CORPORATE HISTORY

  • 1945〜1975
  • 1976〜1981
  • 1982〜1993
  • 1994〜2002
  • 2003〜2012
  • 2013〜

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Literature Publishing Era:1945–1975

KADOKAWA was established in the postwar era, with the ambition to revitalize Japanese culture through publishing. Initially, the company engaged mainly in literary publications of Japan's national history and literature, which fulfilled the needs for cultural content.


November 10, 1945Japanese literary scholar Genyoshi Kadokawa establishes an independent publishing company.
Its very first publication is Kashu Hodo [Anthology - Sidewalk] by Sataro Sato.


1949The first “Kadokawa Bunko” paperback in B6 size print is published.
Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky is the first title to be released.


1950The "Kadokawa Bunko” paperback is resized to the current A6 size print, launching the first paperback boom in Japan.

1952The magazine Haiku is launched.
Showa Bungaku Zenshu [The Complete Series of Japanese Literature from the Showa Era] (60 volumes) becomes the biggest hit in postwar publishing history, setting off the “Zenshu” (collected works) publishing movement.


1954The company reorganizes into a business corporation.

1956The Kadokawa Kokugo Jiten [Kadokawa Japanese Dictionary] and the Kadokawa Kanwa Jiten [Kadokawa Kanji Dictionary] are published, expanding the company’s business area to the dictionary market.

1957The high school textbook Kokugo (Sogo) [Comprehensive Japanese] is released, dominating its relevant market.

1958Nihon Emakimono Zenshu [The Collected Works of Japanese Picture Scrolls] (25 volumes) and Zusetsu Sekai Bunkashi Taikei [The Illustrated Book of World Cultural History] (24 volumes) are published.

1960Sekai Bijutsu Zenshu [The Collected Works of World Art] (40 volumes) is published.

1962Kohon Basho Zenshu [Viorum of Basho: The Collected Works] (10 volumes) is published, winning the Education Minister Prize after its completion.

1964Zusetsu Haiku Daisaijiki [A Glossary of Seasonal Haikus: The Illustrated Edition] (5 volumes) is published.

1967Color-ban Sekai no Shishu [World Poetry: The Color Print Edition] (12 volumes) is published.

1968Nihon no Shishu [Japanese Poetry] (12 volumes) is published.
There is a boom in poetry books.


1969Nihon Kindai Bungaku Taikei [A Compendium of Japanese Modern Literature] (60 volumes) is published.

1971Nihonshi Tanbo [Discovering Japanese History] (22 volumes), series of books based on a TV program aired on NHK, is published, setting a precedent for mixed media development.

1972Gendai Haiku Taikei [A Compendium of Modern Japanese Haiku] (12 volumes) is published. FUJIMI SHOBO is established.

1974The magazine Yasei Jidai is launched.
The Kadokawa Bunko Distribution Center is established.


1975Genyoshi Kadokawa dies. Haruki Kadokawa becomes president.

Movies and Media Mix Era:1976–1981

The company expanded its management base by entering the filmmaking business with the launch of Kadokawa Pictures. The combination of publishing and filmmaking becomes a huge success, making movies one of KADOKAWA SHOTEN’s core business fields.


1976KADOKAWA CULTURE PROMOTION FOUNDATION is established.
The Inugami Family, Kadokawa Pictures’ first movie, is released. Paperback sales of the works by the original author, Seishi Yokomizo, surpass 18M copies. KADOKAWA begins adapting its paperback titles to films.


1977Ege Kai ni Sasagu [Dedicato al mare Egeo], by Masuo Ikeda, wins the Akutagawa Prize. Seiichi Morimura's works becomes a big hit through a paperback campaign that is launched simultaneously with the film adaptation of his work, Proof of the Man.

1978Dai Naniwa Shonin Ourai, by Natsuo Ariake, wins the Naoki Prize.
Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten [The Kadokawa Geographical Dictionary of Japan] (47 volumes by prefecture; two supplementary volumes) is published. The movie Proof of Wilderness is released.


1979The “Book Report Competition on Paperback Novels” hosted by KADOKAWA CULTURE PROMOTION FOUNDATION and sponsored by KADOKAWA SHOTEN begins.
The film adaptations of Akuma ga Kitarite Fue wo Fuku [The Devil Comes and Plays His Flute], Hakuchu no Shikaku [Blind Spot in Broad Daylight], The Golden Wolf Revives, and G.I. Samurai are released.


1980The Seishi Yokomizo Prize is established. The movie Virus is released.

1981The "Kadokawa Novels" label is launched. The movies The Aimed School, Akuryoto [Evil Spirit Island], and Sailor Suit and Machine Gun are released.

The Magazines Era:1982–1993

Starting with Weekly The Television, The company launched various informational magazines successively. By the success of Tokyo Walker, KADOKAWA became acknowledged as the leading company in the field.


