Did you know, that three decades before ‘Adipurush’ hit theatres, a stunning animated adaptation of Valmiki’s epic graced the big screens? What’s even more fascinating is that this was a Japanese production! The 1992 film ‘Ramayana: The Legend Of Prince Rama’, bowed out of Indian theatres after a lukewarm response, has become a cult classic over the years.
This Was A Joint Indo-Japanese Venture. The movie was produced by Sako and co-directed by Sako, Koichi Sasaki & the iconic Indian animation artist Ram Mohan. Sako was inspired to make a film on the timeless epic during a visit to India in the ‘80s. He dedicated over a decade and 800 million yen to making the film. In an interview, Sako revealed that Lord Rama was God, he did not want to hire a human actor to play him. “I felt it was best to depict him in animation, rather than by an actor,” he was quoted as saying to an English daily.
PM Modi Gave Japanese ‘Ramayana’ A New Lease Of Life, The now mostly obscure movie returned to the limelight in 2022 when PM Narendra Modi mentioned the film during an episode of his weekly radio show ‘Mann Ki Baat’. “People living thousands of kilometers away from us in Japan, who don’t know our language, who don’t know much about our traditions, their dedication to our culture, this reverence, this respect, is very commendable – which Indian would not be proud of that,” Modi told his audience. The Prime Minister also met Atsushi Matsuo the executive producer and Kenji Yoshii the assistant producer on a visit to Japan.