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Toho Co., Ltd.
Native name 東宝株式会社
Type Public
Traded as TYO: 9602
JASDAQ: 9602
Industry Motion picture, theater, television
Founded Tokyo, Japan (1932 (1932))
Founder(s) Ichizō Kobayashi
Headquarters Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan
Key people Yuichi Ueno

Toho Co., Ltd. (東宝株式会社 Tōhō Kabushiki-gaisha?, TYO: 9602/JASDAQ: 9602) is a Japanese film, theater production, and distribution company. It is headquartered in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju (monster) and tokusatsu (special effects) movies, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero TV franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, and the anime films of Studio Ghibli. Other famous directors, including Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi and Mikio Naruse have also directed films for Toho. Its most famous worldwide creation is Godzilla, known as the "King of all Monsters" (directed by Ishiro Honda) and featured in 29 films. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, and Rodan are described as being Toho's "Big Five" due to the monsters' numerous appearances in all three eras of the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has also been involved in the production of numerous anime titles. Its subdivisions are Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Company Limited, Toho E. B. Company Limited, Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Company Limited. The company is the largest shareholder (7.96%) of Fuji Media Holdings Inc.


Toho was founded by the founder of Hankyu Railway, Ichizo Kobayashi, in 1932 as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company (東京宝塚劇場株式会社 Tōkyō Takarazuka Gekijō Kabushiki-kaisha?). It managed much of the kabuki in Tokyo and, among other properties, the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater and the Imperial Garden Theater in Tokyo; Toho and Shochiku enjoyed a duopoly over theaters in Tokyo for many years.

After several successful film exports to the United States during the 1950s through Henry G. Saperstein, Toho opened the La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles to show its own films without selling to a distributor. It was known as the Toho Theatre from the late 1960s until the 1970s.[1] Toho also had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York in 1963.[2]

The Shintoho Company, which existed until 1964, was named New Toho because it broke off from the original Toho Company.

The company has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan.

Major productions and distributions[edit]


Toho Educational Film Companies Logo from 1932-1951, presented in a windowboxed 1.33:1 frame












Anime TV series[edit]

In more recent years and for a period, they have produced video games. One of their first video games was the 1990 NES game titled Circus Caper. Later, they followed with a series of games based on Godzilla and a 1992 game called Serizawa Nobuo no Birdy Try. It also published games such as Super Aleste. They even worked with Bandai on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, released in Japan in 1988 and in North America in 1989.


Toho's headquarters, the Toho Hibiya Building (東宝日比谷ビル Tōhō Hibiya Biru?), are in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo. The company moved into its current headquarters in April 2005.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Toho" Far East Film News December 25, 1963.
  3. ^ "会社の沿革." Toho. Retrieved on February 26, 2010. "2005年4月 東宝本社を東宝日比谷ビル(東京都千代田区有楽町一丁目2-2)に移転。"

Further reading[edit]

"Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men - The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda," Peter H. Brothers (AuthorHouse 2009).

External links[edit]