Factbook

A Dynamic Compendium of Interesting Japanese Literary and Publishing Facts
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    Over a billion books are distributed in Japan every year[UPDATED: 9-23-2017]

    Over a billion copies of books are distributed in Japan every year, according to the Shuppan Nenkan (Publishing Yearbook). However, only 60% (around 640 million copies) of them are actually bought. The overall Japanese book market, the world’s fourth-largest, peaked over 20 years ago in 1996,… Read more »
    Over a billion books are distributed in Japan every year Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Japanese literature and novels littered with cats[UPDATED: 8-17-2017]

    There is a long tradition of cats within Japanese literature, folk stories and art. Many ‘cat books’ feature amongst the ranks of Japan’s bestselling titles. Soseki Natsume (1867-1916) wrote a highly regarded satirical account of the Meiji Era in Japan titled: I am a Cat,… Read more »
    Japanese literature and novels littered with cats Posted by Richard Nathan
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    China buying more Japanese books and publications[UPDATED: 8-14-2017]

    Japan’s book exports to China have grown significantly since 2001, when as a condition of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), China was required to lift restrictions on the importation of books and publications. Despite rapidly growing interest in Japanese novels, and Japanese Crime Fiction in particular, China… Read more »
    China buying more Japanese books and publications Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Most frequently requested novel at Peking University library in 2016 was a translated Japanese crime fiction title[UPDATED: 7-3-2017]

    In 2016, a novel by the Japanese crime-writer Keigo Higashino, Mysterious Night, was the third most frequently borrowed book at Peking University Library. According to an analysis by the library, only two books, both non-fiction academic related titles, an introduction to psychology and an account… Read more »
    Most frequently requested novel at Peking University library in 2016 was a translated Japanese crime fiction title Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Japan’s creative industries inspired by its rich legacy of folk stories & tales of old[UPDATED: 6-24-2017]

    Japanese tales of old in their different versions have not only inspired and fueled science fiction, fantasy and other genre within Japanese literature, but other creative industries in Japan as well, including video game design. For instance, Pokemon (Pocket Monsters) draws on the rich world… Read more »
    Japan’s creative industries inspired by its rich legacy of folk stories & tales of old Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Vast majority of Japanese publishing houses located in Tokyo[UPDATED: 6-23-2017]

    There are approximately 3,700 publishing companies in Japan, of which 80 percent are based in Tokyo. The majority: 60 percent employ less than 10 people. The largest 500 publishers account for more than 90 percent of book sales.
    Vast majority of Japanese publishing houses located in Tokyo Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Japanese people spend over 4 hours per week reading[UPDATED: 5-31-2017]

    Japanese people spend over 4 hours per week reading.  This is only about half the time of Indians who are the world’s biggest bookworms, according to international surveys. The typical Japanese book buyer purchases 5.7 book per year and Japan has one of the world’s… Read more »
    Japanese people spend over 4 hours per week reading Posted by Richard Nathan
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    Japanese boys outscore girls on international literary benchmark tests[UPDATED: 5-31-2017]

    Japanese students score extremely highly on international literacy benchmark tests (540 compared with an average 497 amongst OECD nations) and unusually boys in Japan outscore girls by one percentage point on these tests, while in other countries girls generally outscore boys.
    Japanese boys outscore girls on international literary benchmark tests Posted by Richard Nathan