22 November 2011

The Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Shows (1972-1980), Part II

I remember that once in an English Literature class we were asked: “If you could travel back in time to be in the audience for any performance in history, what would you like to see?”  My answer at the time was to see Fred and Adele Astaire dance on Broadway.  Today, I think my answer would be to attend the Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Shows. 

The first Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (川本+ 岡本パペットアニメーショウ) was in October 1972, one year after Tadanari Okamoto had held a retrospective of his own work.  As mentioned in Part I, Okamoto had been the one to suggest a joint event with his friend Kihachiro Kawamoto.  Even with the work of two animators, they still did not have enough to fill a programme, so Kawamoto came up with the idea of including live puppet theatre.   Many of the live puppet performances were written and directed by Kawamoto himself. 

The events allowed not only these two acknowledged masters of puppet animation to shine, but also gave the staff who worked for them an opportunity to show off their own individual talents.  At the fourth show in 1975, for example, Hirokazu Minegishi presented his own short film The Daughter of Osaka (Ōsaka no ojyōsan).  Minegishi worked for both Okamoto and Kurosawa throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and now does puppet animation under director Tsuneo Goda for Dwarf (Domo-kun, Komaneko, etc.)

According to Kihachiro Kawamoto: Animation and Puppet Master (Kadakawa Shoten, 1994), these are  the animation screening programmes for the Anime-Shows (KK=Kawamoto, TO=Okamoto):

1st Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1972)

The Demon (KK)
Chikotan (TO)
The Monkey and the Crab (TO)
The Mochi-Mochi Tree (TO)

2nd Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1973)

Tabi (KK)
The Travelling Companion (TO)
Praise Be to Small Ills (TO)
Bach Omnibus (Hiromi Wakasa, Yoko Higashikawa, Hiroshi Jinsenji)

3rd Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1974)

Sheep Song (Hitsuji no Uta, Hiromi Wakasa)
All You Need Is Love (Ai koso subete, Satoru Yoshida)
Get off (Noboru Shinogi)
A Poet’s Life (KK)
December Song (TO)
Five Small Stories (TO)  

4th Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1975)

Stripe (Hiromi Wakasa)
The Daughter of Osaka (Ōsaka no ojyōsan, Hirokazu Minegishi)
Three Stories (Mitsu no Hanashi, Kimura Hiroshi/Tamotsu Shiihara/Tadakazu Takahashi)
Hana-Ori (KK)
Urameshi Denwa (TO)
The Water Seed (TO)

5th Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1976)

From Cherry Blossom With Love (TO)
The Strong Bridge (TO)
Dojoji Temple (KK)
Are wa dare? (TO)

Reprise Screening Event (October 1979)

The Strong Bridge (TO)
The Ningen Ijime Series (TO)
Dojoji Temple (KK)
Are wa Dare? (TO)
Chikotan (TO)

6th Kawamoto + Okamoto Puppet Anime-Show (October 1980)

TV Commercials (TO)
The Strong Bridge (TO)
Ningen Ijime Series Part 4: Oshizuka ni (TO)
Panache the Squirrel (TO)
House of Flames (KK)
Towards the Rainbow (TO)
Catherine Munroe Hotes 2011

Source: Kihachiro Kawamoto: Animation and Puppet Master (Kadakawa Shoten, 1994)

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