August 28, 2010

JAPAN: He'll no longer pull strings - popular puppet animation producer dies at 85

TOKYO, Japan / The Japan Times / Entertainment / Kyodo News / August 28, 2010

Puppet animation producer Kihachiro Kawamoto, best known for the NHK series "Sangokushi" ("The Romance of the Three Kingdoms"), died Monday of pneumonia, his family said Friday. He was 85.

Pulling the strings: Leading puppet animation producer Kihachiro Kawamoto shows the puppet of Zhuge Kongming, a character from "Sangokushi," in March 2007. Kyodo Photo

Kawamoto released numerous stop-motion puppet animation films, including "Oni" ("The Demon"), "Dojoji" ("Dojoji Temple"), and the series "Heikemonogatari" ("Tale of the Heike"), which was also aired on NHK.

In 1963, he traveled to Czechoslovakia to study under acclaimed puppet motion picture animator and film director Jiri Trnka.

His last film "Shishanosho" ("The Book of the Dead"), based on a book by Japanese folklorist Shinobu Origuchi, premiered in 2005.

The recipient of many film awards at home and abroad, Kihachiro Kawamoto was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in 1995. In 2007, a museum displaying his major productions was opened in Iida, Nagano Prefecture.

(C) The Japan Times

Also read
Interview with Akino Kondoh
The Passing of a Puppet Master:
Kihachiro Kawamoto (1925-2010)

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