Shogakukan was founded by Takeo Oga, grandfather of today’s president Masahiro Oga, on August 8,1922. The company was founded primarily for educational publishing, with a focus on magazines for elementary school students as well as instructional magazines for teachers. The variety of publications then gradually expanded to pre-school children's magazines, general magazines and book publications such as illustrated reference books, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

Shogakukan is part of the Hitotsubashi Group, a Japanese “Keiretsu”, a set of more or less interconnected companies with shared interlocking business relationships and shareholdings. The Hitotsubashi Group also includes several other publishing companies, notably Shueisha. The two companies have their headquarters next to each other.

Over the years Shogakukan has also established itself as one of Japan's leading publishers of Japanese manga. With its comics becoming increasingly popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Shogakukan further expanded its horizons in areas outside of manga by publishing a number of successful fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Oggi and Be-Pal. Today, Shogakukan is one of Japan's major publishers, publishing eighteen comic magazines and about one hundred million comic books a year while continuing to put out an impressive array of non-manga publications.

Shogakukan publishes numerous children's books, dictionaries, and encyclopedias; subjects also include history, folklore, geography, literature, art, education, medicine, photography, and gardening.

Currently, Shogakukan publishes 64 magazines and 760 new book titles on average per year, and sells ca. 22 million copies from a back list of 9200 titles. Of its manga series, it publishes ca. 13,900 items, selling ca. 117 million copies per year. Its lists also include ca. 850 magazine books and 4,000 DVDs and videos.

Key company developments in 2011 & 1st half year 2012


Following the overall challenging market environment for Japan’s publishing business, Shogakukan shows a continuous decline in its revenues, and a negative operating result.

Ownership, mergers & acquisition, internal organization:



Since 2002, Shogakukan, together with Shueisha, owns Viz Media. Viz Communications Inc. was founded in 1987 in San Francisco and has successfully introduced Japanese comics to the North American market. In March of 2005 Viz Communications Inc. merged with Shopro's American subsidiary, Shopro Productions and Entertainment, Inc., thereby making the newly formed company, Viz Media, a groundbreaking new entertainment company specializing in the production and licensing of animated content for TV and theatrical distribution, publishing, home video distribution, and consumer products. Shanghai Viz Communication Inc. was founded in 1995, and has been active in arranging for joint publications with Shogakukan and Chinese publishing companies.

For its dictionaries, the group has cooperation projects with Random House, F.A. Brockhaus, Robert and Librairie Larousse among others.



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.