Sunmark Publishing Rights Highlights
and NEWS Mail--November 2014 Issue

201410frankWe’d like to thank all the publishers and agents who gave us a chance to meet with them at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014. It was such a good opportunity again for us to exchange a lot of different kinds of information and feel the energy of people involved in the publishing industry throughout the world. Recently, we’ve put efforts not only into buying but also selling rights to European and American publishers. As one of our bestsellers, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, has already produced great results in some of those countries, we’ll continue to use this NEWS Mail to introduce our other titles for which we have high hopes. Please don’t miss them.

If you have any questions or inquiries about this NEWS Mail, please contact Mr. Ichiro Takeda, Rights Department (

Topic of the Month

The U.S. version of our million-selling title The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been released by Ten Speed Press and ranked 1st (Self-Help) at Amazon U.S.!

The translated version of our sensational title The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is now available in the U.S. since it was released by Ten Speed Press on October 14th. Soon after its release, an article about the author Marie Kondo appeared on October 22nd in The New York Times with the headline “Kissing Your Socks Goodbye“. The article received such a great response that the book’s ranking at Amazon U.S. rapidly moved up to 1st place in the Self-Help category and 7th place overall..

Hot Titles

The Teachings of Spiritual Merchant Baigan Ishida

Business Essentials and Wisdom for Life

by Masayoshi Yamaoka


220 pages / August 2014 / 1,700 yen(w/o tax)

An influence on the well-known lecturer Kazuo Inamori.
What Ishida Baigan teachings have suddenly made their way into the spotlight?


In the Edo period, there was a “spiritual merchant” who explained the essence of management and advocated economic morality 250 years prior to Peter Drucker and 200 years before Max Weber! This was a time in Japan’s history when a rigorous class system was put into place and a merchant earning large profits wasn’t considered at all dishonorable. Ishida Baigan explained that there is a certain “morality” involved in this. His “merchant morality” teachings, which placed an immense amount of importance on “qualities everyone should possess”, including integrity, diligence, frugality, and independence, became widely known and before long spread throughout Japan. His ideology developed into a popularized, Edo-period blend of Buddhist, Shinto, and Confucian ethical teachings known as Sekimon-Shingaku.

Ishida Baigan explains “the proper way to seek profit” as one important personal philosophy, which has also been advocated by Kazuo Inamori, known for his concept of “Management Charisma”. Baigan was also the “father of Japanese-style management”, and this long-awaited publication details all of his most important teachings clearly, made especially for every merchant and manager of the modern era.

From the table of contents

Prologue There once was a “spiritual merchant” who preached the road to riches
Chapter 1 Integrity will bring fortune
Chapter 2 Diligence will bring tranquility
Chapter 3 Frugality will bring peace
Chapter 4 Independence makes the best use of your strength
Chapter 5 Live naturally and in agreement with the universe
Chapter 6 A one-hundred-year enterprise will strengthen Japan
Epilogue Let’s go back to the ways of Baigan, Japan!

From the editor

The teachings of Ishida Baigan were often adopted and lectured on by Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera and advocate for “merchant morality”. While Ishida Baigan is a name we know from history textbooks, we tend not to look any further than the picture of his statue or learn in great detail about the man. However, with a little investigating, we can find that Baigan’s teachings were appropriate for the societal conditions of his time, spanned all social ranks, and had a massive effect, expanding on deep ideologies such as human discourse and cosmology.

Becoming acquainted with Masayoshi Yamaoka, who’s been researching Ishida Baigan for 25 years, learning in great detail about the over 300-year-old teachings of Ishida Baigan, and the chance to share this great wisdom with the masses, has brought me immense gratification.


Masayoshi Yamaoka

Born in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, in 1947, Masayoshi Yamaoka graduated from Chuo University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, he worked as a business management instructor at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he had the opportunity to interact with over 10,000 business administrators. He is currently active as a management consultant, providing a new outlook on management under the motto “Management makes the best use of people. People make the best use of management.”

