I heard an interesting report on Radio Japan this morning:
What's believed to be Japan's oldest negative movie film has been found.
The National Film Center of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo says the film depicts a dance performance of renowned kabuki actors of the Meiji era.
It shows Ichikawa Danjuro 9th and Onoe Kikugoro 5th performing a play, Momiji-gari. The actors were active from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century.
The short in question is called Momijigari. According to IMDb, the movie was made in 1897. But a website on Victorian cinema claims that the film was made in November 1899.