Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Episode 39: The History of Japanese Animation

In the late 19th century, Japanese, American, European and other cartoon artists communicated cross continentally.  They traveled, taught, and joined in business with each other.  The Japanese cartoons, called Manga today, developed into a unique graphic style rich in Japanese culture with strong Western influences.    

 The target audience of Charles Wirgman’s “Japan Punch”  was a small but expanding group of English speaking people residing in Japan.
Manga began as cartoons in magazines and newspapers, then spread to illustrations in books in the early 1900’s.  Osamu Tezuka is credited for creating narrative manga, where the images themselves, in succession, tell the story, instead of simply illustrating the words.

1949 Rakuten’s take on censorship; and the train company heads sinking in a "sea of shame", from the book “Kitazawa Rakuten: Founder of the Modern Japanese Cartoon”

New Treasure Island, Tezuka, 1947

“Anime” is the term for Japanese animation.  Manga artist and animator Hayao Miyazaki has directed several successful films, including “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Ponyo”.  He advocates hand drawing in anime, allowing no more than 10% of footage in his films to be computer generated.


We also need to give a huge thank you to Helen McCarthy, for all your great information that was made available to us on your website and on youtube! Go check out her videos if you want to learn more about this history!

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