Nobuyuki Tsugata, Nihonhatsu no animeeshon sakka: Kitayama Seitarou (Japan’s First Animation Artist: Kitayama Seitaro), Rinsen Shoten, 2007
Seitaro Kitayama is one of the three animators who released works in 1917,marking the beginning of Japanese animation. This critical biography traces hispath from western painting to animation and further work on a wide range ofprojects.
Sanae Yamamoto, Manga eiga to tomo ni: Ko Yamamoto Sanae shi jihitsu jiden yori (Together with Manga Movies: From the Autobiography of the Deceased Sanae Yamamoto), published by Kazuko Miyamoto, 1982
Autobiography by Sanae Yamamoto (real name: Zenjiro Yamamoto), whostudied under Seitaro Kitayama. It is a unique memoir about a figure involved inJapanese animation from the earliest years through the establishment of ToeiDoga.
Yukari Hagiwara, Masaoka Kenzo to sono jidai ‘Nihon animeeshon no chichi’ no senzen to sengo (Kenzo Masaoka and His Era: Prewar and Postwar for the ‘Father of Japanese Animation’), Seikyusha, 2015
Critical biography about Kenzo Masaoka, known for “Kuma to Chuurippu” (Bearand Tulip) (1943) and called the father of Japanese animation. He arrived animation via painting and live-action films, and the book also covers hispostwar work as an illustrated book author.
Keiichi Watanabe, Anime shokunin: Kumakawa Masao den (Anime Craftsman: Biography of Kumakawa Masao), Jump, Inc., publication date unknown
Biography of Masao Kumakawa, who studied under Kenzo Masaoka andworked at Nihon Dogasha after the war. The story of his life tells of the bitterstruggles animators faced before the war, and after the war as well.
Tadahiko Mochinaga, Animeeshon nicchuu kouryuuki: Mochinaga Taahiko Jiden (Record of Animation Japan-China Exchange: Tadahiko Mochinaga Autobiography), Toho Shoten, 2006
Autobiography by Tadahiko Mochinaga, known for his work as a stop-motionanimation artist. Covers his recollections about the production of “Momotaro noUmiwashi” (Momotaro’s Sea Eagles) (1943) under Mitsuo Seyo as well as hisproduction work in China made possible by his transfer to the Manchukou FilmAssociation Ltd.
Yasuji Mori, Mogura no uta: Animeetaa no jiden (A Mole’s Song: Autobiography of an Animator), Tokuma Shoten, 1984
Yasuji Mori revises and expands upon his autobiography serialized in themagazine Animage and brings the content together into a single volume. Thisbook offers a glimpse of the work styles of contemporary animation artists,starting with Kenzo Masaoka of the Nihon Dogasha era.
Nihon manga eiga no zenbou sono tanjou kara ‘Sen to chihiro no kamikakushi’ soshite… (The Full Picture of Japanese Manga Films: From Their Birth to “Spirited Away” and Then..), Nihon Manga Eiga no Zenbouten Jikkou Iinkai (Full Picture of Japanese Manga Films Organizing Committee), 2004
Catalog from the eponymous exhibition held in 2004. Covers the history ofJapanese animation from its start in 1917 with valuable material from StudioGhibli as well as Oten Shimokawa, Seitaro Kitayama and Junichi Kouchi.
Critique of manga movies, another term for animation, by film critic TaiheiImamura. Attempts a comparison between animation and traditional Japanesearts. Reprinted numerous times after the war and most recently reissued byTokuma Shoten in 2005.
Sebastien Roffat, Anime to puropoganda: Dainiji taisenki no eiga to seiji (original title: Animation et Propagande : les dessins animés pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale) Translated by Shinichi Furunaga, Makiko Nakajima, Masato Hara, Hosei Daigaku Shuppankyoku, 2011
Study of propaganda animation created in various countries during World WarII. Fascinating as an in depth study of the field of propaganda as well asJapanese animation history as seen from outside Japan.
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, Seimei wo fukikomu mahou (The Illusion of Life), Translated by Studio Ghibli, Tokuma Shoten, 2002.
At one time, aspects of Japanese animation were modeled on Disney works.The book includes ample reference material with commentary on how Disneyfilms of that era were created and is a useful reference when considering thehistory of Japanese animation.