Tokyo, Japan

Randy Taguchi launches a new initiative to support Japan’s numerous small publishers, called ‘Potora’

Randy Taguchi launched Potora, a special event – “the first of its kind” – in Tokyo to support small Japanese publishers in February. 

The event, attended by several thousand people, a type of specialist book fair was held on the 4 February at Sakura Shinmachi in Setagaya, a suburb of Tokyo. 

Sixteen small independent publishers exhibited at the “book festival”. The publishers exhibited and sold their books; and talks, seminars, and workshops were given for all those attending. 

Yasumi Tsuhara and Randy Taguchi giving their workshop on creative writing and their writing methodology at the Potora event in Tokyo. Photograph; Red Circle Authors Limited.
These included a joint-workshop on creative writing given by Yasumi Tsuhara, who is considered a master short story writer – a format that is extremely popular in Japan – and the Red Circle author Randy Taguchi. This particular workshop was extremely popular and attended by around a hundred people. 

Taguchi, having witnessed Japan’s publishing industry struggling with recession, wanted to do something about it as an author, not just talk about the problems, but launch a positive initiative bringing people together highlighting and celebrating publishing and its creativity. She formed a committee with five other publishing professionals to discuss ideas, which led to the event held earlier this month. 

Potora was held in, Sakura Shinmachi, the location where one of Japan’s most famous and popular manga and anime, is set, Sazae-san. Written by Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992), it was launched initially in 1946 in a local newspaper and is still hugely popular in Japan today (it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest running television animated series).

Sazae-san‘s universal appeal is often compared with the American comic strip Peanuts, making the location a familiar and very fitting one for the event.  
  • RedCircle
    About Red Circle:
    Red Circle Authors Limited is a specialist publishing and communications company that conducts bespoke projects on behalf of a carefully selected and curated group of leading Japanese authors. Red Circle showcases Japan’s best creative writing. For more information on Red Circle, Japanese literature, and Red Circle authors please visit: www.redcircleauthors.com.
    • Randy Taguchi
      About Randy Taguchi:
      Randy Taguchi is Japan’s so-called Internet Queen and was the country's first major net-author. Over a number of years she has transformed herself from an advertising executive into one of Japan’s leading novelists and essayists. She has an astute understanding of and interest in popular Japanese culture picking up on and writing about emerging cultural trends, fads and controversial issues that resonate with readers in print and online.