Demons, Poets, and Priests

On returning to Japan after studying in Trnka's animation studio, Kawamoto made the playful morality tale Breaking Branches Is Forbidden (Hana-ori) (1968, 14 mins, 16mm), which helped define his style. With the surreal The Trip (Tabi) (1973, 12 mins) and socially aware A Poet's Life (Shijin no shogai) (1974, 19 mins), Kawamoto explored cutout animation, or kirigami, about which he remarked, “Puppets make their own story, while with cutout animation the story is created by the animator.” The prizewinning The Demon (Oni) (1970, 8 mins) was inspired by a ghost story from the eleventh-century anthology Konjaku monogatari. In the vivid Dojoji Temple (Dojoji) (1976, 19 mins), a woman is transformed by her passion for a man on a religious pilgrimage.

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