Tomoyuki Taunaka Movie Producer, 1910-1997

Tomoyuki Tanaka has produced at least 200 movies in his lifetime

Tanaka was born in April of 1910 in Kashiwara,Osaka, Japan. He Graduated from Kansai University in 1940 and Became a producer which lead him later on to work at Toho Studios. Within four years of producing, he already started producing his first films. One was a Indonesian-Japanese War movie "Behind the Glory", but an issue raised when the Indonesian government denied Tanaka's crew from making the film. A new film had to be made I order to keep up with the demand.

One day while riding a plane back to Japan, Tanaka looked outside of the window he was seated to. He looked down at the sea and imagined a giant creature come out of it, But that gave Tanaka an idea, what if a Giant Monster awoken by nuclear weapons. At the time monster movies were extremely popular and the horror of nuclear weapons was still a very fresh in the minds of the Japanese, it was perfect.

He named the movie "Gojira", which is the two Japanese words gorilla and whale. It became a huge hit at the blockbuster. Thanks to this, executive producer Iwao Mori asked Tanaka to make another one. Eventually a year later the sequel to Tanaka's Gojira was released into theaters.

Thanks to the success of Gojira and it's sequel, Tanaka began producing more and more science-fictional films like The Mysterians and Atragon.

In 1980, Tanaka was nominated for the BAFTA movie awards for the movie Kagemusha, which was shared with Akira Kurosawa. In 1971, he was promoted to President of Toho's art section and 4 years Later was promoted again except this time to Toho Eiga. Tanaka didn't just work in Toho studios, as he also on films from Torshiro Mifune's productions like Legacy of 500,000.

Into the 1980s through the 1990s, Tanaka once again became quite busy due to the success of the reboot Return of Godzilla, causing his interest the monster to be renewed. And once again he was promoted to Toho Eiga but this time as Chairman. But in 1995 after the death of Godzilla in Tanaka's latest film Godzilla vs The Destroyer, he stepped down from Chairman.

But sadly two after at the age of 86, he died from a stroke in Tokyo, surprisingly the same month he was born in.

Cites to visit: Toho Kingdom, The New York Times, Los Angles Daily News, IMDb
Created By
Brady Bishop

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