Kawamoto’s Book of the Dead at YBCA

In a co-presentation with the International Buddhist Film Festival, San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents The Exquisite World of Kihachiro Kawamoto December 14, 15 and 17, 2006.

Japanese animation is not limited to just anime. Kihachiro Kawamoto, born in 1925, is regarded as the master of Japanese puppet animation. In the 1960s he studied under Czech animation legend Jiri Trnka, and his work has been honored in retrospectives worldwide.

Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15, 7:30 pm
Book of the Dead

Buddhism has recently arrived from China and is all the rage amongst the Japanese nobility. Iratsume, a young noblewoman, spends her days reading and copying pages from the sutras. Her devotions attract the attention of the spirit of Prince Otsu, executed many years earlier in a court intrigue. She begins weaving a giant shroud to relieve his pain, and in doing so saves them both. A sumptuous study of obsession and deliverance, brought exquisitely to life through Kawamoto’s painstaking puppet animation. The film is a delicate masterpiece, in the eerie tradition of the Japanese ghost story. (2005 70 min, 35mm)

Sunday, December 17, 2:00 pm
Kawamoto Shorts

This selection of magical and poetic (and comedic) shorts weave tales of mysterious demons, samurais, monks and princesses. Highlights include: Dojoji Temple, House of Flame, Breaking of Branches. This program also features examples of Kawamoto’s experiments in kirigami (cutout animation). (1970–90, 80 mins, mixed formats)

YBCA Screening Room
701 Mission Street at Third
San Francisco

For more information and tickets:
YBCA online
Phone: 415.978.2787 (daily from 11:00 am–6:00 pm)