Kodansha About

About Kodansha

Since its foundation in 1909 in Japan, Kodansha has pursued the new, the exciting—the impossible

With a devotion to curiosity and creativity comes a tradition of innovation. For decades, we have nurtured a dynamic roster of artists and collaborators across genres, building a legacy of inspired voices, narratives and platforms. Our U.S. subsidiary publishes English-language manga and Japan-based fiction and non-fiction books.

Nourishing Passionate Creativity

When founding Kodansha, Seiji Noma believed that the role of new media was to educate people and develop society.

His belief was that nothing in the world was too complicated to make into an entertaining piece, that it could overcome language barriers and be of benefit to all nations, and achieve world peace.

Over a century after his journey began, Kodansha continues this dream with its library brimming with lively content. Read magazines and books, be industrious, and succeed—that was the message from Seiji Noma, and it inspired those who had talent but had missed the opportunity for higher education because of economic reasons. Seiji actively employed such young people. This was the expression and embodiment of the “Japanese Dream.”

Titan from Attack on Titan


As one example of pushing boundaries, Kodansha was cultivating manga even before World War II. We have always sought and pursued new voices. And once discovered, we nurture and celebrate them. We continue to offer more variety within this popular genre, satisfying devoted fans in more than 40 countries with legendary titles such as Akira, Attack on Titan, and Sailor Moon.

Attack on Titan

When does manga move from being a fan favorite to an international force? First launched in 2009, this post-apocalyptic masterpiece by Hajime Isayama has now been released in 18 languages, across 180 countries, with over 100 million copies worldwide. It was adapted into a hit anime series, as well as a two-part film.

Assorted book covers from NISIOSIN

Book Publishing

They engage and entertain, transport and transform us. The world of books is vast and exciting, and we are proud to cultivate more than a half-dozen genres. From novels to non-fiction, language textbooks to children’s books, art tomes to essay collections, Kodansha uncovers new worlds and publishes across formats.

The NISIOISIN Phenomenon

One of the most exciting young novelists in Japan today, NISIOISIN is best known in the West for his literary adaptation of the Death Note manga and his bestselling MONOGATARI novels. A uniquely imagined serial blend of noir and fantasy, MONOGATARI has gone on to pop-culture prominence in the form of hit anime series, video games, merchandise, and manga. Since his debut in 2002, NISIOISIN has penned more than fifty novels and has quickly become one of Japan’s top selling authors in recent memory with more than 5 million units sold.

Ghost in the shell

TV, Movies, and Anime

As the world consumes ever more content, adaptations of Kodansha titles continue to be an essential part of our portfolio. It could be a movie, television drama, anime, or even a stage play—we let our readers’ passions, and our creators’ visions, lead us to exciting new places.

The Ghost in the Shell

Created by Shirow Masamune, this classic cyberpunk manga was first serialized in 1989. Since the 1995 release of the anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, it’s developed a fevered cult following and served as a major influence on global film and pop culture. In 2017, it was adapted into the Hollywood science-fiction film starring Scarlett Johansson.