Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki

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The Story of the Concierge Mukuzo Imokawa
Directed by Ōten Shimokawa
Release date
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". Archived from the original on April 2, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 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" (PDF). Litten, Frederick S. Retrieved 11 July 2013.