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Oldest Anime in Japan found

Date: 2005 August 20 07:03

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According to Mainichi Daily News, the oldest Japanese Animation film ever made was found in a Kyoto home. Natsuki Matsumoto was handed the animation film to research about its origins and determine the year it was produced.

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Matsumoto who is an expert on iconography at the Osaka University of Arts and animation historian Nobuyuki Tsugata of the same school believe that the film was made about 10 years before another animation in 1917, which has been deemed Japan's oldest.

According to Tsugata, animation films where first made in 1907 in the United States and in France suggesting that the animation film found in Kyoto was made using original techniques. The two researchers believe the film to be the oldest of its kind in Japan.

The 35-millimeter, celluloid animation film consists of 50 frames stuck together with paste. It depicts a boy in a sailor suit who writes Chinese characters, "katsudo shashin" (moving picture), takes off his hat and gives a salute.

The creators of the film remain unknown and the pictures of the boy are printed on the celluloid frames in red and black ink.
Further details about the film are to be published in the bulletin of the Japan Society of Image Arts and Sciences.

Source: Mainichi
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