Youji Kuri

Birth:Apr 9, 1928
Hometown:Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, Japan
Website Twitter Yji Kuri was born in 1928 in Sabae Fukui Japan. He has been active in numerous fields including animation manga painting illustration sculpture and fiction. He founded the animation studio Kuri Jikken Manga Kb Kuri Experimental Animation Studio in 1960 and began producing works. The same year Kuri Ryhei Yanagihara and Hiroshi Manabe formed Animation 3nin no Kai ThreePerson Animation Circle and organized Japans first experimental animation screening at Sgetsu Art Center. The screening series was later rebranded as an Animation Festival and became the countrys foundational festival of animation screening works from both Japan and overseas. He is known internationally for the very black comedy of his films with the typically nave style of his cartooning often belying the surreal obscene and disturbing situations they depict though he has worked in a variety of styles and mediums including pixilation this made them a favorite among the fervently countercultural audiences which included such filmmakers as Ren Laloux of the first few years of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and in a 1967 publication he was considered to be the most significant and the only Japanese animator whose work is known in the West which is to disregard the Tei Animation features and Astro Boy series that were first seen in the West around the same time that Kuris first several films were and mentioned in passing in the same publication though these were not known as works of an individual and characteristic filmmaker and often had their Japanese origin played down. He is also known in Japan for his comics a collection of which earned him the 1958 Bungeishunj Manga Award. Though now retired from film making he continues to illustrate and to teach animation at Laputa Art Animation School. In 2012 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb.