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Research on the Achievements of Japan's First Three Animators

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Japanese animation is thought to have started when three animators (Oten Shimokawa, Jun-ichi Kouchi, and Seitaro Kitayama) released separate works at more or less the same time in 1917. However, very little research has been conducted so far on their personalities or their professional achievements. A major reason for this is that hardly any of the works they created have survived to the present day. So far, most research in Japan on these three pioneers has taken the form of literary searches. (Midorikawa, 1993: 1-42; Yamaguchi, 1978; Yamaguchi and Watanabe, 1977). But this research is inadequate from the viewpoint of the history of the development of animation -- i.e. how their work influenced the subsequent development of animation in Japan.
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Keywords: Animation; Japan; Jun-Ichi Kouchi; Oten Shimokawa; Seitaro Kitayama; achievements; research

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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