Given name: 純一Family name: 幸内
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Kouuchi Jun'ichi was born 1886 in Okayama Prefecture, Japan and died October 1970. He was a first generation animator and an illustrator.
Kouuchi moved with his family to Tokyo, where he studied watercolour painting at Pacific Ocean Western-Style Painting Association (太平洋洋画会). Around 1908 he published his first illustrations in Kitazawa Rakuten's magazine Tokyo Puck und starting 1912 illustrations for a newspaper.
In 1916 he was hired by Shoukai Kobayashi (小林喜三郎) as animator for his studio. Kouuchi's first animation Hanawa Hekonai Meitou no Maki one of the very first Japanese animations, was finished in June 1917.
In 1923 Kobayashi's studio faced financial problems, leading to Kouuchi establishing his own studio, Sumikazu Eiga (スミカズ映画). The main line of works were advertising animations, in 1924 he finished the first one for the politician Shinpei Gotou. Kouuchi produced his last animation in 1930, Chongire Hebi, one of the earlier animations with sound, afterwards he concentrated again on illustrations.
Kouuchi drew his first animation directly on paper. Later he changed to working with paper cut-outs, which were easier to work with and lessened the amount of animation work. He was the first one to develop this technique, catapulting him far beyond the other animators at that time in Japan. Out of Kouuchi's 15 animtion films there are only two which could have been preserved till this day, Hanawa Hekonai Meitou no Maki (from 1917) and Hyoroku Musha Shugyou (from 1920). Hanawa Hekonai Meitou no Maki is also regarded as one of the most earliest Japanese animations today.
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