Located in Matsuyama, Dōgo Onsen is the oldest bath house in Japan. It was built in 1894 and celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. The bath house was built on the site of a hot spring with a history stretching back over 1,000 years. While Dōgo is largely engulfed in the suburban sprawl of modern-day Matsuyama, the area around Dōgo retains the feeling of a resort town, with guests from all over the country wandering the streets in yukata robes after their bath.
The building of Dōgo Onsen was the main inspiration for the bath house in the critically acclaimed film "Spirited Away" (千と千尋の神隠し)by director Hayao Miyazaki. Spirited Away won Best Animated Feature at the 2002 Academy Awards and Best Film at the 2002 Japan Academy Awards.
Having been to Dōgo Onsen many times I was honored to be asked to make a film celebrating its 120 year anniversary. I wanted to make a film that represented its great history and legend that surrounds Dōgo Onsen while keeping it upbeat and exciting. The mixture of animation, time lapse, and real time footage was used to accomplish this. We drew inspiration from Japanese Woodblock prints for the intro which tells the story of The Legend of Egret.
You can view the original version without subtitles here: vimeo.com/91544453
Director: Brad Kremer
Production Company: Tytan Creates
Producer: Shinya Fukuoka
Executive Producers: Jim Stone & Scott Jacobs
Animation/Illustrations: Jessica Weiss
Primary Illustrator: Madie Gables
Post production: Mark Nguyen
Coordination: Rod Walters - natora.jp
Translation: Mayumi Kremer - risingsuntranslations.com
Camera One/Time Lapse: Brad Kremer
Camera Two: Masahito Kawai
Camera Assistant: Mika Tadokoro
Calligrapher: Kouji Murotsu
Flute Composer: Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos
Sound Design: Emily Jackson