Kadokawa Buys Barefoot Gen's Publisher Choubunsha
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Japanese publisher Kadokawa has purchased Barefoot Gen publisher Choubunsha. Kadokawa acquired 100% of the company's stocks as of Thursday. The transfer price has not been made public.
Choubunsha has published books for school libraries since it was established in 1976. The publisher has concentrated on supplementary readers and compilations for children.
The company is known for releasing Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen manga that centers on a boy who fights to survive in the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Choubunsha also publishes Shōkōjo Sara (A Little Princess Sara), a story inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's historical children's novel. Both works have received various adaptations including anime and live-action films.
Kadokawa intends to showcase Choubunsha's originality and strengths to expand the Kadokawa Group's lineup. The corporation's current publishing units (after this year's consolidation) include Ascii Media Works, Enterbrain, Fujimi Shobo, Media Factory, and Kadokawa Magazines. The Kadokawa Group focuses on entertainment and general book publishing but also releases works in genres such as Japanese poetry, business, language, and study reference. Choubunsha is expected to show a cooperative commitment to publishing works in line with Kadokawa's goals.
The animeanime.jp website postulated that Kadokawa's acquisition of Choubunsha may be a response to changes in the publishing industry because of factors like the expansion of digital publishing. The school and library publishing business has remained strong in Japan despite the changes. Kadokawa may hope to grow by utilizing Choubunsha's expertise in a field the group has not focused on in the past.
Kadokawa Group Holdings and the online services company Dwango announced in 2011 that they would invest in each other to expand the partnership they formed in 2010. The two companies had already agreed to distribute Kadokawa's electronic books, films, anime, and other forms of media content on Dwango's services.