Database for Animation Studies


What if Isao Takahata had Visualized “The Bears of Mt. Nametoko”?: From a New Perspective on Animism

This paper examines the visual expression and characteristics of Kenji Miyazawa’s fairy tales, which Isao Takahata had hoped to make into films. I adopt the methodology of introducing the new viewpoint of animism. This is due to new developments in the theories of animism at a time when post-humanism is being anticipated in animated films. My procedure is as follows.
Firstly, I reconsider Isao Takahata’s statement about Kenji Miyazawa’s works, and his theme of coexistence with non-human beings. Secondly, I take up Kenji Miyazawa’s “The Beginning of the Deer Dance,” and confirm its emphasis on visual and auditory elements to create imagery. Finally, I find the themes of human and inhuman homogeneity and shared souls in “The Bears of Nametoko.” The fairy tale by Kenji Miyazawa which Takahata turned his attention to seems to be an indigenous tale with rich regional flavor; however, I would like to point out that if you look at it as an “animated film,” there is an eye for technology behind it.

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