SENTAKU PROFILE

  • Sentaku Shuppan K. K.
  • President : Jiro Yuasa
  • Address : Nishi-Shimbashi TS Building 10F, Nishi-Shimbashi 3-3-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0003, Japan
  • Email : info@sentaku.co.jp
  • Our history

Sentaku was launched in March 1975 with a 126-page edition crammed with the most up-to-date and insightful information covering four genres: world affairs, domestic politics, the domestic economy, and society and culture. The magazine’s make-up has remained unchanged for more than 40 years. Sentaku has never been sold in bookstores. Instead, the publication is sent directly to the homes of people who hold a yearly subscription.

Since its first issue, Sentaku has championed the concept of being “an information magazine for 30,000 people,” based on the presumed total number of leaders active across all fields in Japan. Our readership is not limited to politicians, influential businesspeople and government officials; Sentaku’s writing also reaches out to intellectuals and leaders in all sectors, including medicine, education, culture, and the arts.

The magazine’s monthly circulation has reached 60,000 copies, which is double our targeted readership. Our articles have a tremendous influence on politicians and executives of major companies, and there are abundant reasons why we are trusted as Japan’s premier monthly information magazine for hard-hitting journalism.

The cover of every edition features a different sketch by Raphael, and our pages contain no flashy graphics or large photos. Our preference for text-heavy pages certainly runs counter to modern-day magazine design. However, as shown by the rock-solid support of our readers, Sentaku has unerringly provided information, incisive analysis and predictions that cannot be gleaned from newspapers, TV and other media. We are confident we can continue to deliver this information to our readers.

  • Our founders: Akio Iizuka and Masami Yuasa

Our unique magazine was made possible thanks to the strong, charismatic personalities of its founders, Akio Iizuka and Masami Yuasa.

Both Iizuka and Yuasa were born in the 1930s and grew up during the years of World War II. In the 1950s, they began their careers as journalists after joining the editorial department of “Zaikai,” a business magazine launched by renowned business reporter Yonosuke Miki. The management and editing of Sentaku today owes a great deal to the experiences of Iizuka and Yuasa while they were cutting their teeth as journalists at that time.

Yuasa was the youngest employee of the editorial department. At the time, paper was a precious commodity in Japan, so pages from ripped copies of the magazine were sold cheaply to a farm in Nagano Prefecture where they were used to wrap apples. While removing magazine covers at work one night, Yuasa made a pledge to himself: If I ever publish my own magazine, I’ll make sure no copies are returned unsold. The best way to avoid the wasteful return of copies was to sell them through a subscription system, and to produce a magazine that readers felt was worth signing up for. Yuasa and Iizuka began seriously considering branching out together.

After about 20 years at Zaikai, Iizuka, Yuasa and one other colleague decided to set up their own magazine and launched a publishing company, Sentaku Shuppan K.K.

Iizuka, who was responsible for editing Sentaku—and also a prolific author—died in 2003. Yuasa, who had overseen management of the magazine, died in 2014.

  • Who writes Sentaku?

Every edition of Sentaku features articles contributed by several dozen reporters, researchers, government officials and experts. Our magazine is compiled by over 400 people.

Articles in Sentaku, in principle, do not include a byline, a practice also employed by the highly respected British publication “The Economist.” This is not so we can launch an attack under a veil of anonymity; that would be impossible for a magazine with a circulation of 60,000 copies. Rather, this is so our contributors can unflinchingly write articles containing confidential information and express honest criticism and comments. Our article writers and information sources include many current movers and shakers in the political, business and official worlds.

Consequently, Sentaku has often been sued for defamation by companies that have received criticism within our pages. We have boldly and fearlessly fought these cases in the courts with the view that this is an inevitable badge of honor when writing the truth.

This track record is why many reporters at major media organizations now consider writing for Sentaku to be proof of their own skill and ability. Sentaku is a magazine that top Japanese journalists aspire to write for.

Surveys indicate that the majority of our readers are company executives, particularly those working at large firms. Many politicians and high-ranking government officials also subscribe to Sentaku. The fact that such prominent people, who invariably have hectic schedules, read our anything-but-ordinary, text-heavy magazine is evidence that they recognize the value of Sentaku. We are proud that information we provide can have an influence on the decisions they make.

  • What we write about

Sentaku covers four genres, each with its own editorial approach.

The World section uses in-depth coverage to explain what is happening around the globe, right now, and provides information that Japanese newspapers and TV stations do not. Unfortunately, the Japanese media are steadily reducing their analysis of international politics and news topics from overseas that are difficult to access or delve into. Yet, without accurately grasping the world situation, it is impossible to properly consider the path Japan should take. Sentaku gives readers in Japan articles that explain global events that are happening today and enable them to forecast the developments that might unfold. This particular section is a microcosm of Sentaku’s strong points.

Our Politics section puts the goings-on of Nagatacho—the hub of Japan’s politics and the seat of government—under the microscope. Every issue, a dozen or so articles are penned by insiders close to political decision-makers, a position that allows them to constantly observe the intricacies of what is happening in the corridors of power. As a result, we are destined to incur the displeasure of those holding power, from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe down. When Sentaku runs an article that ruffles some feathers, we know when a search immediately gets under way to pinpoint the author and the source of the leak. Letting readers know whether politicians and specific policies are truly acting in the national interest is journalism’s primary duty. This is a task we are most proud of fulfilling.

The Economy section’s biggest draw is that it conveys movements and developments within large and renowned Japanese companies that major media organizations resist reporting because they consider it taboo. Having the inner workings of their company unveiled due to dogged reporting by experienced, well-informed writers is certainly not something business managers will enjoy, but they carefully and eagerly read these articles. It is said that Sentaku’s articles have the power to affect the stock prices of companies it writes about. Given this, we attach the utmost importance to ensuring the accuracy of our information and the reliability of our stories.

The Society and Culture section is relatively brief and contains fewer than 30 pages. However, the columns and series of articles by seasoned writers on topics including sports, science, fine arts, and the Imperial household are a magnet for Sentaku readers. Every month in this section, we print the “The Sanctuary of Japan” series of articles—a jewel in the Sentaku crown. As its name suggests, this series examines and reports on organizations, companies and people that are widely considered sanctuaries, or taboo to discuss. Shinchosha Publishing Co. has published a book featuring a collection of these articles. We are sure that reading articles on the Sentaku website will pique your interest and leave you wanting to read more.

Finally, we should mention that Sentaku writes articles exposing shortcomings at other companies in the media industry. Japanese media companies are “sanctuaries” that have circulations in the millions and whose operations run into hundreds of billions of yen. We take no pleasure in revealing truths that have been concealed about the industry, but the pages carrying mass media-related material is probably one of the most ardently read parts of Sentaku.