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Ōsaka Prefecture, Japan

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Tomoyuki Tanaka


Tomoyuki "Yūkō" Tanaka[4] (Japanese: 田中 友幸ともゆき, Hepburn: Tanaka Tomoyuki, April 26, 1910 – April 2, 1997) was a Japanese film producer. Widely regarded as the creator of the Godzilla franchise, he produced most of the installments in the series from 1954 to 1995. He was one of the most prolific Japanese producers of all time, having worked on more than 200 films, including over 80 tokusatsu films.


Tanaka was born on April 26, 1910, in Kashiwara, Osaka.  As a child, he would often walk miles to the nearest theater to watch silent adventure and ninja films in the afternoons. At the age of 14, Tanaka saw the silent Western film The Covered Wagon and was so enamored by its cinematography that it remained his all-time favorite film. In his youth, Tanaka was once disowned by his parents because he focused more on his interests, films and acting, than on his studies.


Soon after graduating from Kansai University, Tanaka entered the Japanese film industry in 1940 and joined the film studio Taiho Eiga. The following year, Tanaka moved to Toho after it merged with Taiho Eiga and began his career as a producer under Iwao Mori. After four years with the company, he began producing his own films, and one of his first efforts, Three People of the North [ja], was released in 1945. In his 57-year career, Tanaka produced more than 200 films.

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