Before 1917 in anime

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Years in anime: 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
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Years: 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919

The events of Before 1917 in anime.

Historical accounts[edit]

According to Natsuki Matsumoto the first animated film produced in Japan may have stemmed from as early as 1907. Known as Katsudō Shashin from its depiction of a boy in a sailor suit drawing the characters for "Katsudō Shashin" the film was first found in 2005 and has been speculated, but not confirmed, to be as old as 1907.[1] This claim has not been verified and predates the first showing of animated films in Japan; the date and first film publicly displayed is another source of contention among scholars, with the earliest confirmed examples dating from 1912.[2]

While no Japanese produced animation is definitively known to date before 1917, the claim of foreign animations first displayed in Japan has generated some interest from scholars. Kyokko Yoshiyama, has cited Segundo de Chomón's Le Rêve des marmitons 1908 film as an early example of manga because it depicted object animation with character faces being drawn on a bald head. Yoshiyama does not refer to this as "animation".[2]

While no Japanese produced animation is definitively known to date before 1917, the claim of foreign animations first displayed in Japan has generated some interest from scholars. According to Kyokko Yoshiyama, the first animated film was shown in Japan at the 浅草帝国館 (Asakusa Teikokukan?) in Tokyo. This film was ニッパールの変形 (Nippaaru's Transformation?), but this account is incorrect yet still widely believed. Litten solves this account by identifying sources and drawing the conclusion that the film had to be Les Exploits de Feu Follet by Émile Cohl and it was produced in 1911 and first shown in 1912. The possibility exists that other films entered Japan and that no known records have surfaced to prove a showing prior to 1912.[2]

While no Japanese animation is known to have been produced before 1917, the first foreign film shown in Japan is a contentious subject amongst scholars of anime. In 1910, the first foreign animation is known to have been found in Japan, but it is not clear if the film was ever shown in a cinema or publicly displayed at all. Yasushi Watanabe, found a film known as 不思議のボールド (Fushigi nobōrudo Miracle Board?) in the records of the 吉沢商店 (Yoshizawa Shōten?) company. The description matches James Blackton’s Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. Though academic consensus on whether or not this is a true animated film is disputed. The possibility exists that other films entered Japan and that no known records have surfaced to prove a showing prior to 1912.[2]

Dispute over the first animation shown in Japan is a contentious amongst scholars of Japanese animation.Émile Cohl's Mobilier Fidèle is claimed by anime researcher Nobuyuki Tsugata as the first film shown, citing 1 September 1911. This account however is in dispute by other researchers like Litten because the film is stop motion and not animation. The possibility exists that other films entered Japan and that no known records have surfaced to prove a showing prior to 1912.[2]

The first confirmed animated film shown in Japan was Les Exploits de Feu Follet by Émile Cohl on 15 April 1912. While speculation and other "trick films" have been found in Japan, it is the first recorded account of a public showing of a two-dimensional animated film in Japanese cinema. During this time, German animations marketed for home release were distributed in Japan.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oldest Anime Found". Anime News Network. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Litten, Freddy. ""On the Earliest (Foreign) Animation Films Shown in Japanese Cinemas"". Retrieved 15 July 2013.