Toho

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Toho Company, Ltd.
Native name
東宝株式会社
Romanized name
Tōhō Kabushiki-gaisha
Company type Public
TYO: 9602
FSE: 9602
Nikkei 225 component (TYO)
Industry
Predecessors
  • Tokyo-Takarazuka Theatre Company [1]
  • Photo Chemical Laboratory Co., Ltd. [1]
  • J.O. Studio [1]
  • Toho Film Distribution Co., Ltd. [1]
FoundedAugust 12, 1932;91 years ago (1932-08-12) (as Tokyo-Takarazuka Theatre Company)
Tokyo, Japan
Founder Ichizō Kobayashi
Headquarters Yūrakuchō, Chiyoda, ,
Japan
Area served
Worldwide, mainly Japan
Key people
Hiroyasu Matsuoka
(CEO, President and director) since 2022
Products Motion pictures
Television programs
Video games
Services Film distribution
Film production
Movie theatres
Number of employees
3,305 [2]
Parent Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group [lower-alpha 1]
Divisions
  • Motion Picture Department
  • Theatrical Department
  • Corporate Real Estate Department
Subsidiaries
  • Toho Studios
  • International Television Films
  • Toho-Towa
  • Toho Cinemas
  • Toho Entertainment
  • Toho Music
  • Toho Eizo Bijutsu
  • Toho Costume
  • Toho Stage Craft
  • Toho Stella
  • Toho International
  • Toho Retail
  • Toho Marketing
  • Toho Facilities
  • Toho Building Management
  • Toho Animation
Website www.toho.co.jp

Toho Co., Ltd. (東宝株式会社, Tōhō Kabushiki-gaisha) is a Japanese entertainment company primarily engaged in the production and distribution of films and the production and exhibition of stage plays. It has its headquarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo, and is one of the core companies of the Osaka-based Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Toho is best known for producing and distributing many of Ishirō Honda and Eiji Tsuburaya's kaiju and tokusatsu films as well as the films of Akira Kurosawa and the anime films of Studio Ghibli, CoMix Wave Films, TMS Entertainment, and OLM, Inc. The company has released the majority of the highest-grossing Japanese films, and through its subsidiaries, the company is the largest film importer in Japan.

Contents

Toho's most famous creation is Godzilla, who is featured in 32 of the company's films. Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Mechagodzilla are described as Toho's Big Five because of the monsters' numerous appearances throughout the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has also been involved in the production of numerous anime titles. Its subdivisions are Toho-Towa Company, Limited (Japanese exclusive theatrical distributor of Universal Pictures via NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan), Towa Pictures Company Limited (Japanese exclusive theatrical distributor of Paramount Pictures), Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Inc., Toho E. B. Company Limited, and Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Company Limited. The company is the largest shareholder (7.96%) of Fuji Media Holdings Inc.

Toho is one of the four members of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPPAJ), is the largest of Japan's Big Four film studios, and is the only film studio that is a component of the Nikkei 225 index.

History

Godzilla Square 2018.jpg
The Hibiya Godzilla Square located nearby the headquarters in Chiyoda, Tokyo

Toho was created by the founder of the Hankyu Railway, Ichizō Kobayashi, in 1932 as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theatre Company (株式会社東京宝塚劇場, Kabushiki gaisha Tōkyō Takarazuka Gekijō). It managed much of the kabuki in Tokyo and, among other properties, the eponymous Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre and the Imperial Garden Theater in Tokyo; Toho and Shochiku enjoyed a duopoly over theaters in Tokyo for many years.[ citation needed ]

Labor disputes

American soldiers outside Toho Studios in August 1948 due to the intensity of the third dispute Toho Labor disputes.JPG
American soldiers outside Toho Studios in August 1948 due to the intensity of the third dispute

After the end of World War II, the new Occupation government allowed and encouraged the formation of labor unions, which had been banned during under the Imperial government. [3] During a general strike of film studio employees beginning in October 1946, a group of Toho's ten top stars led by Denjiro Okochi split from the main Toho union along with 445 employees. During the resolution of the strike, a closed-shop provision with the main union led to the establishment of the Shintoho Company, which comprised the members of the dissenting union and former Toho facilities. [4]

The loss of major stars led to the hiring and training of new stars, including Toshiro Mifune. [4] The contract made after the strike stipulated that Toho would only produce films approved by a committee that included union members, which led to filmmakers gaining unprecedented creative and productive control over their films. [4] While Toho produced only thirteen films in 1947, six Toho films, including One Wonderful Sunday , directed by Akira Kurosawa, were ranked among the best ten films of the year in Kinema Junpo. [4] However, each film had double or triple the budget of films produced by other studios, and the company suffered severe losses. [5]

