Publisher hopes to seduce Japanese women with steamy ‘Fifty Shades’


Erotic best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” will hit Japanese bookshelves this week, its publisher said, hoping to repeat the success it has enjoyed around the world.

The novel, which features a sado-masochistic sexual relationship between a young college graduate and a billionaire tycoon, is expected to especially prove a hit among housewives, Takayuki Yorimitsu of Hayakawa Publishing Corp., said Tuesday.

“We have high hopes for the book, which has become a cultural phenomenon in the Western world,” he said. “We are seeing a strong level of preorders from bookstores. Considering the pattern abroad, we believe it should attract women in their 30s and 40s.”

The firm is betting that Japan’s voracious readers will find the racy romance as satisfying as their counterparts in Britain and the U.S., where it has dominated best-seller lists.

“Once we received a rough translation, we found it easy to read and very accessible. This is a book that casual readers, or even nonreaders of novels, will like,” Yorimitsu said. The translation will hit stores Thursday and comes in two volumes running to a bumper 800 pages.