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  • Mar 06, 2015

Japanese Art Book Publisher, Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, Files For Court Protection

January 2012 issue of Bijutsu Techo. Photo by ArtAsiaPacific.

Tokyo-based publisher Bijutsu Shuppan-sha has filed for court protection from creditors after it was revealed by Teikoku Databank, a credit research agency, that the company had debts totaling JPY 1.96 billion (USD 16.3 million) as of March 2014.

On March 4th, 2015, the publisher filed for bankruptcy protection under the Civil Rehabilitation Law with the Tokyo District Court. In recent years, the company has suffered from a decline in sales, despite bringing in a reported JPY 1.28 billion (USD 10.7 million) for its 2014 fiscal year.

Established in 1905, Bijutsu Shuppansha has gained a reputation for its specialization in the arts, with publications spanning the fields of fine art, design and architecture. Its acclaimed Japanese-language magazine Bijutsu Techo features visual art from across the globe, with a decided focus on the Japanese scene. 

It is unclear if its editorial staff was aware of the huge debt Bijutsu Shuppan-sha had accumulated over the years. Hoping to attract a wider readership, the publisher initiated Bijutsu Techo International, a new branch aimed at covering more global content in English, as well as simplified and traditional Chinese. It remains to be seen if the company will be able to move forward with its expansion as it files for insolvency.