Prod.: Nikkatsu. 35mm. L.: 29 m. D.: 2‘ a 16 f/s. Bn
Da: National Film Archive of Japan
The fisherman Taro Urashima is the hero of a celebrated Japanese folk-story. He saves a turtle from mistreatment by children, and subsequently learns that the turtle was in fact the daughter of the Emperor of the Sea. He is invited to visit the grateful Emperor’s undersea domain, where he meets the princess, but decides after a few days to return home. He is sent back with a box which the princess tells him never to open. On reaching his native village, he finds that 300 years have passed while he has been away. He opens the box, only to be turned abruptly into an old man, since the box contained his old age.
The new 35mm print, digitally restored from the original nitrate, was tinted in pink using a photochemical tinting technique. This early Japanese animation film has been attributed to Seitaro Kitayama (1888-1945) after its rediscovery but paper documents prove that the version by Kitayama must have been a different film.
Masaki Daibo, Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström
Restored by National Film Center of Japan. Original material provided by Natsuki Matsumoto