Noburo Ofuji

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1900-1961. Pseudonym of Shinshichiro Ofuji. Born in Tokyo's Asakusa district as the seventh of eight children, Ofuji was raised by his eldest sister after their mother died in 1907. At age 18, he became an apprentice at Junichi Kouichi's Sumikazu Eiga. Ofuji's paper-cut fairy tales led to a series of innovative experiments at the periphery of the medium-he pioneered silhouette animation and sound in Whale (1927, Kujira) and made the brief but ground-breaking Black Cat (1929, Kuroneko Nyago), in which two cats dance in sync to a jazz tune. He also experimented with color in the unreleased Golden Flower (1929, Ogon no Hana) and stop-motion techniques in Pinocchio (1932). He enjoyed considerable success within the foreign arts community, with a 1952 remake of Whale placing second in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and his Ghost Ship (1956, Yureisen) exhibited in Venice. The Noburo Ofuji Prize, an annual award for achievement in animation, was inaugurated in his memory in 1962.
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Full Name: Noburo Ofuji
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