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Japanese newspapers

japanese newspapers, japanese newspapers in english
Japanese newspapers 新聞 "shinbun", similar to their worldwide counterparts, run the gamut from general news-oriented papers to special interest newspapers devoted to economics, sports, literature, industry, and trade Newspapers are circulated either nationally, by region such as Kantō or Kansai, by each prefecture, or by each city Some newspapers publish as often as two times a day morning and evening editions while others publish weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly The five leading national daily newspapers in Japan are the Asahi Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, the Yomiuri Shimbun, Sankei Shimbun and the Nikkei Shimbun The most national daily English-newspaper in Japan is The Japan Times The first two are generally considered liberal/left leaning while the latter three are considered conservative/right leaning


  • 1 Brief history
  • 2 Reproductions of Japanese newspapers
    • 21 Yomiuri shinbun
    • 22 Asahi shinbun
    • 23 Mainichi shinbun
  • 3 Stance and circulation, only morning 2007
  • 4 The number of copies published per 1,000 people
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Brief historyedit

One of the first kawaraban ever printed, depicting the fall of Osaka Castle, 17th century

Japanese newspapers began in the 17th century as yomiuri 読売、literally "to read and sell" or kawaraban 瓦版, literally "tile-block printing" referring to the use of clay printing blocks, which were printed handbills sold in major cities to commemorate major social gatherings or events

The first modern newspaper was the Nagasaki Shipping List and Advertiser, which was published bi-weekly by the Englishman A W Hansard The first edition appeared on 22 June 1861 In November of the same year, Hansard moved the paper to Yokohama and renamed it as the Japan Herald In 1862, the Tokugawa shogunate began publishing the Kampan batabiya shinbun, a translated edition of a widely distributed Dutch government newspaper These two papers were published for foreigners, and contained only foreign news The first Japanese daily newspaper that covered foreign and domestic news was the Yokohama Mainichi Shinbun 横浜市毎日新聞, first published in 1871

Newspapers at this time can be divided into two types, Ōshinbun 大新聞, "large newspapers" and koshinbun 小新聞, "small newspapers" People commonly referred to Ōshinbun as "political forums" because these papers were inextricably tied to the Popular Rights Movement 自由民権運動, "Jiyū minken undō" and its demands for establishing a Diet After the government's official announcement of the formation of the Diet, these newspapers, such as the Yokohama Mainichi Shinbun and the Chūgai shinbun, became organs of the political parties The early readers of these newspapers mostly came from the ranks of the former samurai class

Koshinbun, on the other hand, were more plebeian, popular newspapers that contained local news, human interest stories, and light fiction Examples of koshinbun were the Tokyo nichinichi shinbun 東京日日新聞, the predecessor of the present day Mainichi shinbun, which began in 1872; the Yomiuri shinbun, which began in 1874; and the Asahi shinbun, which began in 1879 In the 1880s, government pressure led to a gradual weeding out of Ōshinbun, and the koshinbun started becoming more similar to the modern, "impartial" newspapers

Throughout their history, Japanese newspapers have had a central role in issues of free speech and freedom of the press In the period of "Taishō Democracy" in the 1910s to the 1920s, the government worked to suppress newspapers such as the Asahi shinbun for their critical stance against government bureaucracy that favored protecting citizens' rights and constitutional democracy In the period of growing militarism to the outbreak of total war in the 1930s to the 1940s, newspapers faced intense government censorship and control After Japan's defeat, strict censorship of the press continued as the American occupiers used government control in order to inculcate democratic and anti-communist values In 1951, the American occupiers finally returned freedom of the press to Japan, which is the situation today based on the Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan

Reproductions of Japanese newspapersedit

Listed below is an overview of reproductions of the three major Japanese daily newspapers, the Yomiuri shinbun, the Asahi shinbun, and the Mainichi shinbun

These historical newspapers are available in three major forms, as CD-ROMs, as microfilm, and as shukusatsuban 縮刷版, literally, "reduced-sized print editions" Shukusatsuban is a technology popularized by Asahi shinbun in the 1930s as a way to compress and archive newspapers by reducing the size of the print to fit multiple pages of a daily newspaper onto one page Shukusatsuban are geared towards libraries and archives, and are usually organized and released by month

