Japanese sales for print materials recorded a slight decrease for 2020

The Japanese sales of print books and magazines fell 1% in 2020, as revealed by the monthly publication journal Shuppan Geppо̄ on Monday.

Compared to the previous year, the Japanese sales of print books and magazines this year is the smallest per-year decline since 2006. The slight decrease, according to the journal, is due to an increase in reading in Japan.

This is associated with the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as well as the successful “boom” of Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga and its related publications.

Due to COVID-19, the sales of children’s books also increased following school closures.

The pandemic continues to revitalize Japanese sales

The year 2020 marked the 16th year in a row of declining sales of print books and magazines. In the same year, print publications reached 1.2 trillion yen (about US$11.8 billion).

A decrease of 0.9% to 666 billion yen (about US$6.4 million) of book sales was recorded, and magazines decreased by 1.1% to 558 billion yen (about US$5.4 million).

Furthermore, the sales of electronic publications grew to 393 billion yen (about US$477 million). The previous year, it increases by 28.0%, which marks the second consecutive year of growth.

The electronic manga sales record a significant increase due to the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba manga.

A 4.8% growth over the previous year was recorded for the combined market for both print and electronic publications.

This reaches 1.6 trillion yen (about US$15.4 billion). In 2020, the sales of electronic books accounted for 24.3% of the total publication market.

In 2019, the Japanese sales of print books and magazines fell by 4.3%.

The success of “Demon Slayer”

As of December 6 last year, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has sold 102.892 million copies overall. In the Oricon records, it now becomes the second manga series to sell over 100 million copies.

The anime One Piece was the first to achieve the feat in 2012. And from November 30 to December 6, the Demon Slayer series’ 23rd and final volume sold 2.855 million copies.

This is the most that any manga volume has sold in one week since Oricon began.

Meanwhile, the Demon Slayer franchise was the first since 2008 to dominate both Oricon’s annual manga ranking and annual general book ranking in the same year.


Image courtesy of Ry Ry Animation/YouTube Screenshot

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