Japan recovers oldest animation films
Two of Japan's oldest animation films, a folk tale and a comedy about a samurai warrior, have been recovered more than 90 years after they premiered, a museum said Thursday.
The two-minute silent films were forerunners of Japan's "anime" industry, which has developed into one of the country's major cultural exports.
The two films, which had been only known in historical documents saying that they were shown in 1917 and 1918, were found last year in an antique market in the western city of Osaka, the National Museum of Modern Art said.
One of the animations, entitled "Namakura-gatana" ("An Obtuse Sword"), is believed to be the oldest Japanese animation film still in existence. A comedy, the film relates the story of a samurai warrior who is tricked into buying a dull-edged sword.
He tries to attack passers-by so as to examine the sword, but lower-class townspeople fight back and knock him down.