Toho produces and distributes motion pictures for cinema, television, and video. The company also sells character merchandise based on their media productions, distributes foreign films, operates musical theaters, produces musical shows and manages cinema theaters. It has an extensive library of (historical) Japanese movies, including the well-known Godzilla series. The original Godzilla movie from 1954 was a proclamation to expose the devastating effects of the nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in WWII.
Toho produces around 30 movie titles per year and distributes another 50 Japanese and international movie titles through its own network of cinemas and third-party cinemas throughout Japan. It also owns and operates the prestigious Imperial Theater and two other theaters in Tokyo. Originating from its theater and cinema business, Toho owns many buildings on prime locations in major cities which developed into valuable real estate assets over time.
The majority of activities of Toho have a good fit with the subtheme Leisure & Entertainment of the transition theme Prosperous & Happy People. By creating and distributing Japanese films and theater plays the company satisfies increasing demand from the domestic Japanese population.
Watching films in cinemas increased in popularity, especially in age groups 10-19 years, 20-25 years and over 65 years. And the percentage of Japanese films watched in cinemas increased from around 30% 20 years ago, to 45% 10 years ago and over 60% in recent years. The often unique elements of Japanese culture are also increasingly popular in the rest of the world (food, animation characters, yoga, zen, design, etc.). Japanese films have not fully benefited from this trend yet, but could play a role in improving diversity in the global entertainment landscape which is still dominated by American companies and American content.