These resources are available at many leading research universities throughout the world usually universities with reputable Japanese studies programs One will need to check each individual library's collection for information about the availability of these sources WorldCat1 is a good starting point

Yomiuri shinbunedit

In 1999, the Yomiuri shinbun released a CD-ROM titled The Yomiuri shinbun in the Meiji Era, which provides a searchable index of news articles and images from the period Subsequent CD-ROMs, The Taisho Era, The Prewar Showa Era I and The Prewar Showa Era II, were completed eight years after the project was first conceived Postwar Recovery, the first part of a postwar Showa Era series that includes newspaper stories and images until 1960, is forthcoming Issues of Yomiuri shinbun printed since 1998 are also available as an online resource through Lexis-Nexis Academic

Asahi shinbunedit

The Asahi shinbun has a CD-ROM database consisting of an index of headlines and sub-headlines from the years 1945–1999 A much more expensive full-text searchable database is available only at the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University, which notably includes advertisements in its index Researchers using other university libraries would probably have to first use the CD-ROM index, and then look into the microfilm or shukusatsuban versions Microfilm versions are available from 1888; shukusatsuban versions are available from 1931 Issues of the Asahi shinbun printed since August 1984 are available through Lexis-Nexis Academic

Mainichi shinbunedit

Microfilm versions of the Mainichi shinbun are available for the years 1984–2005, and shukusatsuban are available from 1950 to 1983 Issues of the Mainichi shinbun printed since March 27, 1998, are available through Factiva

Stance and circulation, only morning 2007edit

  1. Yomiuri : conservative high quality paper 10,042,075
  2. Asahi : Left high quality paper 8,093,885
  3. Seikyo : Buddhist religious movement Soka Gakkai organ 5,500,000
  4. Mainichi : Liberal/left high quality paper 3,974,559
  5. Chunichi Shimbun/Tokyo Shinbun : Left high quality paper 3,475,049
  6. Nihon Keizai : Economy, conservative high quality paper 3,034,481
  7. Tokyo Sports : Sports 2,228,000
  8. Sankei : Right high quality paper 2,191,587
  9. Nikkan Sports 1,970,000
  10. Nikkan Gendai : Left Tabloid 1,681,500
  11. Shimbun Akahata Red Flag : Japanese Communist Party organ 1,680,000
  12. Yukan Fuji : Right Tabloid 1,559,000
  13. Houchi Shinbun : Sports 1,428,000
  14. Sankei Sports 1,367,734
  15. Hokkaido Shinbun : Left high quality paper 1,209,231
  16. Daily Sports 963,000
  17. Chunichi Sports/Tokyo Chunichi Sports 942,034
  18. Nishinippon Shinbun : Left high quality paper 852,943
  19. Chugoku Shinbun : Left high quality paper 719,194
  20. Shizuoka Shinbun : Left high quality paper 717,000
  21. Kobe Shinbun : Left high quality paper 562,011
  22. Kyoto Shinbun : Left high quality paper 506,841
  23. Kahoku Shinpo : Liberal high quality paper 504,953

The number of copies published per 1,000 peopleedit

  1. Iceland 7957
  2. Japan 6345
  3. Norway 6263
  4. Sweden 5834
  5. Finland 5184
  6. South Korea 4498
  7. Denmark 4429

Source: World Press Trends2

See alsoedit

  • List of newspapers in Japan


  1. ^ "FirstSearch Login Screen" firstsearchoclcorg Retrieved 7 July 2017 
  2. ^ WAN "World Press Trends" 2006, Archived at: Archived August 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine


  • Japanese Bibliography, Columbia University
  • "Newspapers", in Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan Tokyo and New York: Kodansha, 1983

External linksedit

  • Japan Newspapers and News Media Guide at ABYZ News Links
  • Japan Newspapers at onlinenewspaperscom
  • Japan news aggregator at NihongoUp

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