This is a great news.
The most influential movie star of early Japanese cinema, Matsunosuke Onoe, is largely forgotten today, primalily because only handlful of his 1.000+ works have survived. Though he was a pop icon during 1910’s and 20’s in Japanese entertainment industry, we hardly know his works, his style or extent of his popularity, let alone anlyzing them.
Asahi Shinbun reports one of his most popular works, “Jitsuroku Chushingura (実録忠臣蔵, 1926)” was discovered. The discovered print is Pathe Baby 9.5mm in its complete form (66 minutes) and was among the donated film reels from a private collector. The work was one of the last Mastunosuke appeared (he retired from acting in 1926). Though this print is in the complete form of the Pathe Baby print distributed at the time, the original film was a three-part giagantic magnus opus, 20 reels in total (almost 4 hours). The film will be screened in Kyoto International Film Festival in October.