Nihon Bussan

Nihon Bussan Co. Ltd.[a] was a Japanese video game developer and publisher headquartered in Kita, Osaka.[1] In the past they had also manufactured and sold yachts.[2]

Nihon Bussan Co. Ltd.
Native name
Nihon Bussan Kabushiki gaisha
IndustryVideo game industry
FoundedOctober 1970; 51 years ago (October 1970)
FounderSueharu Torii
DefunctDecember 15, 2015; 6 years ago (December 15, 2015)
FateClosed, properties sold to Hamster Corporation
Area served
Key people
  • Sueharu Torii
  • (president and CEO)
  • Kazuo Torii
  • (executive director)
  • Video games
  • Arcade cabinets
  • Slot machines
  • Yachts
Number of employees

The main video game brand of the company was Nichibutsu (日物、ニチブツ), with adult video games (mainly strip mahjong arcade games) coming under the Sphinx (スフィンクス) brand.[3] The company used a horned owl for its official logo.[4]

In March 2014, Nihon Bussan sold its video game library to Hamster Corporation due to the decision of original founder Sueharu Torii to retire. The company was disbanded on December 15, 2015.[5]


Nichibutsu sponsored the Lotus F1 team from 1991 to 1993; pictured is the Lotus 102D bearing their logo

The company's founder Sueharu Torii established Nihon Bussan in October 1970 in Kita-ku, Osaka. They begin their activities by mainly selling arcade machines. In 1972, the company was incorporated as Nihon Bussan Co., Ltd with a concluded capital of 3 million yen.[6]

In 1976, Nihon Bussan made its debut as a manufacturer to the Amusement Machine Show and opened a Tokyo office in 1978.[6] 1978 also saw Nihon Bussan entering the arcade game market, when they debuted with a copy of the game Breakout called Table Attacker.[7] The same year, Nihon Bussan settled with Taito by paying a license fee to launch a copy of Space Invaders titled Moon Base.[8] Also in 1979, a business alliance was formed with Namco for a clone of Galaxian called Moon Alien. Originally intended as a limited release, Nihon Bussan violated the manufacturing agreement by producing the title in more units than the agreement called for and ended up paying Namco the excess of the license fee.[9] Nihon Bussan continued to release successful titles such as the 1980 original works Moon Cresta and Crazy Climber.[10] The same year, the company issued brochures that listed both Moon Base and Moon Alien as original works of Nihon Bussan.[11]

In 1983, the company developed Jangou Night which features the industry's first undressing elements and established the genre of strip mahjong games.[12] In 1984, Nihon Bussan developed Tube Panic, the industry's first board game equipped with a rotation feature.[13] From the mid-1980s, Nihon Bussan released Terra Cresta and Cosmo Police Galivan that made use of Yamaha YM3812 FM sound.[14]

Nihon Bussan entered the home video game market in 1983 by developing a console of their own, the My Vision, and in 1986 released their first NES title, MagMax. Sales and production of software for the MSX would follow in 1988. In 1990, Nihon Bussan released console-first titles for the PC Engine such as F1 Circus which became a major hit. During the height of the F1 Circus series, Nihon Bussan sponsored Team Lotus from 1991 to 1993; the sponsorship agreement allowed Lotus to appear as the only licensed team in the F1 Circus titles until Nichibutsu obtained a complete license from Formula One Constructors Association.

Nihon Bussan began releasing games for the Mega Drive in 1991, SNES in 1992, Sony PlayStation in 1995 and for the Sega Saturn in 1996. Some of the titles were mahjong titles, with their PC Engine game Sexy Idol Mahjong featuring strip elements from their arcade titles.

In March 2009, the company partnered with D4 Enterprise to reprint and distribute Nihon Bussan retro games for its Project EGG service.[15]

In March 2014, Nihon Bussan sold the rights of all video games to Hamster Corporation.[16] Hamster had approached founder Sueharu Torii for a licensing agreement of Nihon Bussan's games. Torii opted instead to sell outright the company's video game library and to retire.


  • 1979 – The company's headquarters is relocated to Tenjinbashi, Kita-ku, Osaka. Their capital increases to 24 million yen. Nichibutsu U.S.A. Co., Ltd. is established in Torrance, California, USA.
  • 1980 – Nichibutsu U.K. Ltd. is established in West Midlands, England, United Kingdom. Nichibutsu Kyushu Co., Ltd. is established in Hakataekiminami, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka.
  • 1981 – Nichibutsu Europe GmbH is established in Rödermark, Offenbach, Hesse, Germany. The Nihon Bussan Co., Ltd. Factory opens in Sayama, Kumiyama, Kuse, Kyoto.
  • 1983 – Tokyo office is moved to Nihonbashihoridome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Nichibutsu Sapporo Co., Ltd. is established in Nakanoshima, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido. Nichibutsu Sendai Co., Ltd. is established in Uesugi, Sendai, Miyagi. Nichibutsu Hiroshima Co., Ltd. is established in Higashikasumichou, Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Hiroshima. The home video game console "My Vision" is released, and software begins to be supplied for it.
  • 1984 – Capital increases to 36 million yen.
  • 1985 – Capital increases to 50 million yen.
  • 1991 – Tokyo office is moved to Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo.
  • 1992 – Company withdraws from the Japan Amusement Machinery Manufacturers Association.
  • 2001 – Final home video game, "Virtual Kyoutei 21," is released.
  • 2005 – Final arcade game, "Koi Suru Cosplay Akihabara" is released.
  • 2007 – The company withdraws from the game development business.[17] They then become an intellectual property rights management business[18]
  • 2009 – Entered D4 Enterprise's Project EGG, a retro game republishing/distribution service. Business is suspended.
  • 2014 – Company's copyright is transferred to Hamster Corporation.

