Japanese Animation – The Forgotten Anime History

Japan Animation has a long tradition of animation that actually began as early as cartoon animation. It is even believed that Japan animation might actually precede american animated cartoons. A number of Japanese media reported on the discovery of a tiny film collection of animation films in an individual residence located in Kyoto, Japan.

However, much is still unknown about this wonderful Japanese Overseas animated films (known 素晴らしい日本の海外アニメ映画 in the Japaneses language) Researchers were unable to track down the person responsible for this amazing discovery.The old film was around fifty frames long and amounts to less than three minutes of film time. The film features a young man wearing a sailor’s uniform and sketching characters for a movie drawing on blackboard.

6 Iconic Japanese Anime Every Foreigner Should Watch - GaijinPot
Image source: Google

But, it is speculated that the film was made circa 1907 or earlier, and that is prior to the beginning of Japanese animation 10 years earlier and also the first animation in America 7 years earlier.

However, even with the absence of Kyoto, the Kyoto film Japanese animation has an extensive tradition. In the month of January 1917, the first short film of five minutes was released to the public and was created in the hands of Oten Shimokawa, Mukuzo Imokawa the Doorman.

To create the Japanese animation Mukuzo Imokawa and the Doorman, Oten Shimokawa used similar techniques that were used in the first short film known as the Humorous Phases Funny Faces, produced by J. Stuart Blackton in 1906.

In order to create the animation, the artists employed stop-motion techniques which essentially were applied to the same principle which causes static images in flip-books to appear as if the images were being filmed at a rapid pace.