Shogakukan was founded by Takeo Oga, grandfather of today’s president Masahiro Oga, on August 8,1922. The Japanese 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 has gradually expanded to pre-school children's magazines, general magazines and book publications such as illustrated reference books, dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Shogakukan is part of the Hitotsubashi Group, a set of more or less interconnected companies with shared interlocking business relationships and shareholdings called a Keiretsu. 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. As the comic books becomame increasingly popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Shogakukan expanded with 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 an average of 760 new book titles per year, and sells roughly 22 million copies from a back list of 9,200 titles. Of its manga series, it publishes roughly 117 million copies per year of 13,900 titles. Its lists also include roughly 850 magazine books and 4,000 DVDs and videos.

Key Company Developments in 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.

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Shogakukan, together with Shueisha, has owned Viz Media since 2002. Viz Communications Inc. was founded in 1987 in San Francisco and successfully introduced Japanese comics to North American. In March of 2005 Viz Communications Inc. merged with Shopro's American subsidiary, Shopro Productions and Entertainment, Inc., to form 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 cooperates with Random House, F.A. Brockhaus, Robert and Librairie Larousse, among others.



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