Last updated
Kodansha Ltd.
Native name
Family-owned private KK
Industry Publishing: books, light novels, magazines, manga; music CDs and DVDs (through King Records)
FoundedDecember 1, 1938;80 years ago (December 1, 1938)
FounderSeiji Noma
Headquarters Bunkyō, ,
Key people
Yoshinobu Noma (President & CEO)
OwnerNoma family ("Noma Cultural Foundation" 39.2%)
Number of employees
914 (as of September 2013)
Subsidiaries King Record Co., Ltd.
Kobunsha Co., Ltd.
Kodansha USA
Website www.kodansha.co.jp

Kodansha Ltd.(株式会社講談社,Kabushiki-gaisha Kōdansha) is a Japanese publishing company headquartered in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. [1] Kodansha is the largest Japanese publishing company, and it produces the manga magazines Nakayoshi, Afternoon, Evening, and Weekly Shōnen Magazine, as well as more literary magazines such as Gunzō, Shūkan Gendai, and the Japanese dictionary Nihongo Daijiten. Kodansha was founded by Seiji Noma in 1909, and members of his family continue as its owners either directly or through the Noma Cultural Foundation.

Bunkyō Special ward in Kantō, Japan

Bunkyō is a special ward located in Tokyo, Japan. Situated in the middle of the ward area, Bunkyō is a residential and educational center. Beginning in the Meiji period, literati like Natsume Sōseki, as well as scholars and politicians have lived there. Bunkyō is home to the Tokyo Dome, Judo's Kōdōkan, and the University of Tokyo's Hongo Campus. Bunkyō has a sister-city relationship with Kaiserslautern in the Rhineland-Palatinate of Germany.

Tokyo Capital of Japan

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

Manga Comics or graphic novels created in Japan

Manga are comics or graphic novels created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art.



Seiji Noma founded Kodansha in 1909 as a spin-off of the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai (Greater Japan Oratorical Society) and produced the literary magazine Yūben as its first publication. The name Kodansha (taken from "Kōdan Club," a now defunct magazine published by the company) originated in 1911 when the publisher formally merged with the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai. The company has used its current legal name since 1958. It uses the motto "omoshirokute, tame ni naru"(面白くて、ためになる, "To be interesting and beneficial").

Kodansha Limited owns the Otowa Group, which manages subsidiary companies such as King Records (official name: King Record Co., Ltd.) and Kobunsha, and publishes Nikkan Gendai, a daily tabloid. It also has close ties with The Walt Disney Company, and officially sponsors Tokyo Disneyland.

King Records (Japan) Japanese record label; imprint of King Record Co., Ltd

King Records Co., Ltd. is a Japanese record company founded in January 1931 as a division of the Japanese publisher Kodansha. It initially began operating as an independent entity in the 1950s. It later became part of the Otowa Group. Today, King Records is one of Japan's largest record companies which is owned by a multinational entity. The headquarters for this record label are in Tokyo.

Kobunsha publisher

Kobunsha is a Japanese publishing company. It publishes literature, manga novels, and women's magazines.

The Walt Disney Company American mass media corporation

The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Walt Disney or simply Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Kodansha is the largest publisher in Japan. Revenues dropped due to the 2002 recession in Japan and an accompanying downturn in the publishing industry: the company posted a loss in the 2002 financial year for the first time since the end of World War II. (The second-largest publisher, Shogakukan, has done relatively better. In the 2003 financial year, Kodansha had revenues of ¥167 billion, as compared to ¥150 billion for Shogakukan. Kodansha, at its peak, led Shogakukan by over ¥50 billion in revenue.)

Economic history of Japan

The economic history of Japan is most studied for the spectacular social and economic growth in the 1800s after the Meiji Restoration, when it became the first non-Western great power, and for its expansion after the Second World War, when Japan recovered from devastation to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States, and from 2013 behind China as well. Scholars have evaluated the nation's unique economic position during the Cold War, with exports going to both U.S.- and Soviet-aligned powers, and have taken keen interest in the situation of the post-Cold War period of the Japanese "lost decades".

Shogakukan Japanese publishing company

Shogakukan Inc. is a Japanese publisher of dictionaries, literature, manga, non-fiction, DVDs, and other media in Japan.

Kodansha sponsors the prestigious Kodansha Manga Award, which has run since 1977 (and since 1960 under other names).

The Kodansha Manga Award is an annual award for serialized manga published in the previous year, sponsored by the publisher Kodansha. It is currently awarded in three categories: shōnen, shōjo, and general. The awards began in 1977, initially with categories for shōnen and shōjo. The first award for the general category was in 1982, and the first children's category's award was in 2003. The children's category was merged into the shōnen and shōjo categories starting in 2015.

Kodansha's headquarters in Tokyo once housed Noma Dōjō, a kendo practice-hall established by Seiji Noma in 1925. The hall was demolished in November 2007, however, and replaced with a dōjō in a new building nearby.

