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Primary Name
Toho Company Ltd.
Alternate Names
東宝株式会社
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Description Edit | History

Toho Company Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-gaisha, TYO: 9602) is a Japanese film and theatre production/distribution company. It is headquartered in Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. In the West, it is best known as the producer 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. Its most famous and worldwide creation is Godzilla, known as the King of the Monsters. It has also been involved in the production of numerous anime titles. 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. Its subdivisions are Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Company Limited, Toho E. B. Company Limited, Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Comapay Limited. The company is the largest shareholder (7.96%) of Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.

Toho was founded by the Hankyu Railway 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. Toho also had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York in 1963.

The Shintoho Company was named New Touhou because it broke off from the original Touhou Company. The company has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan.

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.

Source: Wikipedia, "Toho", available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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