Kodansha International to Shut Down by April
posted on by Egan Loo
The Japan Times newspaper reported on Friday that Kodansha International, a subsidiary of the Japanese publishing giant Kodansha, will shut down by the end of April. Kodansha International is a separate company from Kodansha USA, another New York-based subsidiary that Kodansha established in 2008. It is also separate from Vertical, the publishing startup in which Kodansha is acquiring a 46.7% stake. (Dai Nippon Printing is acquiring a 46.0% stake in Vertical.)
Kodansha International was founded in 1963. It has specialized in English-language books about Japanese topics and English-language translations of Japanese books. It has published a few manga-related books, such as the first edition of Frederik L. Schodt's seminal tome Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics. More recently, it published Sean Michael Wilson's English-language manga adaptation of Yamamoto Tsunetomo's Hagakure: The Code of the Samurai book and Wilson's version of Yakuza Moon (Yakuza na Tsuki), a memoir by a yakuza gangster's daughter named Shōko Tendō.
In the same February press conference that Kodansha announced its 46.7% acquisition of Vertical, Chief Operating Officer Yoshinobu Noma stated that the company will strengthen its digital and overseas ventures during the ongoing publishing slump. Noma will replace his mother, Sawako Noma, as the company's president in the middle of April. This will be the company's first presidential transition in 24 years.
Update: More background information added.
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