1982Kamata Koshinkyoku by Kohei Tsuka, and Jidaiya no Nyoubou by Tomomi Matsumura, win the Naoki Prize. The magazine Weekly The Television is launched.

1983Shinpen Kokka Taikan [A General Survey of National Anthems: New Edition](5 volumes; 10 books total) is published. The magazine Comptiq is launched. The movies Harmagedon: Genma Taisen, GIRL of Time, Story of the Detective, and The Legend of Eight Samurai are released.

1984The Fourth Protocol (2 volumes) is published, recording best-seller sales of 600,000 copies. Weekly The Television expands its publication to 15 local versions.

1985The animation information magazine Newtype and the girls' comic magazine ASUKA is launched.

1986Document Showa (9 volumes), the publication of a major TV program by NHK, is released.

1987Toretate no Tanka desu [Freshly Picked Tankas] is published, implementing a new return policy, which attracts interest in the publishing industry. The magazines Video Data and CD Data are launched.

1988The Kadokawa Hongo building is completed. The "Fujimi Fantasia Bunko" and "Kadokawa Sneaker Paperback" labels are launched.

1989The “Kadokawa Bunko” paperback label celebrates its 40th anniversary. The "100 Kadokawa Bunko Paperback Masterpieces" and the "Big Special" book fairs are launched.

1990The magazine Tokyo Walker is launched. Kadokawa Nihon Chimei Daijiten [The Kadokawa Geographical Dictionary of Japan] series is completed. A new distribution center is completed in Miyoshi-cho, Saitama prefecture. The movie Ten to Chi To [Heaven and Earth], commemorating the 15th anniversary of Kadokawa Pictures, is released.

1991Furusato Daisaijiki [Seasonal Hometown Poems] (8 volumes) begins to be published.

1992The "Kadokawa Ruby Paperback" label is launched.

1993Associated companies, such as THE TELEVISION and the KADOKAWA MEDIA OFFICE, are merged.
Tsuguhiko Kadokawa becomes president.


Road to Becoming a Mega-Content Provider:1994–2002

KADOKAWA SHOTEN emerges as a “mega software publisher,” breaking new ground in the IT business and taking a major step toward providing various multimedia services. At the same time, progress is made on improving the company’s management foundation by restructuring and separating ownership from management.


1994The Celestine Prophecy tops the best-seller list. The magazine Kansai Walker is launched, with record sales. The comic magazine Shonen A(Ace) is launched. The KADOKAWA SHOTEN DISTRIBUTION CENTER is merged.

199550th anniversary of the company’s founding. Its headquarters is moved from the Hongo building to the newly constructed Fujimi building. Parasite Eve, the winner of the Second Japanese Horror Novel Prize, becomes a best-seller. The magazine Monthly The Television is launched.

1996The magazine Tokai Walker is launched.

1997The movies Lost Paradise and Evangelion each become groundbreaking hits. The magazine Kyushu Walker is launched.

1998The blockbuster movie series Ring and Spiral are released. Creating a social phenomenon, author Koji Suzuki's original novel and paperback series experience record sales. The movie Sleepless Town is released. The magazine Yokohama Walker is launched. The Kadokawa Bunko Paperback 50th Anniversary Fair is held. ASMIC ACE ENTERTAINMENT is established. KADOKAWA SHOTEN is listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

1999The movies Ring 2 and Shikoku are successfully released. TOSKADOMAIN and KADOKAWA INTERACTIVE MEDIA are established. The magazine Marie Claire is published in a new format. The magazines Chiba Walker and Taipei Walker are launched. The new headquarters building is completed. A broad-based alliance is established with BERTELSMANN AG in Germany. KADOKAWA TAIWAN is established.

2000MEGAPORT BROADCASTING and WALKERPLUS.COM are launched. The technical book label "Kadokawa One Theme 21" is launched. The magazines Kobe Walker, Hokkaido Walker, and SPORTS Yeah! are launched.

2001WALKER ASIA ENTERTAINMENT is established in Singapore. SSCOMMUNICATIONS becomes an affiliated company. The "Kadokawa Beans Paperback" label is launched. The magazine Gundam A(Ace) is launched. The movie Calmi Cuori Appassionati is released, and the original novel and paperback become best-sellers.

2002The movie Dark Water is released. The magazine Monthly BS&CS The Television is launched. MEDIAWORKS becomes an affiliated company. KADOKAWA DAIEI PICTURES is established.

Becoming a Comprehensive Media Enterprise:2003–2012

The KADOKAWA Group reformed to a structure consisting of three business lines—publishing, motion pictures, and broadband Internet—to compete in the integrated broadband age. It shifts its management strategy from "selection and concentration" to "selective expansion."


