Tomoyuki Tanaka (田中 友幸, Tanaka Tomoyuki) was a Japanese film
producer, most famous for creating the
Godzilla franchise. He was born
in Kashiwara, Osaka,
Japan on April 26, 1910, and died in
April 2, 1997. Tanaka was married to the actress Chieko Nakakita (1926
– 2005). He died of a stroke at the age of 86.
Soon after graduating from
Kansai University in 1940, Tanaka joined
Toho Studios. After four years with the company, he began producing
his own films, and his first effort, Three Women of the North, was
released in 1945. In his 60-year career with Toho, Tanaka produced
more than 200 films.
He is best known as the creator, with storyteller Shigeru Kayama,
director Ishirō Honda, writer Takeo Murata and special-effects wizard
Eiji Tsuburaya, of Godzilla, the towering embodiment of post-World War
II anxiety. Tanaka created
Godzilla in 1954 in an effort to illustrate
the terror Japanese felt after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. In an interview in 1985 Tanaka summed up the symbolism of
In those days, Japanese had a real horror of radiation, and that
horror is what made
Godzilla so huge. From the beginning he has
symbolized nature's revenge on mankind.
The classic 1954 film
Godzilla (1954; released in the U.S. in 1956 as
Godzilla, King of the Monsters!) would spawn a series of sequels,
adding up to 28 films by 2004. Tanaka produced every Toho
monster movie. He often worked with the other three members of the
Godzilla team: Honda, Tsuburaya, and composer Akira Ifukube, to
complete such works as
The Mysterians (1957) and
Tanaka produced six films directed by the acclaimed Akira Kurosawa.
Kagemusha (1980) was nominated for a Best Foreign Film
Oscar and took the
Palme d'Or at Cannes.
The 1998 American reimagining of
Godzilla was dedicated to his memory.
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^ a b WuDunn, Cheryl (4 April 1997). "Tomoyuki Tanaka, the Creator of
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^ a b "Tomoyuki Tanaka". 2012. Retrieved Oct 12, 2012.
^ Raftery, Brian M. (2000). "Forty-four years ago, Godzilla, King of
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