Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd. is a publisher of books and magazines with a specific focus on illustrated and pictorial books and drill books. Gakken also develops educational materials for the Japanese school market, notably the preparatory and children markets, and has a stake in the general and daily living markets.

Gakken was founded in 1946 by Hideto Furuoka as an educational book and magazine publisher and producer of educational toys. In late 2009, Gakken Co. Ltd. turned into a holding company named Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd., followed by the establishment, in 2010, of two “intermediate holding companies": Gakken Jyuku Holdings Co., Ltd and Gakken Shuppan Holdings Co., Ltd

The Direct Sales division sells educational materials, picture story books, and other products for nursery school and kindergarten children; magazines for child-care workers; kindergarten supplies; textbooks for schools and public offices; video software; office automation (OA) equipment; nursing care goods; and other products. The Commercial division sells magazines, books, and other products through subscription agents. The Cross Media division distributes book and magazine content through mobile devices and websites.

In 2010, the company announced the move from “publishing company” to “content-creation company” (Hiroaki Miyahara).

Gakken formed several recent alliances, notably with the preparatory school management companies Meiko Network Japan Co., Ltd., Waseda School Co., Ltd., and Sozogakuen Co., Ltd. Gakken formed a capital and business alliance with Kosaido Co., Ltd. in 2008.

Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012


After a significant slump in 2009, Gakken could reach pre-crisis levels and consolidate profitability.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:

In 2009, Gakken changed its name from Gakken Co. Ltd. To Gakken Holdings Co. Ltd.


Gakken operates school support programs internationally, notably in SouthEast Asia (Vietnam, Thailand).



Bestselling authors & titles:


Key points for analysis & conclusions:


Earlier developments:


Note: Figures are based on sales generated in calendar 2011 or—for corporations with a fiscal year—from fiscal 2011. Data are from publicly available sources and include sales of books, journals, and digital products. Because publishing data were unavailable, Pannini and Disney/Hyperion are excluded from the rankings. The listing and publisher profiles were compiled by international publishing consultant Rudiger Wischenbart under the aegis of Livres Hebdo.