2003KADOKAWA HOLDINGS is founded. KADOKAWA SHOTEN becomes an operating company whose primary business is publishing. The free magazine TOKYO INDEX is launched. Brave Story (2 volumes), by Miyuki Miyabe, and Tsui Tanin ni Tameshitakunaru Yomesoude Yomenai Kanji [Tricky Kanjis You Will Want to Test People On], edited by Gendai Gengo Seminar, become big hits. The magazine Yasei Jidai is published in a new format.

2004KADOKAWA HOLDINGS is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. KADOKAWA ENTERTAINMENT is established as the video distribution company of motion pictures. ASCII and ENTERBRAIN join the group. KADOKAWA DAIEI PICTURES changes its corporate name to KADOKAWA PICTURES. A business alliance is established with DreamWorks. The magazine Mainichi Ga Hakken is launched.

2005A business alliance is announced with CJ ENTERTAINMENT, a major Korean filmmaker and distributor. NIPPON HERALD FILMS changes its corporate name to KADOKAWA HERALD PICTURES, and becomes a wholly owned subsidiary. FUJIMI SHOBO is established, splitting off from KADOKAWA SHOTEN. The KADOKAWA Group commemorates its 60th anniversary.

2006KADOKAWA HOLDINGS changes its corporate name to KADOKAWA GROUP HOLDINGS. KADOKAWA HERALD PICTURES is established following the merger of KADOKAWA PICTURES and KADOKAWA HERALD PICTURES. KADOKAWA THE TELEVISION and KADOKAWA CROSSMEDIA are established. The paperback edition of The Da Vinci Code is published in three volumes, becoming one of the biggest hits in KADOKAWA's history, with accumulated sales of over 10M copies combined with hardcover sales.

2007KADOKAWA SHOTEN is split into KADOKAWA SHOTEN, KADOKAWA MAGAZINES, KADOKAWA GROUP PUBLISHING, and several other operational companies. KADOKAWA HERALD PICTURES changes its corporate name to KADOKAWA PICTURES. KADOKAWA INTERCONTINENTAL PUBLISHING is established in Hong Kong. The "Maho no Island" label is launched, and the paper publishing of cell phone novels begins.

2008KADOKAWA MARKETING is launched. ASCII MEDIA WORKS is established through a merger. The Kadokawa Bunko Paperback 60th Anniversary Project is launched. The "Kadokawa Sneaker Paperback" label and the "Fujimi Fantasia Bunko" label commemorate their 20th anniversaries, "Dengeki Bunko" its 15th anniversary, and "Famitsuu Bunko" its 10th anniversary. The movie Rashomon, directed by Akira Kurosawa, is digitally restored in Hollywood.

2009CHUKEI PUBLISHING joins the group. KADOKAWA GAMES, K. SENSE, and KADOKAWA CONTENTS GATE are established. "Kadokawa Tsubasa Paperback" is launched as the first label to cut across all group companies. The movie The Unbroken is released, sweeping the year's movie awards, including best film prize at the Japanese Academy Awards.

2010MAHO NO ISLAND joins the group. GUANGZHOU TIANWEN KADOKAWA ANIMATION & COMICS is established. KADOKAWA GROUP HOLDINGS is selected for the "Corporate Activity Award" by the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A business alliance is announced with DWANGO. The e-book store "BOOK☆WALKER" is launched. Tenchi Meisatsu wins the 7th Booksellers Award. Thermae Romae wins the 2010 cartoon grand prize. The magazine Tokyo Walker celebrates its 20th anniversary. The magazine Lettuce Club reaches 700 volumes and Weekly ASCII Magazine reaches 800 volumes.

2011KADOKAWA SHOTEN and KADOKAWA PICTURES, KADOKAWA MARKETING and KADOKAWA SSCOMMUNICATIONS, ASCII MEDIA WORKS and MAHO NO ISLAND, KADOKAWA CONTENTS GATE and WORDS GEAR are merged, respectively. Business alliance is formed with GREE, and capital appliance is formed with DWANGO. MUBICHIKE, an online movie ticket sales company, is established. The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi is released worldwide.

2012KADOKAWA CONTENTS GATE changes its corporate name to BOOK WALKER. KADOKAWA GROUP PUBLISHING and KADOKAWA SHUPPAN HANBAI merge. A joint venture, the DOCOMO ANIME STORE, is founded, starting an animation streaming service for smartphones.
The dramatization of Biblia Koshodo no Jiken Techo and an animated version of Sword Art Online become huge hits.
The 13th volume of the comic franchise Evangelion is released simultaneously in 15 countries and regions worldwide, and also as an e-book. “LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW”, the first original game produced by KADOKAWA GAMES, is released worldwide.
The implementation of EPUB3 is announced, starting the BOOK☆WALKER platform.

