Toho Kingdom was the third website
by creator Anthony Romero. It had it's humble beginning
in 1999, using Homestead Technologies' free hosting service. The
primary inspiration for the site was Mark Lockwood's
in-depth, online resource called "Godzilla Tohotopia",
which unfortunately slipped off the web early in 2000.
site's owner and Shogo Tomiyama, the president of
While in it's infancy, updates to the
site were very slow as Toho Kingdom was constantly moving
between free services to meet the steadily increasing
bandwidth demand. In fact, it wasn't until 2002 that
updates became regular. The site also caught a lucky
break that year with it's coverage of Godzilla:
Destroy All Monsters Melee, which netted
Toho Kingdom some brief interviews with producer Kirby
Fong. The added attention called for the site to
shift to it's own domain name as bandwidth consumption
leaped. Old habits die hard, though, as the site continued
to change hosts frequently, this time with paid service
providers. However, this also included some periods
of free hosting from other sites, such as the generous
offer from Kaijukits.com at one point.
During this time, Toho Kingdom also expanded
its employment, changing from a single-person operation
to functioning under an ever-expanding staff. Some of
the earliest staff members include "Musukogoji",
James Webster and Forrest Freund.
While content and staff size continued
to increase, Toho Kingdom also established its forums
in 2003, which would expand tremendously in the years
One of the larger events of 2003, though,
was when the site became known to Toho. This resulted
in a large number of changes as the
site had to meet Toho's criteria. Some of these
changes included the restructuring of sections, name
changes to portions of the site and expanding copyright
notices. The largest change, and the most controversial
amongst the site's staff, was that the Toho logo must
not appear on Toho Kingdom in any unlicensed manner.
This proposed a huge hurdle to the staff, as the logo
was abundant on the old design and content.
original logo as designed by "Son Goharotto"
Thankfully, the site found a savior in
the form of webmaster "Son Goharotto", who
submitted a self-designed logo that was quickly adapted
into the site's layout and has become a staple of Toho
Kingdom today. As one might guess, the text inside simply
says "Toho Kingdom". However, to avoid any
conflict over the design, the spelling of Toho is done
in simple hiragana (とほ) as opposed to the way Toho spells
their company name in kanji (東宝), although both are pronounced
the same way. “Kingdom” is written in standard
kanji (王国) and can be read as ookoku. (Japanese has three
writing systems, so to speak—two syllabaries,
which are katakana and hiragana, and the kanji ideographs,
which are mostly directly derived from Chinese. There
are thousands of kanji, which are used in conjunction
with hiragana for the bulk of Japanese writing, whereas
katakana is often used for unusual words, such as foreign
words and sound effects.)
Following this, the site then enjoyed
several, fairly uneventful, years that allowed the staff
to focus primarily on improving content. During this
time, Toho Kingdom's personnel also continued to expand.
The most notable addition being from long time contributor
Miles Imhoff in 2005. This hiring represented a large
change for the site, as Imhoff took on HTML and FTP
responsibilities, splitting a task which had previously
been done exclusively by the owner. This allowed for
a more continuous stream of content, as updates could
now be conducted even in the absence of Anthony Romero.
Imhoff has also taken on coding aspects of the site,
including getting the badly needed search function up
and running that same year.