In July 1959, Japan’s leading film magazine, Kinema Junpo, published a list of what it hailed as "The best 10 Japanese films of all time." This list included works by such acknowledged masters as Mikio Naruse, as well as the young but by then amply acclaimed Akira Kurosawa.
Yasujiro Ozu’s "I Was Born But … " came in third; Kenji Mizoguchi’s "Sisters of the Gion," second. But the work considered in 1959 to be the best Japanese film of all time was "Chūji Tabi Nikki" ("A Diary of Chūji’s Travels") — which was actually a trilogy of silent films made in 1927 by director Daisuke Ito.
It is strange yet altogether understandable that Ito has long been a largely unknown genius of Japanese film. There have not been the numerous retrospectives, in Japan and abroad, accorded the directors mentioned above. But Ito’s story is rather complicated; and this too has contributed to him being both revered and neglected.
Read the rest of the story: A lost gem found confirms who was the father of Japanese filmmaking.