Born in 1964. During the 1990s, He was making films for children, "Pacusi", "Bavel's Book" and so on. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short, "Mt. Head" (2002) had 6 grand prizes and selected 100 Films for a Century of Animation. "Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor" (2007) had 6 grand prizes, his films got awarded more than 160 prizes. He has been selected as the 2 place at 25 top short animated films directors over the last 25 years in 2021. His first feature film "Dozens of Norths" (2021) had Contrechamp Crystal Award at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
He is also active as a picture book author for "Viva Vegetables (Oyaoya Oyasai)", "Parade" and so on.
He was awarded the Kawakita Prize and the Art Encouragement Prize in Japan and received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2019.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a sub-chairman of the Japan Animation Association and a member of the board of directors of ASIFA. He is visiting professor of Tokyo Zokei University
, China Academy of Art
, Aichi University of the Arts and a professor of Tokyo University of the Arts
More detailed profile：
was born in Japan on June 4, 1964. He has made first animated film at 13 years old. Between 1983 and 1987, he studied painting at Tokyo Zokei University. While a student, he has worked in art assistance and special effects modeling for Majors movies. Same time he was influenced from short animated films in Canada, Russia, and Europe. After graduation, he started his career as an animation background artist at Mukuo Studio. In 1989, he left the studio to work freelance. In 1993, he founded Yamamura Animation, Inc. with his wife Sanae
. In 2002, He signed a contract with Acme Filmworks
as an animation director. Yamamura has created many short animation films using a variety of techniques. "Mt. Head"
(2002) was nominated for an Oscar® in 2003, and awarded the 6 Grand Prix include Annecy 03, Zagreb 04 and Hiroshima 04. Also "Mt. Head"
was selected as one of the 100 FILMS FOR A CENTURY OF ANIMATION and the 50 Best Animated Films for 50 Years of ASIFA. "Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor" (2007) was awarded the Grand Prix at Ottawa in 07 and Internationales TrickFilm Festival STUTTGART. He is only one grand prix winner in 5 major international animation festivals in the world. "Muybridge's Strings" (2011) is first co-production animation with National Film board of Canada as Asian filmmaker and "Dozens of Norths"(2021) is co-production with Miyu Productions in France, it had Contrechamp Crystal Award at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
More than 350 lectures and master classes at film festivals around the world, including Harvard University and the University of Tokyo; 195 retrospective programs in 32 countries, including the National Film Theater UK, Gothenburg International Film Festival, Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes, and La Rochelle International Film Festival. And his films has been screened over 1,000 times at theaters, universities, and studios in Japan and abroad. He has participated in more than 115 exhibitions of his original works at the Aichi Expo 05, the Cinémathèque Québecoise, the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and more than 80 juries, including the Art Encouragement Prize, the Japan Media Arts Festival, the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.
He has been involved in the theatrical release and distribution of five films: "Yamamura Animation Pictorial Book," "'The Old Crocodile' & Koji Yamamura Select Animation," "Muybridge's Strings" and "Koji Yamamura: Dreams Through the Right and Left Eyes,".
He has been selected as the 2 place at 25 top short animated films directors over the last 25 years on 2021at Animac, the International Animation Showcase of Catalonia.
He won Distinguished Artist Award of 2006 in USA, ALBÍN BRUNOVSKÝ HONORARY MEDAL in Slovakia, Kawakita Prize in Japan, Prize of the Cultural Department of the City of Wiesbaden – Wiesbaden in Germany, Special prize for the contribution of the art of animation in Serbia, Pulcinella Special Award in Italy and Education Award for Fine Arts in Japan. He received Medal with Purple Ribbon (the Shiju Hosho) in 2019.
In 2013, he opened the animation store and gallery Au Praxinoscope.
From 2021, he will be the director of the Media Department of the Hiroshima Festival.
He is also an author of picture books such as "Parade", "Chiisana Oshikina Ki" (winner of the 65th Shogakukan Children's Publishing Culture Award), "Kujira-san no tamenara enya kora" (22nd Japan Picture Book Award), "Nagadeisho Rippa Datta" (White Ravens 2016), "Kaibutsu Gakusho" and "Beluganaru". His "Fruits Friends' Fresh Talk (Kudamono Damono)" "Viva Vegetables (Oyaoya Oyasai)" and "Athletes of Sweets (Okashi na Okashi)" have sold more than 860,000 copies in total. He has published 60 picture books and translated 25 into foreign languages.
He is visiting professor of Tokyo Zokei University
since 2004, China Academy of Art
since 2021, Aichi University of the Arts since 2022 and a professor of Tokyo University of the Arts
He is member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a sub-chairman of the Japan Animation Association (JAA
) and a member of the board of directors of the Japanese branch of the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA
He is a director for the Hiroshima Festival Media Arts Division from 2021.