Database for Animation Studies

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The Shadow Staff: Japanese Animators in the Tōhō Aviation Education Materials Production Office 1939–1945

Despite the attention paid by Japanese animation historians to cartoon propaganda films made during the Second World War, twice as much animation may have been produced in the period for military instructional films. These films, now lost, were made by a group of animators seconded to the Tōhō Aviation Education Materials Production Office (Tōhō Kōkū Kyōiku Shiryō Seisaku-sho). Occasionally running for five or six reels (c. 48 minutes), and in one case consisting of a feature-length eight reels, they form the missing link between the one- and two-reel shorts of the 1930s and Japanese animation’s first feature, Momotarō Umi no Shinpei (1945, Momotarō’s Divine Sea Warriors). The films included tactical tips for the pilots who would bomb Pearl Harbor, short courses in identifying enemy ships, and an introduction to combat protocols for aircraft carrier personnel. This article reconstructs the content and achievement of the Shadow Staff from available materials, and considers its exclusion from (and restoration to) narratives of the Japanese animation industry.

  • Title (Japanese)
影のスタッフ――東宝航空教育資料製作所(1939-1945)のアニメーターたち
  • Publish Date
2012
  • Authors
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  • Publication
Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Publication Volume
7(2)
  • Publication Page Number
189-204
  • Publication’s Website
http://anm.sagepub.com/content/7/2/189.abstract
  • DOI
10.1177/1746847712438137
  • Keywords
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