A researcher in Kyoto has discover a lost Japanese animated film made around 1900, making it the oldest of its kind in the country, reports MAINICHI INTERACTIVE.
Iconography expert Natsuki Matsumoto and animation historian Nobuyuki Tsugata at the Osaka University of Arts believe that the film was made roughly 10 years prior to an animation produced in 1917, which was previously deemed Japan's oldest.
The film was discovered in a Kyoto home and later given to Matsumoto. After examining production techniques and projectors found along with the film, he determined its age.
The 35-millimeter, celluloid film consists of 50 frames stuck together with paste. It shows a boy in a sailor suit who writes Chinese characters, "katsudo shashin" (moving picture), takes off his hat and gives a salute. The images were drawn directly on the celluloid frames in black and red ink. The creators of the film are unknown.
Matsumoto and Tsugata plan to jointly publish details about the film in the bulletin of the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences.