Taiji Yabushita

1903 - 1986

Along with Kenzô Masaoka and Sanae Yamamoto, Yabushita (at the beginning of his career credited as "Yasushi Yabushita") was a pioneer of Japanese animation. After World War II, he changed his work from animator and inbetweener to producer and director. In 1949, he co-directed his most famous short film, "The Animals Play Baseball." When his company was absorbed by Toei, he was appointed director of the company's first full-length colour feature film, and also of Japan, Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958) ("White Snake Enchantress," 1958). From then on, he directed or co-directed other eight full-length films for the company, and finally did a short film, "A Million Years in life of Men," before he quit Toei in 1968. He is also author of two documentary films about the "History of Japanese Animation" (1972-73).

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