King Kong Appears in Edo (1938 film)
General Information
Directed by

Sōya Kumagai

Produced by


Written by

Daijō Aoyama

Composed by


Production Information
Distributed by

Zenshō Cinema





Box office


Running time


King Kong Appears in Edo (江戸に現れたキングコング,   Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu?) is a lost 1938 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Zenshō Cinema. It was released to Japanese theaters on March 18, 1938.


Part 1

In the first part, titled King Kong Appears in Edo: The Episode of Transformation (江戸に現れたキングコング:変化の巻,   Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu: Henge no Maki?), Chinami, a daughter of Hyoue Toba, is mysteriously kidnapped one night. Toba offers a 3,000 Ryō reward for his daughter. (Note: Ryō is one of currency units used by Tokugawa shogunate, roughly equivalent to 330 US dollars.) Yuzuru Kawasaki and other spongers set about searching for Chinami. But Magonojyō Gō, one of Toba’s spongers, sneers at his fellows’ efforts. In fact, Gō is the very man who kidnapped Chinami. He made his father Senbei’s pet ape abduct her.

Part 2

The second part, titled King Kong Appears in Edo: The Episode of Gold (江戸に現れたキングコング:黄金の巻,   Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu: Ōgon no Maki?) has complex circumstances behind it. Toba influences Senbei to counterfeit coins, but he refuses. Toba imprisons Senbei somewhere. To get a clue of his father’s whereabouts, Gō disguises himself as one of Toba’s spongers. Gō menaces Toba with the ape covertly. He offers Toba Chinami's location in exchange for the prize money. He takes Toba to his secret cellar to shut him up. The vengeful ape kills Toba but he, too, is fatally wounded. Gō then leaves Edo with 3,000 Ryō. What happened to Chinami after that is unknown, but it is assumed she was freed when Magonojyō received his money from Hyoue.


King Kong Appears in Edo was one of Japan's first kaiju films, predating Godzilla by sixteen years. Although inaccurate to its historical setting, some Caligari-esque expressionistic buildings were added for Kong to climb. The film is now completely lost after the fire bombings on Japan and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Fuminori Ohashi, who would later create the suit for Godzilla in the original 1954 film, created the ape suit and special effects for this film. During an interview in 1988 shortly before his death in 1989, he explained, "The first model making to be counted as 'special art direction' in Japanese cinema was a giant gorilla which I did for the movie King Kong Appears in Edo fifty years ago. It was also the first movie to feature certain kinds of special effects."


Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

  • Directed by   Sôya Kumagai
  • Written by   Daijô Aoyama
  • Cinematography by   Yozo Okuda
  • Special Effects by   Fuminori Ôhashi


Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Eizaburō Matsumoto   as   Misato Magonojo
  • Fuminori Ōhashi   as   Anthropoid
  • Reizaburō Ichikawa   as   Toba Hyoei
  • Reiko Mishima   as   Chinami
  • Shōjirō Ogata   as   Kuroami the Hunchback
  • Yasutarō Yagi   as   Inoue Ginbei
  • Noboru Takashima   as   Kawasaki Yuzuru
  • Keinosuke Yashiro   as   Segawa Kinnosuke
  • Shōtarō Shiba   as   Azuma Tetsusaburō
  • Shin Taga   as   Nakazawa Shinjūrō
  • Ryūtarō Hibiki   as   Matsudaira Izunokami
  • Keisuke Matsudaira   as   Clerk at Charcoal Shop
  • Kikutarō Yoshii   as   Clerk at Soy Sauce Shop
  • Dō Jitsukawa   as   Rice Shop Apprentice




Main article: King Kong Appears in Edo (1938 film)/Gallery.


Main article: King Kong Appears in Edo (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • King Kong (Kingu Kongu; Japan)


  • There is a video on YouTube that claims to be the lost footage of King Kong Appears in Edo. The video turned out to be fake due to its high quality for a 1938 film, and the most obvious fact, that the user used footage from a movie named Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century. The video also used footage of a Japanese man with a gun, while the film was supposed to be set in medieval Japan as well as the use of tiger roars that were actually recorded in the middle of the 20th century.


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