2. About Us
  3. Milestones



  • In collaboration with the University of Tokyo’s Baby Lab, Discover21 published 3 books of the Baby Studies Picture Book series. 
  • Jerry Minchinton’s How Successful People Think series had sold one million copies. A new book cover was designed to commemorate this milestone. 
  • As the first project of the Sino-Japan collaborative initiative “Discover 360," EXTENSION WORLD 1 Manifestation by Misato Furuya and EXTENSION WORLD 2 Awakening by Syu Husei were published in China and in Japan. Discover21 attended a press release event in Beijing. 
  • Discover21 was the main organizer of the Business Book Award 2017. A special talk session was organized at Academy Hills in Roppongi. 


  • Discover 21 exhibited a selection of books at the Book Valentine event, which was held at the upscale Mitsukoshi department store, a cultural center with a long history.  The theme of the event was, “Sending love through books.”
  • Taira Togashi, the director of Japan Youth Conference, assembled the voices of young people from all over Japan into a “Youth Action Plan”, which was then taken up in a live panel debate with members of the Japanese Diet.
  • “The Economics of Education” was the runner-up for 2017's Business Book Award.
  • Four different titles went on sale from Novelabo, our site where any writer can upload their novels.
  • Two of our books, “Sciencepedia 1000”, and “Upside Down”, were given awards at the 50th annual Japan Book Design Awards, an event put on by the Japan Book Publishers Association.
  • “Tiny Tricks that 99% of Us Don’t Do”, and its sequel, “Tiny Tricks that 99% of Leaders Don’t Do” surpassed a million copies sold collectively.
  • “Contribute to society by being a reader.”  In the era of smartphones and video games, we started a campaign to support those who choose books amid the distractions.


  • Opened a special site to commemorate our 30th anniversary
  • Sanagi Award-winning Flowing Crimson hits shelves
  • The first publishing site for novels in progress, Novelabo, is opened
  • The winner of the Crunch Novel New Author award, The Young Robot, goes on sale
  • The five-day Discover Pop-up Store is held in Harajuku
  • Asahi Shinbun runs a full page ad commemorating Discover’s 30th anniversary
  • The 21 Seiki no Gakko (school of the 21st century) series is introduced
  • The Economics of Education sells over 180,000 copies.  It is ranked the 3rd best economics book of the year by Diamond magazine
  • Mokulock novelty product goes on sale


  • Renovated the Discover21 website and made it mobile-friendly
  • Updated our method of providing e-books to EPUB Download format, which is viewable on iOS, Android, PC, Kindle, and more
  • The Sanagi Award was established as a way for authors, booksellers, and publishers to honor new, compelling works.  Over 265 works are considered for the inaugural award
  • 50 Giants of Management is awarded the grand prize for best business book of 2014
  • Academy Hills Library/2014 Business Book Grand Prize speaking event is held
  • While the external e-book site was down, we offered free downloads on already purchased books
  • Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi’s book is launched.  The exclusive convenience store version becomes a big hit
  • The Leave A Nest research grant Discover21 award, an award meant to support young researchers, publishes Tomei Manto o Motomete
  • We began brand and character licensing for children’s books and beyond
  • Actress and model Ai Tominaga’s autobiography is released.  An event is held with Tominaga to an astounding reception


  • Launched a series of picture books, and also began expanding into children’s literature
  • Author Mifuyu Ando went on a national speaking tour to commemorate the release of her popular book Boken ni Deyo
  • Opened I Miss You, a site where users can post their stories and messages of love and loss
  • Held exhibits at the Beijing, Taiwan, and Frankfurt book fairs.  In Frankfurt, an interview with President Hoshiba was featured in the international publishing paper Publishing Perspective
  • Secured many contracts for publishing rights at our first Taipei book fair exhibition
  • Surpassed 100 volumes of our Keisho (Pocket Books) line, and held a fair to celebrate
  • Change Just 1% of Your Work Techniques to Put Yourself Against 99% of the Rest is awarded the 2013 Business Book Grand Prize
  • Introduced the U30 Tokyo Shigoto Kaigi collaboration with cyber agents
  • The one year anniversary party was held for Discover’s monthly Discover Book Bar
  • 50 Giants of Management is awarded the Harvard Book Review’s award for best business book of 2013
  • Published E-Book Grand Prize 2013 Everystar’s special prize winner Sayonara, Bicycle


  • Discover’s first international branch, Discover 21 New York Inc., was established
  • Change Just 1% of Your Work Techniques to Put You Against 99% of the Rest became the number one selling business book of 2012 in Japan, selling 340,000 copies in just nine months
  • The rights to Keisuke Matsumoto’s Buddhist Monk’s Handbook to Clean Own House were sold for Italian and Simplified Chinese, with offers coming from Spain, Germany and The United States, making it one of our most popular books with the international market to date
  • We further expanded our range of genres to include picture books and cook books
  • Discover also published an extensive report on the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, written by the Independent Investigation Commission on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident. Released just two weeks after its press release on March 11th, the report provided conclusive and factual data to the public, still widely in the dark about what had happened at Daiichi


  • In 2010 Discover released the 1.2 million copy selling Nietzsche’s Words
  • Discover 21 launched the writing careers of 800,000+ copy selling business consultant Kazuyoshi Komiya, and 900,000+ copy selling financial guru Kazuyo Katsuma
  • In 2008 Discover opened its digital book store, long before other Japanese publishers had their sights on digital publications
  • Discover displayed at the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time in 2011, and have continued to do so ever since. During the same period we also exhibited at the Tokyo International Book Fair and Beijing International Book Fair
  • Our simultaneous publication of the TIME book Obama: Road to the White House, and LIFE’s Michael 1958-2009 were well received by the Japanese public, selling 160,000 copies cumulatively
  • We expanded the genres and typess of books published to include mass-marked paperbacks and educational puzzles


  • At the dawn of the 21st century Discover 21 solidified its corporate identity through the creation of a brand logo, as well as expanded the range of genres published to include coaching, leadership and management


  • Discover continued to publish CD-sized books by chairman Itoh throughout the 90s. His I Want to Tell You About My Feelings sold well nationally and internationally, with releases in eight different languages worldwide
  • We successfully launched the career of author Emiko Kato, whose books on etiquette, interior design and other lifestyle topics have since sold over 600,000 copies across Japan
  • We started publishing self help, business and translated books from abroad


  • Current chairman and CEO, Mamoru Itoh, and president Yumiko Hoshiba founded Discover 21 in 1985, with the company name inspired by their mission to lead the world into the 21st century. Since its foundation Discover has exclusively sold books to bookstores using a direct-sales approach via our own in-house sales staff
  • During this period Discover primarily sold CD-sized publications, a kind of book that was entirely new to Japan. With sparse yet moving text, they continue to be strong sellers to this day

About Us