List of Nihon Bussan gamesEdit

Paddle gameEdit

  • 1978 Table Attacker (copy of Breakout)
  • 1978 Table Attacker Guard (copy of Breakout)
  • 1978 Table Attacker Special (copy of Breakout)
  • 1978 Table Attacker Black (copy of Breakout)
  • 1978 Table Bonpa (copy of Circus)
  • 1979 Attacker Ace (copy of Breakout)
  • 1979 Bonpa (copy of Circus)


  • 1978 Moon Base (copy of Space Invaders)
  • 1978 Moon Base Spector (copy of Space Invaders Color version)
  • 1978 Moon Base Zeta
  • 1979 Super Moon Base
  • 1980 Moon Alien (copy of Galaxian)
  • 1980 Moon Alien 2
  • 1980 Moon Cresta
  • 1980 Moon Alpha
  • 1980 Moon Raker
  • 1980 Moon Quasar
  • 1981 Moon Shuttle
  • 1984 Seicross
  • 1984 Tube Panic
  • 1985 MagMax
  • 1985 Terra Cresta
  • 1986 UFO Robo Dangar
  • 1986 Soldier Girl Amazon (a.k.a. Sei Senshi Amatelass)
  • 1986 Ninja Emaki (a.k.a. Youma Ninpou Cho)
  • 1987 Sky Fox (a.k.a. Exerizer)
  • 1987 Terra Force
  • 1987 Legion
  • 1988 Formation Armed F
  • 1989 Sky Robo (a.k.a. Tatakae! Big Fighter)
  • 1992 Terra Cresta 2
  • 1997 Terra Cresta 3D


  • 1980 Crazy Climber
  • 1981 Frisky Tom
  • 1982 Wiping (also known as "Rug Rats")
  • 1983 Dacholer (Kick Boy)[19]
  • 1983 Skelagon (SF-X)[19]
  • 1984 Roller Jammer
  • 1984 Dynamic Ski
  • 1985 Cop01
  • 1985 Galivan (also known as "Cosmo Police Galivan")
  • 1986 Mighty Guy
  • 1987 Booby Kids (a.k.a. Kid no HORE HORE Dai Sakusen)
  • 1987 Samurai Assassin (a.k.a. Kozure Ōkami)
  • 1988 Crazy Climber 2
  • 1990 Die Hard (PC Engine version developed for Pack-In-Video Co. Ltd.)
  • 1993 Galivan 2 (also known as "Cosmo Police Galivan 2: Arrow of Justice")
  • 1996 Expert (PlayStation 1. Japanese Title: エキスパート)


  • Hihoo! (1987)
  • Hihoo!2 (1987)
  • Quiz DE Date (1991)
  • Miracle Q (1991)
  • Kotaemon kachi (1991)
  • TECHNO・DOOL (1991)


  • Oh! Pyepee (1988)
  • Tougenkyou (1988)
  • Pairs (1989)
  • Puzzle'n Desu! (1995)


Action role-playingEdit




  1. ^ Japanese: 日本物産株式会社, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha


  1. ^ "Nichibutsu Fact Book Archived 2010-02-21 at the Wayback Machine." Nihon Bussan. Retrieved on February 19, 2010.
  2. ^ "Yacht impressions page". Archived from the original on 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
  3. ^ Sphinx also released the game in the name of Nihon Bussan and it is listed on the home page. Mahjong Hanafuda product list Archived 2013-07-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ At Famitsu released in 1990, Nichibutsu mark is described as designed the owl, which is called the God of happiness motif.
  5. ^ "Notice Regarding Company Dissolution" (in Japanese). Civil Legal Association. December 2015. Archived from the original on December 6, 2020. Retrieved December 5, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Video Game Flyers: Frontier Spirit of Amusement, Nichibutsu".
  7. ^ shooter side vol.11 page31 – micro magazine issued February 7, 2015
  8. ^ game machine March 1, 2001 issue twenty years ago – amusement news agency
  9. ^ game machine 2001 the main news of the year June 15 issue twenty years ago – amusement news agency
  10. ^ Business Japan – Volume 29, Page 125 Nihon Kōgyō Shinbunsha – 1984 "The wider this trend expands, the deeper these game machines lead the people into the world of dreams and fantasy. Nichibutsu, Japan's unique game machine manufacturer which started earlier than other similar makers the full utilization of the most advanced technology, is determined to come out with products which the people want to play with."
  11. ^ 1980 issue of corporate brochure Frontier Spirit of Amusement Nichibutsu
  12. ^ "Goodbye to Nichibutsu" interview with company president Sueharu Torii (November 6, 1992 issue of Famitsu)
  13. ^ shooter side vol.10 recording interview Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine – micro magazine issued September 26, 2014
  14. ^ "retro game comprehensive distribution site project EGG – – participating companies". Archived from the original on 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2014-11-18.
  15. ^ D4 enterprise project EGG- ValuePress press release distribution site
  17. ^ game machine in April 2014 No. 15 – amusement news agency
  18. ^ Moon Cresta, Crazy Climber, the last update of the trademark rights of the family Mahjong has become in 2007. Industrial Property Digital Library – trademark search
  19. ^ a b Lewin, Gene (January 15, 1984). "Gene's Judgements: Critiquing AMOA Show Conversions, Dedicated Games". Play Meter. Vol. 10, no. 2. pp. 60–2, 78.
  20. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 246. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 October 1984. p. 31.
  21. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 247. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 November 1984. p. 31.
  22. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 250. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 December 1984. p. 29.
  23. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 251. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 January 1985. p. 37.

External linksEdit