In 1948, the new Toho president Tetsuzo Watanabe ordered a return of the wartime quota of 24 films per year and the end of control over production by the union. In April, Toho management announced the dismissal of 1200 employees, [6] with the aim of both cutting expenses and eliminating Communist leaders from the union. [7] Negotiations failed and the union occupied the studio on April 15, joined by activists from the Japan Communist Party and other organizations, erecting barricades and closing the main gates. [6]

On August 13, the Tokyo District Court decided in Toho's favor, [6] and on the morning of August 19, a district police chief arrived at the front gate to read out the court decision. Two thousand policemen surrounded the studio, reinforced by soldiers, three airplanes, and several armored cars and tanks sent by the U.S. Eighth Army. [6] [8] The union leaders agreed to end their occupation on the condition the union was not disbanded. [6]

Toho was severely weakened after the strikes and produced only four films in 1948 and five films in 1949, and continued to distribute Shintoho films until the end of 1949. [9]

International expansion

In May 1953, Toho established Toho International, a Los Angeles-based subsidiary intended to target North American and Latin American markets. Seven Samurai was among the first films offered for foreign sales. [10]

Toho and Shochiku competed with the influx of Hollywood films and boosted the film industry by focusing on new directors of the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Kon Ichikawa, Keisuke Kinoshita, Ishirō Honda, and Kaneto Shindo. [11]

After several successful film exports to the United States during the 1950s through Henry G. Saperstein, Toho took over the La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles to show its films without the need to sell them to a distributor. It was known as the Toho Theatre from the late 1960s until the 1970s. [12] Toho also had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York City in 1963. [13] The Shintoho Company, which existed until 1961, was named New Toho because it broke off from the original company. [14] Toho has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's 1998 film, A Simple Plan [15] and Paul W. S. Anderson's 2020 military science fiction/kaiju film, Monster Hunter . [16]

In 2019, Toho invested ¥15.4 billion ($14 million) into their Los Angeles-based subsidiary Toho International Inc. as part of their "Toho Vision 2021 Medium-term Management Strategy", a strategy to increase content, platform, real-estate, beat JPY50 billion profits, and increase character businesses on Toho intellectual properties such as Godzilla. Hiroyasu Matsuoka was named the representative director of the US subsidiary. [17]

In 2020, Toho acquired a 34.8% stake in the animation studio TIA, with ILCA and Anima each retaining a 32.6% stake. In 2022, Toho acquired Anima's 32.6% stake to take a controlling 67.4% stake in TIA, making the studio a subsidiary, and ultimately renaming the studio into Toho Animation Studios. [18]

In December 2023, Toho announced their intent to acquire a 25% stake in Fifth Season for $225 million via Toho International. Following the completion of the deal, Fifth Season will be valued at $900 million; CJ ENM will remain the majority shareholder in the company, with former owner Endeavor also continuing to serve as a strategic shareholder. CEOs Graham Taylor and Chris Rice stated that this investment would empower the company to continue expansion of its premium slate and create opportunities for collaboration between Fifth Season, Toho and CJ ENM to produce global content as well as content produced in Japan. [19]

Productions and distributions

Films

Television

Tokusatsu

Anime

Toho Animation

Toho Animation is a Japanese anime production founded in 2012, and owned by Toho Co., Ltd., which is one of the top three film distributors in Japan.

[20]

Video games

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 (Space Megaforce in North America). They even worked with Bandai on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , released in Japan in 1988 and in the United States in 1989.

Significant employees

Toho Cinderella Audition

The Toho Cinderella Audition is an audition to discover new young actresses, first held in 1984 and irregularly held since then. It is considered one of Japan's "Big Three Actress Auditions", along with Oscar Promotion's National Bishōjo Contest and Horipro's Talent Scout Caravan. [28]

No.YearThe Grand PrixSpecial Jury PrizeOthers
11984 Yasuko Sawaguchi Minako Fujishiro
21987 Megumi Odaka Maki Mizuno
31991Keiko ImamuraSayaka Ōsawa
41996 Maho Nonami Misato Tanaka
Asami Yamamoto
52000 Masami Nagasawa Chihiro Otsuka
62006 Manami Kurose Yūko Masumoto
Ayaka Ikezawa
72011 Moka Kamishiraishi Mone Kamishiraishi
Narumi Akizuki
Junna Matsushima
Hirona Yamazaki
Ryō Ogawa (New Generation Award)
Minami Hamabe (New Generation Award)
82016Riko FukumotoYuria Kakizawa
Hina Suzuki
Amane Kamiya
Neo Inoue
92022Noa ShiroyamaAiri NishikawaKōe Odani (Men's category "Toho New Face")
Honoha Yamato (Musical Award)

Headquarters

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. [29]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Godzilla is a fictional monster, or kaiju, that debuted in the eponymous 1954 film, directed and cowritten by Ishirō Honda. The character has since become an international pop culture icon, appearing in various media: 33 Japanese films produced by Toho Co., Ltd., five American films, and numerous video games, novels, comic books, and television shows. Godzilla has been dubbed the King of the Monsters, an epithet first used in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), the American localization of the 1954 film.

