Digital archive of animations from the 1920s, etc. Kobe Planet Film Archive

As part of its research, the Kobe Planet Film Archive (Nagata-Ku, Kobe) has created a list of domestically produced animation films and published them on the site along with some of the digitized works.

The museum was opened in 2007 based on the collection of Director Yoshio Yasui (72). Currently, it is operated by the NPO “Planet Movie Preservation Network”. It stores about 18,000 films, from documentary films from the Meiji era to home movies, and is evaluated as one of the best archives in Japan by the private sector.

We collected animations that were once of little interest to collectors from an early stage, and unearthed unknown films by the late Noburo Ofuji, a pioneer of Japanese animation. In recent years, he has cooperated with the reproduction and preservation of the National Film Archive of Japan and has been working on digitization in collaboration with Kobe Design University.

However, some films have missing titles or have deteriorated to the point where they cannot be put on a projector, so in fiscal 2008 we started a digital archive business with the support of the Agency for Cultural Affairs. We asked the outside to do comprehensive research and digital restoration work.

The list is a provisional version of 278 books from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Among them, four excerpts such as Ofuji’s first work “Romana Grandpa” (2012) and the earliest promotional animation “Katei Soap” (around 2010) have been released.

This time, there are also works for which the title could be newly estimated. In the future, he aims to create a database based on “History of Japanese Animated Films” (1977, out of print). (Shinji Tanaka).