by Chris MaGee
Here's a real treat from the folks at Anime News Network. They've pointed the way to a play staged by the Kawasemiza Puppeteering Company at the end of last year titled "Mahoroba no Kodama (Where Spirits and Fairies Dwell)" based on a number of traditional Japanese folk tales and legends. What makes this so interesting for fans of Japanese cinema is that this production was directed by none other that Isao Takahata, the man who brought us such animated classics as "Grave of the Fireflies" and "Pom Poko". If you saw the latter of those two films you'll know how chock full of references to traditional Japanese fairy tales it was, so this puppet play makes perfect sense for the 73-year-old animator.
Check out this 10-minute YouTube video of "Mahoroba no Kodama" that features highlights from the production. Neat stuff!