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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Publishers



Founded: 1909
Founded by:
Titles/Circulation: 0


Kodansha Ltd, the largest Japanese publisher, produces the manga magazines Nakayoshi, Afternoon, Evening, and Weekly Shonen Magazine, as well as more literary magazines such as Gunzo, Shukan Gendai, and the Japanese dictionary Nihongo Daijiten. The company has its headquarters in Bunkyo, Tokyo. The Noma family--relatives of the founder--continues to own Kodansha.

Seiji Noma founded Kodansha in 1909 as a spinoff of the Dai-Nippon Yubenkai (Greater Japan Oratorical Society) and produced the literary magazine Yuben as its first publication. The name Kodansha (taken from "Kodan Club", a now defunct magazine published by the company) originated in 1911 when the publisher formally merged with the Dai-Nippon Yubenkai. The company has used its current legal name since 1958.

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

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 the 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.)

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

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Works in the WWEnd Database


Authors Published

• Katsuhiro Otomo  • Masanori Ota  • Kenji Miyazawa  • Miyuki Miyabe  • Shuji Tsushima