Things are getting interesting in the world of Japanese publishing.
Yesterday, Japanese publisher Kodansha announced that they acquired publisher Ichijinsha. Kodansha purchased all of Ichijinsha’s stock, making the publisher a wholly owned subsidiary.
The publisher made the announcement in a press conference. During the presentation, Kodansha’s representatives stated that “We are confident that this decision will bring out the strengths of both companies in comic genres, demonstrate synergy, and greatly contribute to revitalizing the manga market.”
Kodansha is Japan’s largest publisher. The Bunkyō, Tokyo based company was founded in 1909 by Seiji Noma, as a spin-off of the Dai-Nippon Yūbenkai (Greater Japan Oratorical Society). They officially adopted the “Kodansha” branding in 1911, when the company merged with the Dai-Nippon Yubenkai.
The publisher owns several sub-brands,including King Records and Kobunsha. In the manga world, Kodansha remains a major force, both as a publisher of collected volumes and as the steward of numarous magazines. Their serialized publications include Nakayoshi, Afternoon, Evening, and Weekly Shonen Magazine.
Ichijinsha was founded as a manga editing company in 1992. The company began publishing its own manga in 1998, and merged with Issaisha in 2001. The merger saw Ichijinsha acquire Monthly Comic Zero-Sum magazine. In addition to Monthly Comic Zero-Sum, Ichijinsha publishes numerous manga magazines, including:
- Comic Rex
- Comic Yuri Hime
- Manga 4-Koma Palette
- Comic POOL
Specific titles under the company’s imprints include Saiyuki Reload Blast, YuruYuri, and Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii. The company also maintains a light novel imprint.
Ichijinsha currently employs 95 employees, and has 10 million yen ($95,978.50 USD) in capital stock. The publisher’s annual sales for fiscal 2016 are projected at 4.4 billion yen ($42,230,540.36 USD).
Kodansha employs 906 employees, and holds 300 million yen ($2,879,355.02) in capital stock. In fiscal 2015, the publisher saw 116.8 billion yen ($1,121,028.88 USD) in sales across all brands.
Source: Comic Natalie