A Brief History of IGAKU-SHOIN
The Founding of IGAKU-SHOIN
In 1881 the late Torasaku Kanehara, great-grandfather of our current president, Yu Kanehara, started importing medical books, having no knowledge of foreign language. His first business was with German publishers, which is recognised as one of the first in the book importing business in Japan after the long seclusion under the Tokugawa dynasty.
Judging from the vast demands for imported medical books, he decided to publish medical books and journals by his own hand. Getting much help from Japanese medical doctors, who were his customers, he succeeded in publishing his first book under the imprint of "KANEHARA SHOTEN" in 1882.
According to the rapid progress of medical sciences in Japan, by the end of 19th century, his business grew into the largest company in publishing and importing medical publications. In 1944, just before the end of the World War II, Kanehara Shoten was divided into two companies by the order of the government: Kanehara Publishing Company and IGAKU-SHOIN Ltd.
Resuscitation from the War
Just after the war, then president Ichiro Kanehara, Yu's grandfather, resumed the importing business encountering the accumulated needs of medical researchers during the war. In only a few years IGAKU-SHOIN was the most well-known importer to the Japanese medical world. In addition to the importing business, he began to publish reprinted editions of many famous textbooks in the world in the 1960s and 1970s. This made IGAKU-SHOIN's name popular among students, who are now leading medical science in Japan.
New Era Dawned
Hajime succeeded his father Ichiro in 1974 as president of the company. However, in 1978 just after the foundation of IGAKU-SHOIN Medical Publishers, he passed away of cancer so early in his life. Izumi Hasegawa and later Takao Tsubaki assumed the presidency to hand it over to Yu Kanehara in 1987, who took office at the age of thirty-eight. IGAKU-SHOIN's new era dawned.
Since 1963, IGAKU-SHOIN operated its businesses at multiple office locations in the Hongo area in Tokyo. Such separation and the distance between the buildings increasingly became an obstacle to the flow of our businesses. In order to consolidate the entire operations of IGAKU-SHOIN, the management decided to construct a new office building in which all sections and departments could work closely and effectively. In the early 1990’s the management began seeking a suitable site and finally, in 2003, purchased a plot of land that satisfied our requirements in the same Hongo area in Tokyo. After demolition of the old building standing there, the construction of the new building started in October 2005 and was completed in March 2007.
After moving from three separate locations, including the former head office, IGAKU-SHOIN commenced the entire operations at the new building on May 7, 2007. The new building, adopting a seismic isolation system which ensures safety against a possible large earthquake in the future, has highly functional user-friendly office spaces and its appearance shows a distinguished academic atmosphere, combining tradition and state-of-the-art technology.