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Oriental Culture

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Oriental Culture

I'm currently doing a stop motion animation, the style is a traditional Japanese 'Willow Plate' love story and the characters are constructed using paper sculpture and origami techniques. Anyway, as part of the project I'm doing a case study about how Traditional Japanese culture may have influenced todays directors, animators and the film industry in general. And with the release of award winning films such as memoirs of geisha, is traditional culture starting to play a bigger part in the industry?
If anyone has any opinions or comments I'd love to hear them for my research.

I've been thinking about it, and maybe Traditonal Japan is becoming more popular in the UK within the animation industry, cos I've seen quite a few Japanese and geisha inspired shorts & adverts in festivals but i can't name any that are 'Commercially' popular. My main inspirations have been the works of Kihachiro Kawamoto & 'Screenplay' by Barry Purves. Popular Films like 'crouching tiger', 'hero', etc are all beautiful and have a sense of traditional culture but i dont know if this has influenced the animation industry yet??

You do realize that "oriental culture" is a huge blanket, don't you? It is akin to "European culture". China in and of itself huge and multiple sub groups. Japan has multiple dialects. Korea is completely different. North Korea and South Korea are verry different, for that matter. There are a whole bunch of other cultures that would fall under a pan "oriental culture" blanket.

All of your examples have to do with Japan. Do you really want to know if "traditional Japanese culture starting to play a bigger part in the industry?"


yes it is Japan that I'm concentrating on but i wanted to extend it to get a greater variety of research. I now realise that maybe oriental in general is a bit vast so i'll change it, but I'm sure you understood what i was getting at ?!

I know that I have always appreciated Japanese woodblocks, for their simplicity of line and color.

I can't speak to how they are influencing todays film productions, but I know that they have always proven to be inspirational in the graphics fields of study.

In advertising you can see some of their influence in the simplification of logos and packaging. But I don't think the western world will ever be able to grasp the grace and movement that the woodblocks convey. What they accomplish with limited line and color is poetic in it's simplicity and composition.

How many of us can convey a waterfall this simply and sweetly?

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

The greatest influence I see is not from culture in general but contained in the realm of cinema. I think it really took off in the late 1990's when the popularity and influence of Chinese and Japanese action cinema started appearing in American films like Blade, followed by The Matrix and Kill Bill.

This type of thing seems to go in cycles just as it happened in the 1970's with Sonny Chiba and Bruce Lee popularizing Japanese and Chinese action cinema in the west.

I don't think Memoirs of a Geisha really fits as an example of Asian culture influencing western directors or cinematography as the project was born from a novel by a writer who had lived in Japan and was in love with the culture. Everything proceeded from that. It's not the same as, say, how Japanese and Korean horror cinema, with films like Ju On and The Ring, has really change the face of American horror films.

... is traditional culture starting to play a bigger part in the industry?

Since the 1950s, the West has been gradually consuming more and more Japanese entertainment (TV, movies, video games); not just "traditional" stories, but modern stories, fantasy, & sci-fi.

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