References
http://www.100meterfilms.com/bookdead_shortlist.html
http://www.100meterfilms.com/bookdead_director.html
http://thescreen.csf.edu/Kawamoto_about_the_director.htm
http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews/kihachiro_kawamoto.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Days
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680531/


Contributors To This Listing
Johnny W.

 
At 3:28 AM, Blogger Lara said...

KAWAMOTO, Kihachiro



Birth/Death:

Born 1925, Shibuya, Tokyo Japan



Occupation/Title

Director, Animation Department, Writer, Miscellaneous Crew,
Art Department, Producer, Art Director


Bio Summary:

In early childhood Kihachiro Kawamoto was captivated by the art of doll and puppet making.
His grandmother taught him traditional doll-making skills as a small child. After seeing the works of the Czech animator Jiri Trnka, he became interested in stop motion puppet animation. During the 50s he began working alongside Japan's first stop motion animator, the Notable Tadahito Mochinaga.

In 1958, he co-founded Shiba Productions to make commercial animation for television, but it was not until 1963, when he traveled to Prague to study puppet animation under Jiri Trnka for a year, that his puppets truly began to take on a life of their own. Trnka encouraged Kawamoto to draw on his own country's rich cultural heritage in his work, and so Kawamoto returned from Czechoslovakia to make a series of highly individual, independently-produced artistic short works, beginning with Breaking of Branches is Forbidden (Hana-Ori) in 1968.

Since the 70s his haunting puppet animations such as The Demon (Oni, 1972), Dojoji Temple (Dojoji, 1976) and House of Flame (Kataku, 1979) have won awards internationally. He has also produced cut out (kirigami) animations such as The Trip (Tabi, 1973) and A Poet's Life (Shijin no Shogai, 1974). In 1990 he returned to Trnka's studios in Prague to make Briar Rose, or The Sleeping Beauty.


In Japan, he is best known for designing the puppets used in the long-running TV series based on the Chinese literary classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sangokushi, 1982-84), and later for The Story of Heike (Heike Monogatari, 1993-94).

In 2003, he was responsible for overseeing the Winter Days (Fuyu no Hi) project, in which 35 of the world's animators each worked on a two-minute scenes inspired by the renka couplets of celebrated haiku poet Matsuo Basho.

The Book of the Dead (Shisha no Sho) is Kawamoto's second feature length stop motion puppet animation, His First was Rennyo and His Mother (Rennyo To Sono Haha) in 1981



Early Life/Family

His grandmother taught him traditional doll-making skills as a small child

He originally intended to be an architect, with doll-making as a hobby, but the war interrupted his studies. His first job was in movies, as an assistant designer for Toho Studios, but his beautiful dolls of Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn sold well and attracted media attention

He supported himself by making and selling dolls of Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn. Afterward, He wrote a column on doll making, which ran from 1949 to 1952 in the Asahi Graph magazine




Education/Training

Graduated from Yokohama National University

1946-50 Worked with the TOHO Film company as an assistant art designer

1963 studied in Prague under Trnka at Kratky Studios for one year



Career Outline

1946-50 Worked with the TOHO Film company as an assistant are designer

1949-1952 He supported himself by making dolls of famous stars, both for sale as novelty items and as part of a column on doll making, which ran from 1949 to 1952 in the Asahi Graph magazine

1950 he went into business with publisher Tadasu Iizawa, making 'puppet storybooks' with photographs of dolls re-enacting fairy tales

1953 he began training with Tadahito Mochinaga, Japan's first stop-motion animator, making TV commercials

1963 studied/Worked in Prague under Trnka at Kratky Studios

made a living and funded his projects by making commercials and educational animations

1989 He succeeded Osamu Tezuka as President of the Japan Animation Association




Comments On Style

Beautiful and eerie at the same time. Strongly influenced by the traditional styles of Noh, Bunraku doll theatre and Kabuki.His dynamic independent style of traditional mysticism mixed with his own artistic visions still appeal to modern audiences.



Influences

Tadahito Mochinaga
Jiri Trnka
Buddhism
traditional Japanese Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku theater


Personality

He holds strongly to Buddhism ideals. Because monetary gain as a Buddhist is not his goal he is able to create moving images purely for himself and because of the personal nature of his work he is able to maintain a continuous flow of creativity despite the heavy workload he is engaged in.



Filmography


Shisha no sho (2005)
aka A Book of a Dead Person (International: English title: informal literal title)
aka The Book of the Dead (International: English title)

Fuyu no hi (2003)
aka Winter Days (International: English title)

Ibara hime matawa Nemuri hime (1990)
aka Sípková Ruzenka aneb Spici krasavice (Czechoslovakia: Czech title)

Self Portrait (1988/III)

Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sangokushi) (1982-84) Puppet maker

Rennyo to sono haha (1981)

Kataku (1979)
aka House of Flame (USA: DVD title)

Kenju giga (1970)

Hanaori (1968)
aka Hanaori: Breaking of Branches Is Forbidden (International: English title)




Taken from


http://anime.suite101.com/article.cfm/kihachiro_kawamotos_puppet_anime
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Kihachiro_Kawamoto
http://www.animevice.com/kihachiro-kawamoto/20-55796/
http://anime.suite101.com/article.cfm/kihachiro_kawamotos_puppet_anime#ixzz0C4RdOEO8
http://www.midnighteye.com/interviews
http://www.awn.com/mag/issue4.09/4.09pages/onomochinaga.php3
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680531/


Honors

1988 Annie Awards: Foreign Award

2006 Sitges- Catalonian International Film Festival
Special mention for Shisha no sho (2005)

 

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