Anno asks for help to preserve Japan’s Special Effects Industry

“Please help.
The tokusatsu technology system is about to end.
A contents industry that Japan boasts to the world is about to disappear…
…It doesn’t matter if it’s the national government, local body, legal entity, or a corporation [that steps in to help]. Please help tokusatsu, as it helped inspire us and taught us so much. Please.
Please help as soon as possible especially regarding the preservation of miniatures [and other props.]”
-Hideaki Anno

Netolabo reports that Hideaki Anno (Evangelion, Gunbuster) and Shinji Higuchi (Lorelei, Japan Sinks) requested immediate help toward maintaining and preserving Japan’s live-action special effects cinematic (tokusatsu) traditions as it is on the verge of dying and its related artifacts endangered, if not lost already.

The entirely of the report can be read here available at Media Arts Current Contents, a news website supervised under Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. The report, titled “An Investigative Report regarding Japanese Tokusatsu,” was prepared as part of Cultural Affairs Agency’s Media Arts Information Hub and Consortium Building Enterprise policy. In the summer of 2012, Anno and Higuchi helped put together a special museum exhibit regarding Japanese life-action cinematic traditions involving miniatures and huge dioramas. It was extremely successful.

In the process of organizing the exhibit, Anno and Higuchi discovered the dire situation that tokusatsu was facing. With the computer graphics being ever more prevalent, less and less film making involve special effects involving miniatures. Because of neglect and disuse, all the specialized technological knowledge-base that took decades to accumulate is being fast forgotten. Also, many of the props that were used to create all the wonderful live-action films have no housing facility, and the companies that created them don’t have the funds nor the space to house them properly. Many have been sold off, and to add insult to injury, the collectors that bought them and stored them carefully are now dying  themselves, leaving their possessions in hands that do not understand the preciousness of these artifacts from the past.

Alarming news, not only for tokusatsu fans, but anyone that appreciates the rich cinematic traditions of Japan.

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2 Responses to Anno asks for help to preserve Japan’s Special Effects Industry

  1. Scott Ross says:

    In Kyoto now… wondering how I might help?

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