1920’s was the era of Jidaigeki in Japanese cinema. In spite of its popularity (or rather, because of it), only handful of the masterpieces of the era survived. Matsunosuke Onoe was the first Japanese cinema star and the most popular among kids during 1910’s and 20’s, but it was the late 20’s that saw the pinnacle of Jidaigeki. So I heard. In 1925, Daisuke Ito created “Chuji Tabi Nikki (忠治旅日記)” Trilogy with Denjiro Ohkochi, one of the most influential Jidaigeki in the Japanese cinema history. "Shin-ban Ooka Seidan (新版大岡政談, 1928, Dir. Daisuke Ito)", "Zanzin Zanba Ken (斬人斬馬剣, 1929, Dir. Daisuke Ito)", "Ronin Gai Trilogy (浪人街三部作, 1928-29, Dir. Masahiro Makino)" were considered the masterpieces of the day by whom ever saw them. Very few of these materials are available to us, many of which are in incomplete form.
Early Japanese cinema were, of course, under the influence of D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and other early Hollywood cinema. Serial photoplays from Unites States and France, in addition to fast-paced westerns and Max Linder comedies were also textbook materials. Intolerance sent shockwave through young cinema lovers, while Zigomar was so sensational that it had to be banned in fear of copycat crimes. The films of Mourice Tourner, Thomas Ince and other Hollywood notables, plus early Italian epic films, and German Expressionisms were all flooding the Japanese cinema theaters. These films were universally acclaimed as influential and popular, so no surprise here.