Kendo modern Japanese martial art

Kendo is a traditional Japanese martial art, which descended from swordsmanship (kenjutsu) and uses bamboo swords (shinai) and protective armour (bōgu). Today, it is widely practiced within Japan and many other nations across the world.

The company announced that it was closing its English-language publishing house, Kodansha International, at the end of April 2011. [2] Their American publishing house, Kodansha USA, will remain in operation.

Kodansha USA Publishing is an American publishing company and subsidiary of Japanese publishing company Kodansha. Established in July 2008, Kodansha USA publishes books relating to Japan, Japanese culture, and manga, the latter under the Kodansha Comics imprint.

Kodansha USA began issuing new publications under the head administrator of the international branch Kentaro Tsugumi, starting in September 2012 with a hardcover release of The Spirit of Aikido. [3] Many of Kodansha USA's older titles have been reprinted. According to Daniel Mani of Kodansha USA, Inc., "Though we did stopped [sic] publishing new books for about a year starting from late 2011, we did continue to sell most of our older title throughout that period (so Kodansha USA never actually closed)."[ citation needed ]

In October 2016, Kodansha acquired publisher Ichijinsha and turned the company into its wholly owned subsidiary. [4]

Relationships with other organizations

The Kodansha company holds ownership in various broadcasting companies in Japan. It also holds shares in Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, along with Kobunsha. In the 2005 takeover-war for Nippon Broadcasting System between Livedoor and Fuji TV, Kodansha supported Fuji TV by selling its stock to Fuji TV.


Kodansha has a somewhat complicated relationship with Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), Japan's public broadcaster. Many of the manga and novels published by Kodansha have spawned anime adaptations. Animation such as Cardcaptor Sakura aired in NHK's Eisei Anime Gekijō time-slot, and Kodansha published a companion-magazine to the NHK children's show Okāsan to Issho . The two companies often clash editorially, however. The October 2000 issue of Gendai accused NHK of staging footage used in a news report in 1997 on dynamite fishing in Indonesia. NHK sued Kodansha in the Tokyo District Court, which ordered Kodansha to publish a retraction and to pay ¥4 million in damages. Kodansha appealed the decision, and reached a settlement where it had to issue only a partial retraction, and to pay no damages. [5] Gendai's sister magazine Shūkan Gendai nonetheless published an article which probed further into the staged-footage controversy which has dogged NHK.


List of magazines published by Kodansha

Manga magazines

This is a list of the manga magazines published by Kodansha according to their 2012 Company Profile (page 4). [7]

Male oriented manga magazines

Kodomo (Children's) manga magazines
Shōnen manga magazines
  • Shōnen Magazine Wonder (????-????)
  • Monthly Manga Shōnen (1947-1955)
  • Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine (1964-1974) (After a suspension, changed name to "Monthly Shōnen Magazine" in 1975)
  • Magazine Special (Monthly) (1983-2017)
  • Monthly Shōnen Rival (2008-2014)
Seinen manga magazines
  • Weekly Young Magazine (Since 1980)
  • Monthly Young Magazine (Since ????)
  • Morning (Weekly) (Since 1982) (Originally called "Comic Morning")
  • Morning 2 (Monthly) (Since 2006)
  • Afternoon (Monthly) (Since 1986)
  • Good! Afternoon (Monthly) (Since 2012), (Bi-monthly) (From 2008-2012)
  • Evening (Bi-weekly) (Since 2001)

Female oriented manga magazines

Shōjo manga magazines
  • Nakayoshi (Monthly) (Since 1954)
  • Bessatsu Friend (Monthly) (Since 1965)
  • Betsufure (Quarterly) (Since ????)
  • Dessert (Monthly) (Since 1996)
  • Nakayoshi Lovely (5 issues per year) (Since ????)
  • The Dessert (Monthly) (Since ????)
  • Shōjo Club (????-????)
  • Shōjo Friend (1962-1996)
  • Mimi (1975-1996)
  • Aria (Monthly) (2010-2018)
Josei manga magazines
  • Be Love (Bi-weekly) (Since 1980) (Originally called “Be in Love”)
  • Kiss (Bi-weekly) (Since 1992)
  • Kiss Plus (Bi-monthly) (Since ????)
  • ITAN (Quarterly) (Since 2010)

Literary magazines

See also

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  1. "Company Overview Archived 2011-04-26 at the Wayback Machine ." Kodansha. Retrieved on April 5, 2011. "Address: 12-21, Otowa 2-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8001, Japan"
  2. Kamiya, Setsuko and Mizuho Aoki, "Kodansha International to close doors", Japan Times, 4 March 2011, p. 1.
  3. Kisshomaru Ueshiba "", Kodansha USA, Inc.,Sept. 4, 2012. ISBN   9781568364094
  4. "Kodansha Acquires Ichijinsha, Makes It Into Subsidiary Company". Anime News Network.
  5. "NHK インドネシア「爆弾漁法」". Engei.s17.xrea.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  6. Japan Foundation Special Prize, 1994
  7. http://corp.kodansha.co.jp/english_pdf/companyprofile_en.pdf