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Japanese AnimationEast Asian Perspectives$
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Masao Yokota and Tze-yue G. Hu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781617038099

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617038099.001.0001

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date: 16 December 2017

Animation and Psychology

Animation and Psychology

The Midlife Crisis of Kawamoto Kihachiro

Chapter:
(p.265) Animation and Psychology
Source:
Japanese Animation
Author(s):

Masao Yokota

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617038099.003.0016

Kawamoto Kihachiro (1925–2010) is arguably the most famous artistic animation director in Japan. Known for his puppets, he changed his career in midlife, first by quitting as a successful animator at Shiba Productions to study puppet animation in Czechoslovakia. Kihachiro became an independent director and returned to Japan to direct Breaking of Branches Is Forbidden. His latest animation is The Book of the Dead, produced in 2005. This chapter examines Kawamoto’s creativity by focusing on his animations as well as the materials that he prepared for creating those animations. Before describing Kawamoto and his animated films, it outlines a basic frame of reference used in clinical psychology studies—the human life cycle—and then shows that Kawamoto’s films increasingly reflected on the theme of the human life cycle as he aged. The chapter then looks at Kawamoto’s first and last puppet animation films as well as his unpublished and unfinished projects. It also considers a group of animation directors in Japan, including Takahata Isao, Miyazaki Hayao, and Oshii Mamoru, whose animated works are reflective of their age advancement.

Keywords:   puppets, Kawamoto Kihachiro, Japan, puppet animation, Breaking of Branches, clinical psychology, human life cycle, animated films, animation directors

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