Animator, Professor Masahiro Katayama Passes Away
posted on by Egan Loo
Animator and art professor Masahiro Katayama passed away in a Tokyo hospital on Saturday at 8:43 p.m. due to pneumonia. He was 56.
Katayama worked as an illustrator, manga creator, and animator, and he headed Group Ebisen, an animators' collective whose ranks have included Hiroshi Hara, Sunao Katabuchi (Black Lagoon), and Hiroyuki Kakudou (Digimon). He served as the administrative head of both the Japan Animation Association and Anido. He also judged or co-organized the Hida International Animation Festival of Folktales and Fables, Hiroshima International Animation Festival, the Japanese government's Media Arts Festival, and the Tokyo International Anime Fair.
However, Katayama's most enduring legacy is arguably the years he taught at Tama Art University. He joined the university's Department of Graphic Design in 1998, and helped pioneered the study of animation in universities throughout Japan. He personally taught a student by the name of Kunio Katō. Katō later created "La Maison en Petits Cubes" ("Tsumiki no Ie") — the second of only two anime to win a major Academy Award.
Anido photograph of Masahiro Katayama by Masatoki Minami