King Kong Appears in Edo

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King Kong Appears in Edo
Advertisement for the film, published in the April 14, 1938 issue of Kinema Junpo[1]
Directed by Sōya Kumagai
Written by Daijō Aoyama
Starring Eizaburo Matsumoto
Ryūnosuke Kabayama
Reizaburo Ichikawa
Reiko Mishima
Shōjirō Ogata
Sanshirō Mōri
Noboru Takajima
Cinematography Yōzō Okuda
Distributed by Zenshō Cinema
Release dates
  • March 18, 1938 (1938-03-18)
Country Japan
Language Japanese

King Kong Appears in Edo (江戸に現れたキングコング Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu: Henge no maki?) was a kaiju film released in Japan in 1938,[2][3] but is now considered to be a lost film.[4][5]


This film was produced by studio Zenshō Cinema without the permission of RKO Radio Pictures, which owned the rights to the King Kong character.[6] In this film, King Kong attacks medieval Edo (the former name of Tokyo)

The production was one of Japan's first kaiju (giant monster) films, predating Godzilla by 16 years. Fuminori Ohashi, who would later create the suit for Godzilla in the original 1954 film, created the ape suit and special effects for this film.[7][8][9] He explained, "The first model making to be counted as 'special art direction' in Japanese cinema was a giant gorilla which I did for the movie King Kong Appears in Edo fifty years ago. It was also the first movie to feature certain kinds of special effects."[10][11]

Preservation status[edit]

The film was not shown outside of Japan and has not been seen since its theatrical run in 1938. It is believed the film either disappeared due to negligence or was destroyed during the bombings of Japan in World War II.[12]

The film website Film Threat named King Kong Appears in Edo as one of the "most intriguing lost movies of all time".[12]

James Rolfe of the website Cinemassacre listed King Kong Appears in Edo and Wasei Kingu Kongu as the top lost horror films, second being London After Midnight.[13]


  1. ^ "King Kong Appears in Edo advertisement", Kinema Junpo, April 14, 1938 
  2. ^ Tetsu Itoh & Yuji Kaida. 大特撮-日本特撮映画史 (Large Special: The Japanese Special Effects Movie History). Asahi Sonorama. 1979. Pg.173
  3. ^ "King Kong Appears in Edo (1938)". The Japanese Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ Morton, Ray (2005). King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson. Applause Books. p. 123. ISBN 1-55783-669-8. 
  5. ^ Hood, Robert (2005). "Divided Kingdom: King Kong versus Godzilla". Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ "Chronology of Zensho films (in Japanese)". 2002. Archived from the original on 2007-09-20. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  7. ^ Brin, Ph.D., David; Wilson (2005). King Kong Is Back!: An Unauthorized Look at One Humongous Ape. BenBella Books. p. 213. ISBN 1-932100-64-4. 
  8. ^ Jones, Stephen; Ackerman, Forrest J. (2000). The Essential Monster Movie Guide: A Century of Creature Features on Film, TV, and Video. Billboard Books/Titan Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-8230-7936-0. 
  9. ^ Woods, Paul A. (2005). King Kong Cometh!. Plexus Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-85965-362-6. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Bob; Ragone, August (2007-08-27). "The Space Giants Series Guide:The Making of Ambassador Magma". SciFi Japan. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  11. ^ テレビマガジン特別編集 巨大ヒーロー大全集(TV Magazine Special Edition: Giant Heroes Compendium). Kodansha Publishing, 1988. Pg.224
  12. ^ a b Hall, Phil (2007-03-01). "Top 10 Lost Films". Film Threat (Gore Group Publications). Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  13. ^

See also[edit]

External links[edit]