The Unfinished Works Gulliver's Travels and The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
Refining the two techniques of cutouts and cellophane silhouette art, Ofuji conceived the works that would become the culmination of his life's work: Gulliver's Travels (ガリバー旅行記) and The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (竹取物語). Ofuji poured his soul into making these two full-length, cinemascope films using all the skills and techniques he possessed. However, he passed away before he could complete either work, leaving only bits and pieces of the scripts, traced images and cel animations.
Ofuji's Death and the Establishment of "The Noburo Ofuji Award"
When Ofuji died suddenly due to encephalomalacia in 1961, his older sister Yae made a donation to The Mainichi Film Awards. These funds were used to establish "The Noburo Ofuji Award" as part of the 1962 event (the 17th Awards). This award is presented to individuals and groups who have achieved excellent results in the field of animated films. Thanks to this award, Ofuji's name has been passed down to future generations. Note, however, that a new Mainichi Film Award for Best Animation Film was established in 1989 (the 44th Awards) and thereafter mainly experimental animated films have been chosen.
* List of "The Noburo Ofuji Award" Prize Winners (Mainichi Film Awards: http://mainichi.jp/mfa/)
Noburo Ofuji and his sister Yae's graves are in the Rendaiji temple of the Jishu sect in Kozu in Kanagawa.
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