The production house of late Japanese manga legend Osamu Tezuka is to make its first film specifically for China, employing local talent, in a bid to grow Japan's star cultural export in its huge and sometimes hostile neighbor.
The two-hour animated film, Rest on Your Shoulder, will be the debut work of Beijing Xiele Art Co, a Chinese subsidiary set up by Tezuka Productions.
While Japan has seen a growing international market for its animated films, the producers say the upcoming film will target Chinese tastes by basing the plot in part on Chinese fairy tales.
A Chinese-language fantasy of a man who continues to love a woman even after she turns into a butterfly, the film will be made by Hong Kong director Jacob Cheung using both Chinese and Japanese creative staff.
``The political relationship between Japan and China is not necessarily good. That's why cultural exchanges should be promoted on the private level,'' said Hiroyuki Yumoto, chief producer at Tezuka Productions.
``Tezuka used to say that manga is a universal language. People can communicate through manga pictures regardless of nationality or language. Manga is one of the best tools for communication,'' Yumoto said.
Osamu Tezuka was a pioneer of Japanese manga cartoons and is best known for his Astro Boy series, which debuted in 1951 featuring a robot boy who flies through the future.
Tezuka grew interested in China through his respect for the work of a Chinese animator, Wan Raimin, who made a celebrated film based on the Chinese literary classic Journey to the West.
Beijing Xiele Art was established in 1990, a year after Tezuka's death as per his will, with the aim of training Chinese people in animation.
``This is a big stride forward,'' Yumoto said of the upcoming film, the release date of which has not been decided.
``Tezuka's will calling for cultural exchanges has evolved into a business operation. But this is just the beginning to see whether it can be a success.''
Yumoto said the film could reinforce the idea that animation is not ``only for children.''
``The time has ripened for Chinese talents and for the Chinese market,'' he said.
Statistics also indicate that animated films, as with so many consumer products, could have a vibrant future in the growing Chinese market.
The Japan External Trade Organization says China's market for sales in animated films and programs total 19.5 million yuan (US$2.36 million) annually, with no domestically made shows holding any dominance in the market.
Japan's share is around 3.9 million yuan (US$470,000), with US animation also popular in China, the trade body said.
China in April witnessed major street protests and said that relations with Japan were at a 30-year low after Tokyo approved a history textbook written by avowed nationalists.
With Japan's relations with its neighbors haunted by its militarist past, a panel of experts in December advised Koizumi to turn anime into foreign policy.
``These cultural assets are now considered a part of Japan's strength, as is evident from the expression now being bandied about: `Japan's Gross National Cool,''' said the report by the Japan Forum on International Relations.
The Chinese government itself has recognized the draw of anime. Last year its culture ministry started a university program to boost China's animation industry -- in part through ties with Japan.
The Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s 2021 road safety guidelines pretty much says it all. “Taiwan’s drivers are inclined to prioritize vehicles over pedestrians. Be aware that their driving manners are often not as good. Even when it’s a green light, watch carefully for cars at all times when crossing the crosswalk. Be alert of cars that try to quickly turn right in front of pedestrians. Even if you’re on the sidewalk, you must still watch for scooters.” Japanese student Shun Komatsu referenced these advisories last month in a widely shared post on the News Lens, where he praised everything here besides the
The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort. And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have — for far too long — ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the
Thirty-one years ago, a relatively new congresswoman from California surprised Chinese authorities when she unfurled a banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square dedicated to the pro-democracy student activists massacred there. Now the US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, is poised to travel to Taiwan during a tour of Asia nations this week, once again defying Beijing at a moment of extraordinary tension between the US and China — but also creating a host of problems for President Joe Biden. LEGACY The highly anticipated diplomatic mission caps a foreign policy career defined by what she views as an unwavering defense of human rights and
More than two decades after journalist Craig Addison coined the term “Silicon Shield,” the concept remains as relevant as ever, if not even more. The idea that global — including Chinese — reliance on Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has been a major deterrent of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is still frequently espoused today, especially as tensions continue to soar. On Monday, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) declared during in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would render the company’s factories “non-operable” and would create “great