Collaboration project planned for Hello Kitty, Bunshun Bunko

JIJI

Sanrio Co. and publisher Bungeishunju Ltd. will collaborate in the fall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of both the popular Hello Kitty character and the Bunshun Bunko paperback series.

The long-established publishing house hopes that the unique collaboration will help increase readers, mainly women, of Bunshun Bunko novels, the sources said.

In October and November, the two companies will carry out a campaign in which stuffed Hello Kitty toys and book coupons will be given to buyers of Bunshun Bunko novels via lottery, the sources said.

The Bunshun Bunko library is famous for hit novels such as “Ryoma ga Yuku” (“Ryoma Goes”) by Ryotaro Shiba and “Semi Shigure” (“Cicada Chirps”) by Shuhei Fujisawa. Its annual circulation topped 20 million in the 1980s and 1990s.

Demand has been falling recently as the domestic publishing industry is shrinking.

Bungeishunju hopes to take advantage of the 40th anniversary to broaden the reader base for the paperback series that has traditionally been targeted at adult males. It is also launching works featuring animations produced by director Hayao Miyazaki.