Earliest Anime found Earliest Anime found

Earliest Anime found


A pair of animated films, discovered last year at an antique market in Osaka, have been identified as two of the earliest cartoons ever produced in Japan. Tokyo’s National Museum of Modern Art has announced the restoration of Jun-ichi Kouchi’s 1917 Namakura-gatana (“An Obtuse Sword” pictured above) and Seitaro Kitayama’s 1918 Urashima Taro (Taro, The Sentry: Submarine). Both films will be screened publicly on April 24th at the Museum’s National Film Center.

  • BigHorse

    Wow…amazing what you can find at a flea market. So this is anime’s earliest roots.

    These predate the Out of the Inkwell series by a couple of years…is that correct?

  • endekks

    I think I know where I will be on the 24th.

    Thanks for the head’s up!

  • Amazing. I hate anime, but I’d love to see this.

  • I would think “anime” wouldn’t be the correct way to describe cartoons like this, from the looks of that screen shot, especially since the term is used to mainly describe the very stylized cartooning from Japan that we’re used to seeing everywhere in the West. There are so many Japanese cartoons and animation that are very un-anime in style. But that’s just my thought. It’s good to see such early work and exploration in the medium, though!

  • anime is Japanese animation, therefore I’d definitely refer to this as anime. Anime isn’t a style it’s animation that’s produced in Japan.

    I’m quite interested to see this, no doubt it’ll be floating around the internet sometime soon.

  • Brett

    Sweet original anime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jess

    Personally, I would consider this as a cartoon, especially with the fact that nowadays, the definition of the difference between cartoon and anime is the style and the graphics. I know that this is from the early 1900’s, but I think that should be categorized as a cartoon.