KADOKAWA Group companies start providing content to newly launched e-book stores such as Rakuten Kobo and Amazon Kindle as they start providing services to the Japanese market. A huge amount of content starts to be provided to BOOK☆WALKER from other publishing companies. The “Kadokawa Mandarin Light Novel & Illustration Contest” is held for the first time, co-hosted by China and Taiwan.


Transformation into a Digital/Internet Era:2013–

On October 1, 2013, KADOKAWA absorbed and merged with its nine consolidated subsidiaries. As an unparalleled mega content publisher and a digital content platformer, the company aims to grow strong by creating free and dynamic IP and expanding its services in the digital and global markets.


2013KADOKAWA GROUP PUBLISHING is merged into KADOKAWA GROUP HOLDINGS.
On June 22, KADOKAWA GROUP HOLDINGS changes its corporate name to KADOKAWA CORPORATION.
On October 1, KADOKAWA is reborn, merging its nine consolidated subsidiaries.
A new corporate logo is established. KADOKAWA ASCII RESEARCH LABORATORIES is established.
KADOKAWA DAIEI STUDIO is established.
The "Kadokawa EPUB Sensho" label is launched.
The magazine Shukan Famitsu reaches 1,300 issues.
The magazine Comptiq commemorates its 30th anniversary, and Tanka its 60th anniversary.
Magazines Tanka and Haiku start distribution of electronic magazines.
The magazine Dengeki PlayStation reaches 555 issues.
CHOBUNSHA joins the group.
KADOKAWA CONTENTS ACADEMY is established.


2014“Shukan Georgia”, a free weekly magazine on smartphones is launched as a joint business with Coca-Cola (Japan) Company, Limited.
Online comic service “ComicWalker” is launched.
Worldwide sales of the video game LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW surpassed 1 million copies.
The magazine Lettuce Club reaches 800 issues.
Tenyu Nari by Main Koda wins the 33rd Jiro Nitta Prize.
Newly developed magazine viewer is provided from Book Walker to “d magazine”, a service operated by NTT DoCoMo.
REINFORCE is established.
FROM SOFTWARE joins the group.
Hamon [Expulsion] by Hiroyuki Kurokawa wins the 151st Naoki Prize.
The accumulated total sales of Sword Art Online series from the “Dengeki Bunko” label surpassed 10 million copies nationwide, and 16.7 million copies worldwide.
On October 1, KADOKAWA and DWANGO integrated to form KADOKAWA DWANGO CORPORATION as the holding company.
A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori wins the Cartoon Grand Prize 2014.
The First School by KADOKAWA Contents Academy “KADOKAWA International Edutainment Taiwan” was founded in Taiwan.
MUBICHIKE changes its corporate name to EIGA WALKER.


2015The corporate organization restructured from brand companies to departments based on business domains.
The KADOKAWA Fujimi building is completed.
Agreement on coordination and cooperation has been concluded with Kyoto Prefecture.
Shika no Oh by Nahoko Uehashi wins the 2015 Booksellers Award.
Tokorozawa “COOL JAPAN FOREST Concept” has been announced.
TOKOROZAWA SAKURATOWN was established.
The new label for web novels “KADOKAWA BOOKS” is launched.
Overlord, which was originally a web novel became a big hit by animated adaptation.
Dengeki Bunko’s fair commemorating accumulated release of over 3000 titles has been held.
Gakunen Biri no Gyaru ga 1-nen de Hensachi wo 40 agete Keio Daigaku ni Geneki Goukaku shita Hanashi won the 49th Shimpu Prize, and the accumulated total of hard cover and paperback sales surpassed 1 million copies.
The magazine Weekly ASCII was digitized.
The magazine New Type and ASUKA commemorates its 30th anniversary.
SIM card for inbound tourists “J Walker SIM” is released.
KADOKAWA GEMPAK STARZ joined the group.
“Kadokawa Manga Gakushu Series Nihon no Rekishi” label is launched.


2016Web novel posting site “Kakuyomu” is launched.
Yen Press was established as a joint venture with Hachette Book Group, one of the leading publishers in the United States.
Strategic alliance with Crunchyroll, a leading anime streaming service in the United States was announced.
Kadokawa Pictures commemorates its 40th anniversary.
Mr. José Mujica, former President of Uruguay visited Japan commemorating the release of Kadokawa Bunko paperback José Mujica The Poorest President in the World.
KADOKAWA AMARIN was established as a joint venture with Thailand’s largest publisher, Amarin Printing and Publishing PCL.
Chinese major internet and mobile service provider Tencent became the second largest shareholder of GUANGZHOU TIANWEN KADOKAWA ANIMATION & COMICS CO., LTD., as our strategic partner.
Yotsubato! Won the 20th Tezuka Osamu Bunkasho Manga Prize.
Sword Art Online series from the “Dengeki Bunko” label surpassed 19M copies worldwide.
Your Name. became a big hit by animated film adaptation.
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- became a big hit by adaptation to animation series.