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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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Chiyogami, Cartoon, Silhouette

Chiyogami, Cartoon, Silhouette

The Transitions of Ōfuji Noburō

(p.87) Chiyogami, Cartoon, Silhouette
Japanese Animation

Akiko Sano

University Press of Mississippi

One of the most important artists in the history of Japanese animation is Ōfuji Noburō (1900–1961). Among his notable works are Kujira (The Whale, 1952), which was shown in the short film category at the Cannes International Film Festival, and Yūreisen (The Phantom Ship, 1956), which received the Special Prize at the Venice International Film Festival. In his animation, Ōfuji used silhouettes together with colored cellophane. From the 1920s to the 1940s, he shifted from chiyogami animation (a cutout animation style that uses traditional Japanese paper colored patterns) to cartoon-style animation, and then to silhouette animation. This chapter examines the historical background that influenced Ōfuji to adopt different animation styles in the contexts of the visual and narrative discourses of his oeuvre. It begins with a discussion of the impact of American animated cartoons on Japanese animation in general and on Ōfuji’s works in particular. The chapter then considers Ōfuji’s cartoon animation and his decision to switch to silhouette animation.

Keywords:   silhouettes, Japanese animation, Ōfuji Noburō, chiyogami, animated cartoons, cartoon animation, silhouette animation

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