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Thursday, October 10, 2013

1904 Thomas Edison Film Of Japanese Acrobats

Sometimes I get lucky.

Thanks to new friend Dave Jacobson, a publicist with Stone Bridge Press, I have something cool to show you.

Below is a 1904 two-minute movie produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company... which startd putting out films et al as early as 1891.

The film shows a pair of Japanese acrobats demonstrating their awesome balance and leg strength.
The fact that the film exists at all is amazing given that many motion pictures of that era and the next 20 years tended to be a might... explosive... meaning that hundreds and hundreds of motion pictures have been lost forever, and we only know of some through movie posters or bills.

Thomas Edison, one of the world's greatest inventors (light bulb, mimeograph and the motion picture camera, to name a few), brought a Japanese juggler and young bot assistant into the Edison studios in New York City to capture them on film. This was April 29, 1904.

There is no sound for the film... which is too bad, because Edison did invent the phonograph back in 1877, and could have recorded the sound separately to be played in combination with the film later. I'm just saying, is all.

Here... watch the film on YOUTUBE.

If you are interested in Japanese acrobats, you should read my review (HERE)of the awesome book written by Frederik L. Schodt, Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe and published by Stone Bridge Press. Then buy the book! It's the best book I have ever read on Japan. And, I've read a lot of books, not just on history... over a hundred... and this is the best?! Yes. Get a copy.

Cheers,
Andrew Joseph

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