Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Stone Bridge Press purchased by Yohan

Stone Bridge Press, LLC, of Berkeley, California, has been purchased by Yohan, Inc. of Tokyo, Japan.

Stone Bridge Press is an English-language publisher specializing in books about Japan and Asia. Founded in 1989 by publisher and editor-in-chief Peter Goodman, the company has over 85 titles in print and has received numerous awards for publishing excellence, including two Benjamin Franklin Awards. Among its authors are Donald Richie (The Inland Sea, The Japan Journals) and Leonard Koren (Wabi-Sabi). Stone Bridge's books about anime, manga, and film have established the press as a leading source of information about Japanese popular culture.

"This is great timing. Interest in Japan is growing and changing," says Goodman, "and as part of the Yohan family we'll have access to new, cutting-edge projects and authors. This will boost us editorially both in Japan and the US, as we increase our staff and pursue new markets."

Yohan, Inc., established in 1953 and now headed by President and CEO Hiroshi Kagawa, has 120 employees and is the largest distributor of general foreign books and magazines in Asia. It owns several retail bookshops in Japan, including the well-known Aoyama Book Center in Tokyo, as well as the publisher IBC Books.

"We've known and done business with Peter and Stone Bridge for years, so this is a very comfortable match, with big potential for both of us," says CEO Kagawa.

Goodman will remain as chief executive at Stone Bridge's offices in Berkeley. The company plans to expand its output, especially in the area of Japanese and Asian popular culture. Stone Bridge and IBC will also exchange editorial expertise to promote new title development in their respective markets.

Stone Bridge Press will continue to be distributed to the book trade in North America by its long-time distributor, Consortium Book Sales and Distribution.

Pictured: Yohan CEO Hiroshi Kagawa and Stone Bridge Press Publisher Peter Goodman in Tokyo. On the table is Stone Bridge Press's most recent title, jrock, ink. which is about Japanese rock music's growing popularity in North America.

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