Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blast from the Past: Cinema enters Taiwan

A rain squall seen from Shiti Port on the east coast of Taiwan.

From here (it downloads a .doc file):
In August and September of 1899, an unnamed businessperson brought an Edison projection system from the US and showed a documentary short on the Spanish-American War. Encouraged by these new historical findings, film historian Ye Long-Yan dug deeper into the colonial archives and was greeted by an even greater surprise. In August 1896, less than a year after the “invention” of cinema, a time coinciding with Japan’s acquisition of Taiwan, a Japanese merchant brought with him to Taipei some ten Edison short films. That was the very first exhibition of Kinetoscope in Asia, three months before the same technology arrived in Kobe, Japan.
The kinetoscope, an early movie system in which customers watched films individually, is introduced on Wiki. How cinema was used by the Japanese later is discussed here.
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