Kodansha Ltd.
Native name
Kabushiki gaisha Kōdansha
FormerlyDainippon Yubenkai-Kodansha (1911–1958)
TypeFamily-owned private KK
IndustryPublishing, music
FoundedDecember 1, 1938; 83 years ago (December 1, 1938)
FounderSeiji Noma
HeadquartersBunkyō, ,
Area served
Key people
Yoshinobu Noma (President & CEO)
ProductsBooks, light novels, magazines, manga, CDs and DVDs (through King Records)
OwnerNoma family (Noma Cultural Foundation 39.2%)
Number of employees
914 (as of September 2013)
SubsidiariesKing Record Co., Ltd.
Kobunsha Co., Ltd.
Kodansha USA

Kodansha Ltd. (Japanese: 株式会社講談社, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Kōdansha) is a Japanese privately-held publishing company headquartered in Bunkyō, Tokyo.[1] Kodansha is the largest Japanese publishing company, and it produces the manga magazines Nakayoshi, Afternoon, Evening, Weekly Shōnen Magazine and Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine, as well as the more literary magazines 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.


Seiji Noma founded Kodansha in 1909 as a spin-off of the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai (大日本雄辯會, "Greater Japan Oratorical Society") and produced the literary magazine Yūben (雄辯) as its first publication. The name Kodansha (taken from Kōdan Club (講談倶楽部), 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 Disney, 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 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).

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.

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 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 NHK (Nippon Housou Kyoukai), 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 pay ¥4 million in damages. Kodansha appealed the decision, and reached a settlement whereby it had to issue only a partial retraction, and to pay no damages.[5] Gendai's sister magazine Shūkan Gendai nonetheless published an article probing further into the staged-footage controversy that has dogged NHK.


List of magazines

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
Seinen manga magazines
  • Weekly Young Magazine (since 1980)
  • Monthly Young Magazine (since 2009)
  • 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 to 2012)
  • Evening (bi-weekly since 2001)
  • Comic Days (app/website, since 2018)
  • Yanmaga Web (website, since 2020)

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, ????-2014; succeeded by Hatsu Kiss)
  • ITAN (quarterly since 2010)
  • Hatsu Kiss (bi-monthly 2014-2018, monthly 2018-2021)
Web magazines
  • Honey Milk (BL magazine)
  • Ane Friend
  • comic tint

Literary magazines

  • Gunzo, monthly literary magazine
  • Mephisto, tri-annual literary magazine focusing on mystery and detective stories
  • Faust

See also


  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 "[1]", Kodansha USA, Inc., September 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. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2014-09-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

  • Kodansha Official Japanese website (in Japanese)
  • Kodansha Official English Website
  • Kodansha USA Official Website
  • Kodansha USA Official Website