Last Sunday I was a guest at a dinner party in Howth also attended by two distingushed Dublin residents. One was my good friend and Irish artist, Jim Fitzpatrick, creator of Thin Lizzy album covers and the iconic Che Guevara image, known throughout the world. The other was Jimmy Murakami, animator and director extraordinare.
Jimmy is of Japanese heritage, born and raised in California. Over dinner we discussed film, writing, Japanese culture, music and many other subjects. It was only halfway through the evening that I discovered that Jimmy was the supervising director of The Snowman and When The Wind Blows. Needless to say I was honoured to be talking with the man who was instrumental in creating two of the most beloved animated movies of my childhood.
A movie about Jimmy’s childhood experiences in the Tule Lake War Relocation Centre in California during the war is to be shown as part of the Dublin Film Festival in 2010. I knew almost nothing of the American government’s treatment of American resident Japanese during World War 2, and the little Jimmy told me on Sunday was shocking. I look forward to seeing this illuminating documentary in February.
Below is a clip from the Snowman, coincidentally a very apt clip for this time of year. Enjoy!