The Explosion (1975)

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The Explosion
The Japanese poster for The Explosion
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png Tokyo Bay Burns (1975)
Flagicon United States.png High Seas Hijack (1976)
See alternate titles
Directed by Katsumune Ishida, John BushelmanUS
Producer(s) Tomoyuki Tanaka, Osamu Tanaka,
William C. ThomasUS
Written by Koji Tanaka (original story),
Yasuko Ono, Toshio Masuda
Music by Hajime Kaburagi
Distributor TohoJP, Pine-Thomas ProductionsUS
Rating GJP
Running time 100 minutesJP
(1 hour, 40 minutes)
94 minutesUS
(1 hour, 34 minutes)
Rate this film!
(3 votes)

The Explosion (東京湾炎上,   Tōkyōwan Enjō, lit. Tokyo Bay Burns) is a 1975 tokusatsu disaster film produced by Toho. The film is loosely based on the 1974 novel Critical Explosion by Koji Tanaka. It was released to Japanese theaters on July 12, 1975.


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

  • Directed by   Katsumune Ishida
  • Written by   Yasuko Ono, Toshio Masuda
  • Based on the Story Critical Explosion by   Koji Tanaka
  • Produced by   Tomoyuki Tanaka, Osamu Tanaka
  • Music by   Hajime Kaburagi
  • Cinematography by   Rokuro Nishigaki
  • Edited by   Nobuo Ogawa
  • Production Design by   Yoshiro Muraki
  • Assistant Directing by   Ippei Imamura
  • Special Effects by   Teruyoshi Nakano, Motoyoshi Tomioka, Yasuyuki Inoue, Tadaaki Watanabe
  • Theme Song "You Are a Traveler" Performed by   Yoko Hashimoto
    • Lyrics by   Keisuke Yamakawa
    • Composed and Arranged by   Hajime Kaburagi

American Version

  • Directed by   John Bushelman
  • Produced by   William C. Thomas
  • Edited by   Jeff Bushelman
  • Production design by   Normand Hole


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

  • Tetsuro Tanba   as   Captain Munekata
  • Hiroshi Fujioka   as   Jiro Tate, geologist
  • Jo Shishido   as   Chief Engineer Kosai
  • Yutaka Mizutani   as   Munk, seajacker
  • Midori Kanazawa   as   Machiko
  • Ryohei Uchida   as   Nishizawa, boatswain
  • Fumio Watanabe   as   Tatsuya Iwado, reporter
  • Mizuho Suzuki   as   Commander of Defense Katsuragi
  • Kei Sato   as   Fukami, television director
  • Soichiro Kitamura   as   First Mate Ehara
  • Tetsuya Ushio   as   Third Mate Inoue
  • Sumio Tomikawa   as   Kataoka, engineer
  • Shiro Kuno   as   Igarashi, radio station director
  • Dai Kanai   as   Doctor Hatsuyama
  • Tappei Shimokawa   as   Chief Steward Terada
  • Kazuo Kato   as   Public relations officer
  • Akio Satake   as   Susumu Wakabayashi, special effects director
  • Masanori Irie   as   Defense Agency Director General
  • Katsuhiko Sasaki   as   Hayashi
  • Kenji Sahara   as   Kagoshima reporter
  • -----   as   ------
  • Ken Saunders   as   Kifal
  • K. Amoha   as   Simba
  • Willy Dorcey   as   Zamba
  • Ikbar Haniv   as   Mubogo
  • Osman Yusuf   as   Reporter
  • Tony Cetera   as   Reporter

American Version

  • Peter Graves   as   Elliott Rhoades
  • Gigi Penneau   as   Patricia Haber


Weapons, Vehicles, and Races


Main article: The Explosion/Gallery.

Alternate Titles

  • Tokyo Bay Burns (東京湾炎上,   Tōkyōwan Enjō, Literal Japanese title)
  • Conflagration (International title)
  • High Seas Hijack (American title)
  • Steel Inferno (Finland title, Teräshelvetti)
  • The Great Explosion: 200,000t of Fire (French title, La Grande Explosion 200 000 T. de Feu)
  • Terror in the World (French title, Terreur sur le Monde)
  • Assault on the Colossus of the Seas (Peru title, Atentado al Coloso de los Mares)
  • The Ocean in Flames (Spanish title, El Océano en Llamas)
  • Great Alarm of Tokyo Bay (Swedish title, Storlarm i Tokyo Bay)
  • Hellish Ride into the Unknown (West German title, Höllenfahrt ins Ungewisse)
  • Terrorist Conflagration (Brazilian Portuguese title, Conflagração Terrorista)
  • Explosion (Italian title)

Theatrical Releases

  • Japan - July 12, 1975
  • Sweden - August 2, 1976
  • Peru - September 23, 1976
  • West Germany - June 3, 1977
  • France - August 24, 1977
  • Finland - November 25, 1977 (Turku)
  • Italy - 1978

U.S. Release

Video Releases

Toho VHS (1994)

  • Tapes: 1
  • Audio: Japanese

Toho DVD (2005)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese (Mono, 5.1 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Japanese
  • Special features: Audio commentary by Katsumune Ishida and Tetsu Nakamura, theatrical trailer, interview with Teruyoshi Nakano, galleries of production stills and set scenery
  • Notes: Re-released on November 8, 2013 in a limited edition and on August 19, 2015 as part of the Toho DVD Masterpiece Selection.

DeAGOSTINI Japan DVD (2011)

  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: Japanese
  • Special features: None
  • Notes: Released as part of the Toho Special Effects Movie DVD Collection.

Though The Explosion is not available on Blu-ray, an HD version can be rented or purchased on the Japanese versions of Amazon and iTunes.



Japanese The Explosion trailer
Dutch High Seas Hijack video trailer


High Seas Hijack opening and ending credits
Italian opening credits



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