Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki

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The Story of the Concierge Mukuzo Imokawa
Directed by Hekoten/Oten Shimokawa
Release dates April 1917

The Story of the Concierge Mukuzo Imokawa (芋川椋三玄関番の巻 or 芋川椋三玄関番之巻 Imokawa Mukuzō Genkanban no Maki?) is a lost film that was once considered to be the first professional Japanese animation film ever made.[1][2] It was made by Ōten Shimokawa in 1917.[3] It was preceded by Shimokawa's early work, 凸坊新画帳・名案の失敗 (Dekobō shingachō – Meian no shippai Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a great plan?) and the unconfirmed existence of an unknown titled work from January 1917.[4]


In 1916, Tenkatsu, or Tennenshoku Katsudō Shashin Kabushiki Gaisha ("Natural Color Moving Picture Company"), began experimenting with animation with the manga artist Hekoten/Oten Shimokawa. Shimokawa produced the animation by drawing with a chalk on a blackboard, redrawing as necessary to create the animation effect.[4] Mukuzo Imokawa was a manga character that Shimokawa used in his manga.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic 91-year-old anime discovered in Osaka at the Wayback Machine (archived April 2, 2008)
  2. ^ "Two Nine-Decade-Old Anime Films Discovered (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Japan finds films by early "anime" pioneers". Reuters. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Some remarks on the first Japanese animation films in 1917". Litten, Frederick S. Retrieved 11 July 2013.