A film of a movie starring the famous detective Kosuke Kindaichi, whose whereabouts are unknown after it was released 70 years ago, has been found.

What was found was a 16mm film of ``The Devil Comes and Blows the Flute,'' a movie released in 1954 based on the novel by Masashi Yokomizo.

The main character, Kosuke Kindaichi, is played by Chiezo Kataoka, a historical drama star who was active from pre-war to post-war, and unlike the image of him wearing a worn-out hakama, he is the second character to wear a suit and do some action.

It also depicts a strange fortune-telling scene that is popular among fans, as well as a flute playing scene that holds the key to the story.

According to the film distribution company, the whereabouts of many films from the 1950s are unknown, and although the script for this film remained, the footage could not be confirmed.

Professor Naotaka Yamaguchi of Nishogakusha University, who discovered the film, said, ``When you look at the footage, you can feel the atmosphere unique to films from the same period, such as the decadence of the fallen aristocracy and the chaotic situation in Japan after the end of the war. Although he plays a detective, I felt it was a Kindaichi movie, including the part where he solves mysteries.''

The film has been donated to a distribution company, and restoration work is being considered to make it available to the public.

Toei “A near-miraculous discovery”

The Kosuke Kindaichi series, which is also popular in movies and dramas, was made into a movie from 1947 to 1956, with Chiezo Kataoka, a top historical drama star, playing the original Kindaichi.

Of the six films, apart from the recently discovered film "The Devil Comes and Blows the Flute," the films of "Yatsu Tomb Village" and "The Inugami Family" have not yet been found.

The newly discovered film appears to have been used for screening at local movie theaters at the time, and Toei's Hiroshi Nashita, head of the video asset management department, said, ``The film was left in such a condition that it could be viewed after nearly 70 years.'' So, I think it's a near-miraculous discovery.The 1950s and 1960s were the golden age of movies, and they focused on making new films, but it was also important for film companies to preserve film as assets before it deteriorated. I think it's my mission, so I want to pass it on to future generations."