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Early Japanese Animation (PG*) + live accompaniment by the Guildhall’s Electronic Music Studio + live Benshi narration by Tomoko Komura

The Dull Sword

A selection of rarely screened early Japanese animation, showing some of the very first anime films, will be accompanied by electronic music on our biggest screen.

Very few of the earliest animated films from Japan survive - after being screened alongside live action features, films were often sold on from cinemas to smaller mobile venues where they would be broken down and sold as single frames.

The films that have been preserved in archives offer a fascinating glimpse into the beginnings of a rich history of Japanese animation which continues to this day. We here present a compilation of these very early anime films with live musical accompaniment by composers and musicians of the Guildhall’s Electronic Music Studio, alongside live Benshi narration by London-based performer, actor and instrumentalist from Japan, Tomoko Komura

The Dull Sword (1917, Jun’ichi Kouchi)
Urashima Taro (1918)
A Ship of Oranges (1927, Noburō Ōfuji)
Yasuji Murata’s Monkey and the Crabs (1927, Yasuji Murata)
The Animal Olympics (1928, Yasuji Murata)
Taro's Train (1929, Yasuji Murata)
At the Border Checkpoint (1930, Noburō Ōfuji)
My Ski Trip (1930, Yasuji Murata)
Momotaro in the Sky (1931, Yasuji Murata)
Momotaro under the Sea (1932, Yasuji Murata)
The Lump (1929, Noburō Ōfuji)
?/Rhythmic Triangles/Fighting Cards (1932, Shigeji Ogino)

Event running time approximately 105 min

Guildhall's Electronic Music Studio and Benshi

The Dull Sword, Jacob Rose
Urashima Taro, James Allen
A Ship of Oranges, NiriaNiria Dejanovic Alvarez & Eric Frabizi
Yasuji Murata's Monkey and the Crabs, Sean Norris
The Animal Olympics, Barbara De Biasi
The Lump, Piers Hudson
Taro's Train, Sam Dinley
At the Border Checkpoint, Matt Greer
My Ski Trip, Victoria Stokland
Momotaro in the Sky, Joshua Hathaway
Rhythmic Triangles/Fighting Cards, Jamie Farrington
Momotaro under the Sea, Will Davenport

Pianists: Barbara De Biasi, Matt Greer, Joshua Hathaway
Percussionists: Taichi Imanishi &  George English     
Directed by Mike Roberts    
Music Supervision by Barbara De Biasi    
Sound Projection by Sean Norris    

Tomoko Komura is a London-based performer, actor and instrumentalist from Japan. She completed an MA at London International School of Performing Arts, and performs regularly as a member of the band No Cars and the Frank Chickens.

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