My heart and mind are as they were when I was a child. Then I loved to play with toys and to read stories of magic. I still do. My wish is only to make life happier and more beautiful for those who will go and see my films of fantasy.
— Eiji Tsuburaya in Caper Magazine, 1962
Eiji Tsuburaya (円谷 英二, born Eiichi Tsumuraya Tsuburaya Eiji) (圓谷 英一 and occasionally credited as Eiji Tsumuraya Tsumuraya Eiichi) (圓谷 英二, was a Tsumuraya Eiji)Japanese special effects director, cameraman and producer. Tsuburaya rose to fame primarily due to his work as a cinematographer and special effects director on Toho's kaiju films during the 1950's and 1960's, when he pioneered the techniques of tokusatsu and suitmation. Tsuburaya was one of the creators of Godzilla, who would go on to become Toho's most famous creation and an international icon.
In 1963, Tsuburaya founded his own special effects studio, Tsuburaya Productions, which would become known for producing the Ultra series. Tsuburaya himself served as supervisor for several of the studio's early tokusatsu television series, including Ultra Q, Ultraman and Ultraseven. Toward the end of his life, Tsuburaya continued to receive honorary credit for supervising and directing the special effects in Toho's kaiju films, even though his responsibilities with his own company and eventually his declining health prevented him from actually working on the films. Tsuburaya's understudy Teruyoshi Nakano would take over as Toho's primary special effects director following Tsuburaya's death of a heart attack on January 25, 1970. Tsuburaya's company, Tsuburaya Productions, continued operating under his family until 2007, when it was acquired by TYO Inc. On January 11, 2019, the Eiji Tsuburaya Museum opened in his hometown of Sukagawa, commemorating his life and films.
Director of special effects
- Godzilla (1954) [as Eiji Tsumuraya][b]
- Invisible Man (1954)
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- Half Human (1955)[c]
- Rodan (1956)[c]
- The Mysterians (1957) [as Eiji Tsumuraya]
- The H-Man (1958)
- Varan (1958) [as Eiji Tsumuraya]
- Monkey Sun (1959)
- The Three Treasures (1959)
- Battle in Outer Space (1959)
- The Secret of the Telegian (1960)
- The Human Vapor (1960)
- Mothra (1961)
- The Last War (1961)
- Gorath (1962)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
- Matango (1963)
- Atragon (1963)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Dogora (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- The War of the Gargantuas (1966)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) [ceremonial title]
- King Kong Escapes (1967)
- Ultraman (1967) [compilation film]
- Ultraseven (TV 1967-1968)
- Son of Godzilla (1967) [ceremonial title]
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- Operation: Mystery (TV 1968-1969)
- Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight (1969) [compilation film]
- Latitude Zero (1969)
- All Monsters Attack (1969) [ceremonial title]
- Space Amoeba (1970) [posthumous; ceremonial title; only in promotional materials]
- Ultra Q (TV 1966)
- Ultraman (TV 1966-1967)
- Monster Booska (TV 1966-1967)
- Mighty Jack (TV 1968)
- Fight! Mighty Jack (TV 1968)
- Chibira-kun (TV 1970-1971) [posthumous]
- Horror Theater Unbalance (TV 1973) [posthumous]
- Ultraman: Terror on Route 87 (1989) [posthumous; compilation film]
- The Invisible Man Appears (1949) - Special effects cinematographer
- Invisible Man (1954) - Cinematographer
- Mighty Jack (TV 1968) - Editor
- Fight! Mighty Jack (TV 1968) - Editor
- Monster Seafood Wars (2020) - Original story [posthumous; uncredited]
|Sei Tsumuraya||Isamu Tsumuraya|
|Shuzaburo Araki||Masano Tsuburaya||Eiji Tsuburaya|
|Noboru Tsuburaya||Hajime Tsuburaya||Akira Tsuburaya|
|Kazuo Tsuburaya||Masahiro Tsuburaya||Hideaki Tsuburaya||Yuko Tsuburaya|
|Hiroshi Tsuburaya||Hitomi Tsuburaya|
Tsuburaya on the set of Invisible Man
Tsuburaya with the Mothra larva suit
Tsuburaya with the KingGoji suit
Tsuburaya with the Godzilla stop motion puppet
Eiji Tsuburaya with the Gaira suit
Eiji Tsuburaya with the Sanda suit
Tsuburaya Productions Eiji Tsubaraya Commemorative Set (Box A)
Tsuburaya Productions Eiji Tsubaraya Commemorative Set (Box B)
Bandai Japan commemorative SD set
Tsuburaya with Ishiro Honda
- Tsuburaya appears as a character in episode 49 of Ultraman Tiga, "The Ultra Star", played by Yusuke Takita. Bin Furuya, the original Ultraman suit actor, portrays a character based on him in Nezura 1964.
- Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's costume from his first scene in Godzilla is a reference to Tsuburaya's typical work outfit. Godzilla-kun also wears this outfit in the first special episode of Godziban, "Film the Dream!"
- While Eiji Tsuburaya's family registry says that he was born on July 10, he, his family, and Tsuburaya Productions give his birthdate as July 7. The latter date has special significance, as it is the high day of the Japanese star festival Tanabata. Still other sources give a birthdate of July 5.
- Special effects staff did not begin to be individually credited until The Mysterians; Tsuburaya was simply credited for "special technology" alongside Akira Watanabe, Hiroshi Mukoyama, and Kuichiro Kishida.
- Credited for "special technology" alongside Akira Watanabe, Masao Shirota, and Hiroshi Mukoyama; see second note.
This is a list of references for Eiji Tsuburaya. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
- Ragone, August (6 May 2014). Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters (paperback ed.). Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-1-4521-3539-7.
- Ryfle, Steve (1 April 1998). Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G". ECW Press. ISBN 1550223488.
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