Along with being a representative of Partner Consultants, a specially licensed social insurance consultant, and a public health engineering manager, Masayoshi Yamaoka has been researching about the pioneer of Japanese-style business management Ishida Baigan for 25 years and is working hard to spread his “merchant morality” and Sekimon-Shingaku ideologies. Also, intrigued by the concept of the one-hundred-year enterprise (business longevity), he is conducting investigative research on the secret to dynamic business growth.

A Book About Japanese Sake That Makes Japanese History More Interesting

by Takahisa Uesugi


263 pages / August 2014 / 680 yen(w/o tax)

Here are 65 surprising stories for lovers of history and Japanese Sake.


When reading about the history of wine in Europe, we learn about how the Crusaders took grapevines with them on their expeditions to the Middle East. Wine and other kinds of alcohol, like whiskey from the U.K., beer from Germany, vodka from Russia, and bourbon from the United States, are deeply and directly linked to the history of their countries of origin. Naturally, the same goes for Japanese Sake.

By bringing Japanese Sake into the picture while taking another look at the well-known historical figures of Japan, finding out which local Sake they preferred, how they drank it, and what ancient Japanese liked to snack on while drinking, we get introduced to a very different side of Japanese history.

This book could spark just about anyone’s interest in both Japanese history and Sake.

From the table of contents

– The oldest forms of Japanese Sake were produced in the mouth
– Disaster starts with delicious rice
– The duty of the Emperor is to “promote a culture of rice cultivation”
– What local government employees were paid in instead of money
– The bureaucratic elite passed on the job of brewing Sake to the Buddhist monks
– Samurai Era wisdom: Alcohol comes with a price
– How did the Shogun cure his hangover?
– The first and last time the Shogun and Emperor drank together
– Mirin was once considered high-grade alcohol
– The Izakaya — a new business opportunity caused by a fire outbreak

From the editor

I first met the author, Mr. Uesugi, at his own Japanese Sake seminar. Seminars usually only involve listening to lectures, but at Mr. Uesugi’s Sake seminars you can eat snacks and drink alcohol while he shares his knowledge of the historical context and background related to the alcohol. Since professionals choose the alcohol, all of it is very delicious! In fact, I wasn’t fond of Sake until that day.
The fascinating stories of history and alcohol Mr. Uesugi has shared in his seminars have been compiled into this one publication. The many stories in this book will make even a non-drinker crave a nice cup of Sake. I sincerely hope everyone enjoys reading it.


Takahisa Uesugi

Takahisa Uesugi is the managing director of the Jizake Japan Cooperative and a promoter of Japanese Sake. He was born in Tokyo Prefecture in 1952. After graduating from university, he worked in the publishing industry before inheriting a 60-year-old sweets shop called “Inoue”, located in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. He then proceeded to open a traditional restaurant as well as a bar in nearby Akasaka. He also opened the “BAR Raku” inside an international liquor shop within Tokyo’s Tobu Department Store, which became one of the most popular bars in Japan, and then the world, before a remodeling project in 2012 caused him to close his doors despite keeping sales figures high for 20 years.

Even with this minor setback, Mr. Uesugi has revolutionized the Japanese Sake industry by coming up with the idea and method for having Sake sampling stalls set up in department store basement floor open food markets and by creating a Sake market aimed at younger women.

He is focusing a large amount of his attention on a “semi-polished pure rice Sake harvest” utilizing cheap rice rather than higher-quality rice ideal for Sake brewing to produce delicious Sake, and is also working on a completely new concept of Japanese Sake development involving both Japanese Sake consumers and breweries. Moreover, to spread his knowledge of Sake even further, he runs liquor shops and restaurants and conducts over 100 seminars and lectures a year for both foreign and domestic Sake consumers.

Uesugi Takahisa is a 9th-generation descendant of Kenshin Uesugi and Harunori Uesugi.