Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd. is a publisher of books and magazines with a specific focus on illustrated and picture books, drill books and other educational materials including toys and learning services for Japanese preparatory schools and the children’s markets. Gakken also publishes general culture and lifestyle books and magazines.

Gakken was founded in 1946 by Hideto Furuoka and turned into the holding company Gakken Holdings Co. Ltd. in 2009, which was divided in 2010 into Gakken Jyuku Holdings Co., Ltd. and Gakken Shuppan Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Direct Sales division sells educational materials and picture books 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 more. The Commercial division distributes magazines, books and other products through subscription agents. The Cross Media division sells books and magazines through mobile devices and websites.

In 2010, Hiroaki Miyahara announced Gakken would transition from identifying as a publishing company to a “content-creation company.”

Gakken formed recent alliances with the preparatory school management companies Meiko Network Japan Co., Ltd., Waseda School Co., Ltd., and Sozogakuen Co., Ltd., and partnered with Kosaido Co., Ltd. in 2008.

Analysis & Key Developments


Gakken’s income was reassessed for this ranking and differentiated between revenues from publishing and educational services.

Corporate revenues rose from 86.86 billion JPY in 2013 to 90.13 billion JPY in 2014. This was the third straight year of revenue growth, though publishing sales fell to 30.75 billion JPY, down from 31.23 billion JPY.

Before the recent growth period, corporate revenues were flat for several years. Turnover splits almost evenly between income from publishing and revenues from educational services and products, which includes preparatory schools kindergarten, educational toys and other products.

After a significant slump in 2009, Gakken nearly recovered its pre-crisis level. Profits were consolidated and tripled in 2012 to 1.54 billion JPY from 550 million JPY in 2011.

Internal organization

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


Gakken has offices in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hongkong), Singapore and Malaysia, and operates school support programs in Vietnam and Thailand.


Gakken’s educational products and services are supported by Gakken’s corporate network, which brings students online access.

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