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CULTURE
The Dawn of Japanese Animation
by Brian Fichtner
on 12 February 2008
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In a city awash with museums and galleries, navigating New York's rich cultural landscape can be a daunting task, even for the well-versed local. Still, sometimes the weekly choice of what to do is refreshingly simple. The Japan Society, the city's premier institution for fostering education on the artistic, social, and political concerns of Japanese culture, has a brilliant ongoing film series, with this week's being of special interest.

Running this Wednesday through Saturday is the “Globus Film Series: Dawn of Japanese Animation,” a survey of early manga eiga (manga films) pre-dating such legends as Astro Boy and Speed Racer. Many of the shorts, originating in the 1920s-194’s and representing the earliest form of anime, explore the confluence of Japanese folklore and early Western influence during a time of radical change. For anyone who’s ever enjoyed films such as "Akira" and "Ghost in the Shell," or the work of Hayao Miyazaki, this series gives the essential back-story.

All images © Matsuda Film Production and Digital Mem

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Dawn of Japanese Animation
13-16 February 2008
Japan Society
333 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017 map
tel. +1 212 832 1155

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