Kodansha (式会社講談社, 1909 - Present), also known as Dai Nippon Odankai Kodansha, is a Japanese publishing house founded in 1909 by Seiji Noma (野間淸治). Seiji founded Kodansha as a spin-off from the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai (Greater Japan Oratorical Society) and produced the literary magazine Yūben as its first publication. The name Kodansha, a derivative of the defunct magazine Kōdan Club (Storytelling Club), in 1911, which it merged with the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai. In 1925, Kodansha launched King (キング) , the first magazine to sell 1,000,000 copies in its first printing. Kōdansha published several other magazines including Women's Club (婦人倶樂部) and Boy's Club (少年倶樂部) and had become a major shaper of Japanese culture and public opinion by the 1930s, controlling 70% of the magazine market. Kōdansha suffered difficulties during the war period, due to both intense censorship and the 1938 death of both Noma Seiji and his son, Noma Hasashi (野間恒), within weeks of one another. Still, the company survived the wartime era and, after a period of difficulties during the U.S. Occupation due to Kōdansha's endorsement of militarism, benefitted from a postwar publishing revival. Although King and other magazines ceased publication in the postwar period, Kōdansha branched into other areas, including manga and music recording, and is now the largest publisher in Japan.

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