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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
3-3-6 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0074
Tel: 03 – 3222 5077
Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


Dream of dreams, becoming Disney of Asia

August 25, 2004 / 6.30 P.M.

Hu Tze Yue, Waseda University/ Nanyang Technological University, College of Engineering

By the end of the 20th century, Japan has acquired a new corporate name, Anime-nation (also called Japanimation). How did this process come about and ‘who’ is responsible for the rise of this medium-genre called ‘anime’? My presentation will discuss the founding of Asia’s first Disney-like animation studio, Toei Doga and its subsequent ‘dethronement’ by the late manga king, Tesuka Osama. Moreover, I will take up the contemporary acknowledgement of a previously trained Toei-animator, Miyazaki Hayao and his animation studio, Studio Ghibli as Asia’s leading animation studio especially in terms of its artistic output and its continuous box-office successes in commercial animation cinema.

After the Asia-Pacific War, Japan was not the only Asian country that harbored this ‘Disney’s dream’. For example, individuals in China and Taiwan, albeit unsuccessfully, attempted to build such projects, too. We shall examine the drive behind the Japanese experience and review the medium-genre’s roles and intentions in post-war Japan and the mixture of internal discourses that has risen in recognition of the country’s so-called supreme status in animation production and exhibition worldwide.

Hu Tze Yue has a Ph.D in Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong. Currently, she is a Japan Foundation fellow based at Waseda University, Division of Cinema and Theatre Arts. She is also an adjunct lecturer of Asian Studies at Nanyang Technological University, College of Engineering.