Lost Media Archive

1917 was the year of definitive firsts in the history of Japanese animation. The three key figures at the time were Ōten Shimokawa, Seitarou Kitayama, and Junichi Kouchi each contributing to making the first animated short films that would be known as anime. There is much debate over which gets the first, and even the exact date of that film's premiere. According to contemporary sources of the time, an uncomfirmed unknown titled film of Tennenshoku Katsudō Shashin premiered in January. Evidence of this comes from Kinema Record, with the July edition making specific claim to the first release occurring in January, but does not specify the title of the work nor any evidaence has yet to prove this. Shimokawa's film Imokawa Mukozo the Doorman is conventionally and largely claimed to be the first work, but contemporary sources portray it as the "third" film. Speculation about the error is debated, but the two now lost films and their contents have been reported by various sources allowing for a clearer picture of the early history. The first confirmed film release occurred within the first ten days of February, with Shimokawa's Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a great plan. The film was animated with chalk on a blackboard, with redrawing for each frame. Shimokawa would switch to paper for later, but the exact date and work to depict the switch is unknown. As of today, only one animated film from Japan during this year survives Namakura Gatana, which was discovered in an antinque shop in Osaka in March 2008. One person [[1]] he seen the short Cat and Mice on YouTube back in 2006 but was since deleted and hasn't surfaced on the internet since, but may exsist somehwere in Japan. I believe that there are some Japanese animated shorts before Katusdo Shashin or any made between 1907-1916 or even 1919-1923 but hey, who knows, time will tell what will get rediscovered or not.

  • Battle of a Monkey and a Crab (LOST)
  • The Story of the Concierge Mukuzo Imokawa (First professional animation shown in a theater, LOST)
  • Bumpy new picture book – Failure of a great plan (First oldest confirmed made, LOST)
  • Bunbuku kettle (LOST)
  • Cat and Mice
  • Chamebō ‒ Air gun (Unknown)
  • Chamebō's new picture book – The Revenge of Mr. and Mrs. Flea (Unknown)
  • Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow (Unknown)
  • Hanawa Hekonai – The Kappa Festival (Unknown)
  • Imokawa Mukuzō goes fishing (Unknown)
  • Imokawa Mukuzō – Somersault (Unknown)
  • Imokawa Mukozo the Doorman (LOST)
  • Kachikachi Mountain (LOST)
  • Naughty Mailbox (LOST)
  • Sparrow with no Tongue (LOST)
  • The Dream Car (Unknown)
  • The Ministry of Culture's Art Exhibition (Exsistance unconfirmed)
  • The Old Man Who Made Flowers Bloom (LOST)
  • The Pot and the Black Cat (Exsistance unconfirmed)
  • What to do with your Postal Savings (LOST)