Director focus:

Yasuji Murata


Yasuji Murata (1896-1966) was a billboard painter before he got a job at Yokohama Cinema, an educational film production company. There he became a pioneer in educational animation films, producing such works as Corporal Norakuro (Norakuro gocho) and Animal Olympics (Dobutsu Orinpikku taikai). These were all didactic in tone, but Murata is remembered today as a master of cutout animation. Yoshitaro Kataoka, the director of Danemon Ban—The Monster Exterminator, was one of Murata’s students.


Available from Zakka Films:

The Roots of Japanese Anime—Until the End of WW II

Roots of Japanese Anime Until the End of WWII DVD cover Total running time: Approx. 92 minutes. / monochrome

8 classic masterworks of early Japanese anime, featuring legendary heroes battling mountain demons and raccoon samurai, a notorious bombing of Pearl Harbor by cute animals, and many more gems by the true pioneers of anime.