Gakken Holdings Co., Ltd. is a book and magazine publisher with a specific focus on illustrated and pictorial works and drill books as well as other educational materials. Gakken also produces educational toys and various learning services for the Japanese children’s school market, as well as general culture and daily living markets.

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 segment produces educational materials, picture story books and others 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 segment distributes magazines, books and others through subscription agents. The Cross Media division sells books and magazines through mobile apps and websites.

In 2010, Hiroaki Miyahara announced Gakken would transition from 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


Corporate revenues rose for the fifth year in a row to 99 billion JPY in 2016. Profits made a strong recovery after a slump in 2014 and 2015. The operating income amounted to 2.7 billion JPY, a strong increase compared to 1.6 billion JPY for 2015.

Gakken’s publishing revenue stayed almost flat in 2016 compared to the previous year, at 30.5 billion JPY.

Traditionally, turnover splits almost evenly between income from publishing and revenues from educational services and products, which includes preparatory schools, kindergarten, and educational toys.

Internal Organization

Gakken’s educational subsidiary Shubunsha Co., Ltd. changed its name to Gakken Study et Co., Ltd. in Feburary 2016.

In April 2016 Gakken Study et Co., Ltd. acquired Tohoku Best Study Co., Ltd.

In June 2016 Gakken launched a joint venture with Nanmee Group, and established Gakken Nanmeebooks Education Co., Ltd.; a classroom business company in Thailand.

In October 2016 Gakken Study et Co., Ltd. established SIGN -1 Co., Ltd. for the cram school market in Saitama prefecture.

In November 2016 the university preparatory school management company Koshinsha Co., Ltd. became a subsidiary of Gakken by M&A

In February 2017 Gakken established Tokyo Global Gateway Co., Ltd.; a company for planning, developing and managing education center for nurturing global human resources.


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


The Company provides digital publishing through various sales channels, including Gakken E-book Store, which sells Gakken Group publications and magazines. Gakken offers educational applications as well as other digital materials such as a collection of language software for preparation of exams, travel and business conversations.

Return to the full listing of the world's largest publishers.