Hello and thanks to you for visiting my page KKBB. My name is Isabelle, I am a big novel reader, expatriate to Japon. I am also mother of a little 7 months girl, foreign langage french teacher, dabble in ikebana, fan of horses, and many other things. But today, I want to talk about what I recently became : publisher ! My student dream comes true, thanks to Japan and to my unexpected path. That is how it happened :
Genesis- how this project took shape in my mind :
I have studied literature, mostly french, during my university studies.
Living in Japan since 5 years, I was struck tonotice that what France publishes about Japanese books come down mainly to :
- traditional poestry (haïkus, waka)
- classical literature (The Tale of Ganji by Murasaki Shikibu, JunichiroTanizaki )
- high near elitist literature, (Haruki Murakami, Yoko Ogawa), considered by many Japanese as a tough literature (style and / or meaning ).
After the March 11 catastrophe in 2011, Japan as been guest of honor in Paris book fair, and modern japanese literature began to appear. Covered by medias, it has been successful but stays under- represented today in France.
That is the reason why I decided to present to french readers a more reachable literature, in order to let them know what Japanese people, generally speaking, are reading in the train, or before to sleep.
A popular, contemporary, quality literature.
Who created this project :
Me, Isabelle Legrand Nishikawa, 30 yeard old, french, and my husband Kotaro who is helping for logisticd and who is fan of japanese mystery novels !
Market : Why this niche, what already exists ?
The company will launch with a contemporary japanese detective novels collection.
Now, there is no publishing house specialized in japanese literature in France.
In the literature section, wich is ahead sells, detective novel genre is in third position. It appeal to any reader type, regardless social environment, age, gender, activity field.
Detective novel has a second life with the pocket size, what brings extra income to the publishing house who sells copyrights to the pocket company.
Concept - clearly, what is this project ?
Create a publishing house specialized in japanese literature.
Dedicate to contemporary authors, give a chance to the young ones.
Create clearly established collections : the first collection is already defined : detective novels ; some others are in elaboration : woman authors novels, journey novels, historical novels, short novels...
Give a modern and accurate image of japanese literature landscape, staying reachable to the masses readers (demystify the japanese literature).
Distinguish from the japanese genres over-represented in the actual french publishing : manga, poestry (haïkus), classical novels, poetic novels.
Objectives : what, when, how many?
From the first year : 2 titles
From the second year : 3 titles (+1 : new collection) Printing : 3 000 copies per titles, sold in 2 years the 5 first years (provide for reprinting) Distribution national and et digital (e-commerce)
Participate to literature fairs and exhibitions as much as possible.
Avantages : pourquoi ce pojet est-il super ?
- Cultural Expansion : it is an occasion to spread japanese literature, very rich, in a country famous for his own literature and his intellectual background. Japan has to find the place it deserves in the international literature landscape.
Extract from the website www.nippon.com of 27 June 2002 : Paris book fair and his guest of honor
- International Relationships : boost France-Japan relations, recently highlighted, receiving its news authors.
Extract from the website of French Institute in Japan, 18 June 2014
- Give a chance to the news translators to distinguish themselves and specialize in a genre, an author or a publishing house.
Extract from the website of CCI France Japon
Identity and style Guide :
D'Est en Ouest Publishing want to be modelled on actual Japan : modern and traditional. Indeed, this country rich of a protected culture is also and ironically a giant of modernity, technology and research. Old Japan and modern Japan exist side by side in order to become an unique country hardly reachable by foreigner.
We tried to rise one part of this challenge : drive reachable the japanese literature, through the detective / crime novel, first of all.
The style guide will reflect this : classical, typography and general layout ; modern, the cover with uncluttered style and the size of the book (11x18).
Logo : a red crane flying east to west. From Japan to France, titles are migrating.
Crane is the representative bird in Japan, easing to identify for a french readers also with the origami design. Crane is symbol of long life et origami crane is symbol of peace (ori tsuru).
Red is the main color. Color of traditional events, ceremonies, sanctuaries doors and temples (torii) in Japan, red color reminds also crime novels with blood color.
Name of the company designed : a small compass inside the O of « Ouest » (West) reminds the foreign literature concept with a culture from abroad, like the crane does.
Cover is red and white. To stay with a modern and classical dynamic, we chose a simple, uncluttered and geometrical style. An illustration, to the left side, in relation to the novel, permits to use the cover design for the all collection (maybe all the collections), only changing illustration. Back cover will present briefly the publishing house and the novel.
Page layout will also be simple and classical, Garamond 12 and the unique format 11x18 permits a republishing in pocket size, still usefull and elegant.
THE FIRST NOVEL :
Requiem à huis clos, Ruriko KISHIDA translated by Myriam DARTOIS AKO (March 2016)
Il s'agit d'un roman policier, avec des meurtres en huis clos, sur une toile de fond kyotoïte et un clin d'oeil à Paris.
The plot :
In K yoto, during Reiko's painting exhibition, a young woman is terrified of a painting. It appears to her through this painting, that the artist knows what happend to her husband, Takao, missing since 5 years..
A short time later, on the same place where Takao diseappered, a dead body is founded. A closed door murder, strangely not without reminding the circumstances of Takao's missing : nobody could go in or gp out, every exit locked from inside.
Asami, Reiko's university friend, try to find out the mystery and bring back a buried past.
She will never stop looking for the truth hidden in this mysterious painting.
Full of pathos, this logical plot sustains the suspense and won the Ayukawa Tetusuga award in 2004.
This novel, with Kyoto in background, has a direct relation with Paris (the painter is going there often). The investigation is lead by a typical middle age japanese single woman.
The novel illustrates many characteristics features of japanese society, and it is in the same time a good introduction to japanese culture for readers seeking fresh fields, and a real pleaser for japanophiles who can enjoy japanese literature they like, through a genre - detective novel - very popular in France, but not yet very common from japanese angle.
All keeping a permanent tension to end up to a surprising and unexpected end.
A novel what makes you experience the modern Japan, in her most traditional city, with a story without possible way out, going through the terrible reality of human spirit and madness.
Characters touch us through theirs problems and their extreme sensitivity.
This quality crime novel, recognized in Japan, makes you discover modern japanese literature in company with an author accomplished of « mystery novel », who have been took with France.
Born in 1961 in Kyoto, Ruriko KUSHIDA is the daughter of a scientific researcher. Expatriate to Paris at 13 years old, she is graduated from the science faculty of Paris VII. Requiem is her first novel and distinguish itself, earning the Ayukawa Tetusuga Award in 2004.
Ayukawa Tetsuga Award : Great detective novelist, Tetsuya AYUKAWA (1919-2002) was also a book reviewer, who won the Naoki Award in 1950. His publisher, Tokyo Sogensha, created this award in 1990. It rewards every year a first detective / crime original novel. The award consists in publishing of the winner novel.