BACKGROUND NOTES FOR ANIME 101, WEEK 1, ANIME BEFORE 1960
NAMES TO REMEMBER:
John Barnes Linnett patented the kineograph (commonly known as the flick book or flip book) in London in September 1968
J. Stuart Blackton (1875-1941) Yorkshire-born “father of American animation”
Emile Cohl aka Emile Courtet (1857-1938) creator of the first fully-animated film Fantasmagorie (1908) screened in Japan 1914
Winsor McCay (1867? – 1934) American cartoonist and animator
Oten Shimokawa (1892-1973) cartoonist and creator of the first animated film screened in Japan in 1917
Seitaro Kitayama (1888-1945) watercolour artist and creator of animation from 1917 onwards
Junichi Kouchi (1886-1970) cartoonist and creator of animation from 1917 onwards
Nikkatsu – Japanese studio founded in 1912, among the first to make animation, employing Seitaro Kitayama
Yoshitsugu Tanaka, animator of 1930’s Perrault the Chimney Sweep (Entotsuya Pero), an anti-war, pro-worker film
Proletarian Kinema League (aka Pro-Kino) – political film movement of which Tanaka was a member
Shigeji Ogino (1899-1991) 1930s director of films including Great Detective Felix (Felix Meitantei)
Kenzo Masaoka 1898-1988, pioneering animator
Sanae Yamamoto (aka Zenjiro Yamamoto) 1898 -1981, pioneering animator
Yasuji Murata 1898 -1966, pioneering animator
Tadahito Mochinaga 1919-1999, pioneering animator in China and Japan, builder of Japan’s first ever rostrum camera
Shochiku – film company founded 1895
Shiro Kido, head of Shochiku Films
Noboru Ofuji 1900-1961, pioneering animator
Yoshitaro Kataoka, director of Ban Danemon the Monster Exterminator in 1935
Natsuki Matsumoto, animation researcher, discoverer of early anime material
Noboyuki Tsugata, works with Natsuki Matsumoto
Osamu Tezuka 1928-1989, father of postwar manga and TV anime pioneer
POSSIBLE HISTORIES OF EARLY ANIME: all valid, all overlapping, all influencing each other. It can be useful to consider each strand in isolation, but it limits our knowledge to ignore any of them.
The technological history – development of new media and formats, from new kinds of camera, film and projector, through live narration and live music, to talkies and colour.
The social history – from mass screenings in public places to private screenings at home for those affluent enough to get projectors and film, to the birth of TV and onward to current individual mobile viewing platforms
The political history – the use of animation in education and propaganda, and its adoption by both leftwing and right-wing groups
The economic history – from cartoonists like Shimokawa and Kouchi, commissioned by cinema chains to make works for them to screen, to individual entrepreneurs like Kitayama approaching studios with a pitch; and from the relative affluence of Taisho-era Japan to the terrifying poverty of wartime and Occupied Japan.
The individual history: the development of directors, alliances and studios
The corporate history: the story of how independents, studios and cinema/TV companies interacted.