<i>Destroy All Monsters</i> 1968 Japanese science fiction Kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda

Destroy All Monsters is a 1968 Japanese epic kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects directed by Sadamasa Arikawa and supervised by Eiji Tsuburaya. The film, which was produced and distributed by Toho Co., Ltd, is the ninth film in the Godzilla franchise, and features eleven monster characters, including Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Anguirus, and Minilla. The film stars Akira Kubo, Jun Tazaki, Yukiko Kobayashi and Yoshio Tsuchiya.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toho strikes</span> 1946–48 labor strikes in Japan

The Toho strikes, also translated as the Toho labor disputes or Toho labor upheaval, were a series of strike actions taken by workers in the Toho labor union against Toho management between 1946 and 1948. The third and largest action was notable for the union's months-long occupation of the Toho film studio, and their eventual removal by police backed by the United States Army.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Tanaka, Tomoyuki (1983). "Toho Special Effects Prehistory Films". The Complete History of Toho Special Effects Movies (in Japanese). Toho Publishing. pp. 82–83. ISBN   4-924609-00-5.
  2. "東宝:有価証券報告書-第132期(令和2年3月1日-令和3年2月28日)". The Nikkei (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. Retrieved May 31, 2022.
  3. Hirano, Kyōko (1992). Mr. Smith Goes to Tokyo: The Japanese Cinema Under the American Occupation. Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 205. ISBN   9781560981572 . Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Hirano (1992), pp. 218–223
  5. Richie, Donald; Anderson, Joseph L. (1982). The Japanese Film: Art and Industry (Expanded ed.). Princeton University Press. p. 166. ISBN   9780691053516 . Retrieved November 4, 2023.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Hirano (1992), pp. 223-229
  7. "Japan's movie-makers move to oust communist elements". Nippon Times. April 9, 1948.
  8. Richie & Anderson (1982), p. 170
  9. Hirano (1992), pp. 230-236
  10. Ryfle & Godziszewski 2017, p. 148.
  11. Kindem, Gorham Anders (2000). The international movie industry. Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press. p. 17.
  12. Fox La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Cinema Treasures. Retrieved on 2014-05-12.
  13. "Toho" Far East Film News December 25, 1963.
  14. "Nudes! Guns! Ghosts! The Sensational Cinema of Shintoho". The Cinematheque . Archived from the original on August 6, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  15. Cox, Dan (December 21, 1997). "Fonda has 'A Simple Plan'". Variety. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  16. "映画 モンスターハンター". Toho (in Japanese). Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  17. Frater, Patrick (April 18, 2019). "'Godzilla' Owner Toho Poised for Expansion in Hollywood". Variety. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  18. Pineda, Rafael Antonio (September 20, 2022). "TOHO Acquires Controlling Stake in TIA, Renames it to Toho Animation Studio". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 18, 2022.
  19. Shackleton, Liz (December 10, 2023). "Japan's Toho Acquires 25% Stake In Fifth Season; Korea's CJ ENM Remains Majority Shareholder". Deadline Hollywood . Retrieved December 11, 2023.
  20. "作品一覧/TOHO animation STORE | 東宝アニメーションストア". Tohoanimationstore.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  21. "作品一覧/PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス/TOHO animation STORE | 東宝アニメーションストア". Tohoanimationstore.com. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  22. "ファンタジスタドール – アニメ|東宝WEB SITE". Toho.co.jp. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  23. "メガネブ! – アニメ|東宝WEB SITE". Toho.co.jp. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  24. "アオハライド – アニメ|東宝WEB SITE". Toho.co.jp. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  25. "『セブンナイツ レボリューション -英雄の継承者-』 – アニメ|東宝WEB SITE". Toho.co.jp. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  26. "Kaiju No. 8 Manga Gets Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  27. Galbraith, Stuart IV (2002). The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune . Faber and Faber, Inc. pp. 25, 440. ISBN   978-0-571-19982-2.
  28. 日本経済新聞社・日経BP社 (August 11, 2016). "長澤まさみらを輩出 「東宝シンデレラ」が新時代へ|エンタメ!|NIKKEI STYLE". NIKKEI STYLE (in Japanese). Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  29. "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。"

Sources

Notes

  1. The controlling shareholders of Toho are affiliated with the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. They are: Hankyu Hanshin Holdings (12.81%), Hankyu Hanshin Properties (8.51%), and H2O Retailing (7.67%).