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 Tsuburaya Eiji), born Eiichi Tsumuraya (圓谷 英一, was a Tsumuraya Eiichi)Japanese special effects director and cameraman. Tsuburaya rose to fame primarily due to his work on Toho's war, kaiju, and science fiction films between the 1940s and 60s, when he pioneered various tokusatsu (special effects) techniques such as 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 received honorary credit for directing or supervising the special effects on some of Toho's kaiju films, even though his responsibilities with his own company and later declining health limited his involvement. Tsuburaya's duties at Toho would be taken up by his understudies Sadamasa Arikawa and Teruyoshi Nakano following his death of a heart attack on January 25, 1970. 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
Special effects supervisor
- Revised Edition: Eiji Tsuburaya Essays and Critiques Collection (2010) - Author [posthumous]
|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 commemorative SD set
Tsuburaya with Ishiro Honda
- Tsuburaya appears as a character in episode 49 of Ultraman Tiga, "The Ultra Star" (1997), played by Yusuke Takita. Bin Furuya, the original Ultraman suit actor, portrays a character based on him in Nezura 1964 (2021).
- Dr. Ishiro Serizawa's costume from his first scene in Godzilla (2014) 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!"
- In 1962, Tsuburaya made preparations for a film adaptation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, the same story upon which his special effects debut Princess Kaguya (1935) was based. Though he shelved the project to work on King Kong vs. Godzilla that year, he penned a script for "Princess Kaguya" years later while in hospice in Izu, but passed away soon after. His first son Hajime attempted to realize the idea in his stead, recruiting Hiroyasu Yamaura to write a screenplay and Yoshiyuki Kuroda to direct, but this too fell through after Hajime's own death in 1973 on the same day that the film was scheduled to begin shooting. Toho Pictures would ultimately produce an unrelated movie adaptation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter with Fuji TV, entitled Princess from the Moon (1987), which featured effects by Tsuburaya's protégé Teruyoshi Nakano.
- 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 birth date of July 5.
- Individually crediting special effects staff did not become consistent in Toho's movies until The Mysterians (1957); Tsuburaya was simply credited for "special technology" alongside Akira Watanabe, Hiroshi Mukoyama, and Kuichiro Kishida.
- Credited as "special effects advisor," though the poster and other promotional materials call him special effects director.
- Credited for "special technology" alongside Akira Watanabe, Masao Shirota, and Hiroshi Mukoyama; see the second note.
- Also participated in the miniature effects.
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.
- Takeuchi, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Shingo, eds. (11 July 2001). The Visual World of Eiji Tsuburaya (Complete Extended ed.). Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha. ISBN 4-408-39474-2.
- Matsuda, Takehisa, ed. (10 August 2001). Eiji Tsuburaya's Special Effects World. Keibunsha. ISBN 4-7669-3848-8.
- Ishibashi, Harumi (22 October 2013). '60s Showa Special Effects Heroes Revived. Cosmic Publishing. ISBN 978-4774758534.
- Ichikawa, Shinichi (13 September 1996). Eiji Tsuburaya: The Film Director Who Created Ultraman. Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4092701076.
- Yamaura, Hiroyasu (1972). Princess Kaguya: From the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (screenplay). Tsuburaya Productions.
- Shiraishi, Masahiko (20 July 2006). Hajime Tsuburaya: Ultra Q and the era of "TV Movies". Futabasha. ISBN 978-4-5752-9907-6.
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