• Kyodo

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While his publishing firm specializes in volumes on architecture and design, Seiichi Sawai used his clout as company president to recently launch a picture book focusing on an unusual area of personal interest — transparent organisms.

“Sekai no Utsukushii Tomei na Ikimono” (“Beautiful Transparent Living Things in the World”) is a collection of photographs of 229 unique, colorful organisms, including plankton, a squid, a frog and even a mushroom.

Featuring on TV and other media, “it’s been selling more than expected,” said Sawai, 55.

Sawai leads Tokyo-based X-Knowledge Co., which publishes books and magazines about architecture, design and computing. He has a degree in marine ecology.

For the book, Sawai used expensive high-quality paper and advanced printers to make the images as lifelike as possible.

“I could use such luxurious resources because I am president, but if the book didn’t sell so well, I’m pretty sure that all my employees would have turned their backs on me,” he said.

Sawai hopes the book will help deepen people’s understanding of the ocean and its organisms.

“Japanese people are said to consume about 10 percent of fish and seafood caught in waters across the world, but I don’t think many Japanese people respect the ocean,” he said.

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