First Anime Ever Made

First Anime Ever Made

Before we introduce the 105-year-old anime, let’s first have a history stop.

Japanese anime has its origins in the early 20th century when Japan was trying to modernize the entire nation. 1917 is frequently recognized as a crucial year in the history of Japanese animation, despite the fact that historians are unable to pinpoint a certain year. In actuality, it has been established that the earliest anime film ever made was created in 1917.

Unfortunately, the majority of the first anime was lost or destroyed as a result of the Great Kant earthquake in 1923. However, a few ancient movies that were digitally restored recently have surfaced.

All of the early 20th-century anime on this list are available to watch on this website honoring Japanese animation’s 100th anniversary, along with numerous additional vintage anime. Some of the first animations are these anime.

Okay, so… what was the first anime ever made?


Namakura Gatana ( The Blunt Sword ), 1917

 Namakura Gatana ( The Blunt Sword )

The earliest known anime short film, Namakura Gatana, was created in 1917. Before a copy was found in 2008, the movie was thought to be gone.

One of three works—and the only one remaining in existence—credited with being a precursor to Japanese animation films is The Dull Sword.

In 2008, Natsuki Matsumoto, a visual culture historian who owns the film’s nitrate positive, assisted in its digital restoration.

At first, it was assumed that Matsumoto’s restoration was identical to the first movie. But in 2014, a more recent nitrate was discovered. The first half of the movie is on nitrate, while the second half is on Matsumoto’s. English Title: Monkey and the Crabs by Yasuji Murata.

So yeah, Blunt Sword is the first anime in the world.


Now, let’s check out a list of some of the oldest and most tasteful animes there are

In this short list, we selected for you some of the oldest animes there are, so you can have a front-row seat on observing the Evolution of anime.


Kemurigusa Monogatari ( A Story of Tobacco ) Year: 1926

Director: Noburo Ofuji is the

Kemurigusa Monogatari ( A Story of Tobacco ) 

Only the first half of Kemurigusa Monogatari has survived, making the remaining version of the film shorter than the original by three minutes.

A little girl sporting a typical Japanese haircut is shown in the movie listening to a small guy explain the history of tobacco. The anime character is allegedly based on Ichii, the younger sister of director Noburo Ofuji. A character in Ofuji’s subsequent film Chiyogami Eiga is similar to the animated girl and Ofuji’s sister.

Although the anime’s official production year is 1926, several people think the movie could have started in 1924.


Sarukanigassen ( Monkey and the Crabs published ) Year: 1927

Directore: Yasuji Murata

 Sarukanigassen ( Monkey and the Crabs published )

Yasuji Murata’s debut animated feature was Sarukanigassen. Sengai Igawa’s 1937 picture book Monkey and the Crabs, published by Dainippon Yubenkai Kodansha, may have taken inspiration from Murata’s character shapes.

The Japanese folktale The Quarrel of the Monkey and the Crab is portrayed in Murata’s animation. According to the tale, a cunning monkey murdered a crab and was subsequently slain in retaliation by the crab’s young ones.

The current movie, which lasts only five minutes, is a condensed version of the longer one that omits the sequence in which the monkey fools the crab into giving up its rice ball in exchange for the monkey’s persimmon seeds.


Kyoikusenga Ubasuteyama year: 1925

Sanae Yamamoto is the director.

Kyoikusenga Ubasuteyama 

One of Sanae Yamamoto’s earliest successful works, Kyoikusenga Ubasauteyama, was produced over the course of more than a year and a half.

The narrative of a nobleman who resides in Shinano Province is told in an 18-minute movie. This ruler despises the elderly and castrates them at the age of 60 to live in exile on an island. The lord is

eventually persuaded by a young man to cease banishing the elderly and start treating them with respect.

When the movie first came out, Yamamoto sold about 100 prints. The Social Education Division of the Japanese Ministry of Education even bought some of it. Yamamoto was hired on a temporary basis by the Ministry of Education after the Ministry purchased the movie. He created a number of other instructional movies while working with the Ministry.



Senga Tsubo ( The Pot ) Year founded: 1925

Director: Sanae Yamamoto

 Senga Tsubo ( The Pot )

Sanae Yamamoto’s first film for the Ministry of Education was Senga Tsubo, which they ordered after he started working there.

The narrative of “The Fisherman and the Genie” from The Arabian Nights and the parable of the fox and lion from Machiavelli’s The Prince is combined in this movie.

The Pot is a 17-minute silent, black-and-white movie. Character interactions in the tale are shown using speech bubbles and hand-cut letters.


Urashima Tar Year: 1918

Director: Seitaro Kitayama

 Urashima Tar

Two movies, Urashima Tar and Nakamura Gatana were found at an antique store in Osaka, Japan, in 2008. (listed above).

It is a brief silent film and one of the earliest instances of anime ever created. The movie is based on a Japanese folktale about a fisherman riding a turtle to an underwater planet.


The Hare and the Tortoise (Kyoikuotogimanga Usagi to Kame) Year: 1924

Director: Sanae Yamamoto

Director Sanae Yamamoto

Based on the famous tale of the same name, The Hare and the Tortoise is a six-minute short animated animation. One of the earliest animated adaptations of the well-known Hare and Tortoise tale, the animation originally appeared in 1924.

The film’s artwork employs a straightforward style that consists simply of lines and unusual settings that appear to be from another nation as opposed to the conventional landscapes found in traditional Japanese folk tales.

One of Sanae Yamamoto’s earlier works, the movie was made by Yamamoto’s mentor Seitaro Kitayama, who also made the pioneering animation Urashima Tar.


Well, thanks for reading and we hope you take a look at some of the animes we mentioned, especially The Blunt Sword, which is the First Anime Ever Made.

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