Sunmark Publishing Rights Highlights
and NEWS Mail--March 2018 Issue

Hi.  It’s nice to meet you.

My name is Shizue Ishitani, and I joined the Rights Department of Sunmark on December 1st last year.


It’s Valentine’s Day soon, isn’t it?

In Japan, Valentine’s is a day when women give chocolates to men with a confession of love and present gifts to those they’re indebted to.

Now it’s become a time not only for women to present chocolates to men as an expression of love but also to give chocolates to friends.


March 14th, called White Day, is when men who received sweets for Valentine’s to give return gifts to those who gave them chocolates on February 14th.


In my home, my two little daughters and I made chocolate sweets for their dad.

We made petit muffins this year. They were small, cute and tasty.


Right now my daughters love their dad the most in the world.

But someday the time will come for making chocolate sweets to confess their love to someone other than their dad.


If you have any questions or inquiries about this NEWS Mail, please contact Ms. Shino Kobayashi, Rights Manager (

Topic of the Month

Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits is now in English.

An English edition of Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits has been published by Rodale in the U.S.A. and Hodder & Stoughton in the U.K. The original version already has sold more than a million copies in Japan, and the rights have been sold to 15 countries or territories so far. The Chinese and Korean editions were published last year. An easy-to-follow 4-week stretching plan for doing the splits, the book also contains a fun-to-read fiction piece about the splits, making the book both practical and entertaining. If you’re interested in having a flexible body, this is a book you should read, and then try its methods!

Hot Titles

Give Yourself Some Space

by Hisako Yukawa

ISBN978-4-7631-3663-3 C0095

191 pages / November 2017 / 1,300 yen (w/o tax)

Open your heart, and don’t judge.
A wise 90-year-old lawyer explains how to be the best version of yourself.


Personal relationships can produce thorns and entanglements.

Do anger and jealousy get in the way of your efforts to be a better, nicer person?


Whether with a spouse, your children, a daughter-in-law or son-in-law, temperamental friends or neighbors, taking just a half step back from your relationships with those around you will allow you to regain your natural capacity for kindness and live a much more comfortable life. So says the author of this book, 90-year-old author and active lawyer Hisako Yukawa.


Since beginning her career in Fukuoka as the first female lawyer from Kyushu, she has dealt mainly with unraveling issues related to divorce and inheritance cases. She has learned from the over 10,000 cases she has worked on that “all people, although they don’t show it, suffer from worry and doubt.” This led her to the understanding that “giving yourself enough space is essential for living a comfortable life.”


The law can’t judge a person’s heart, and the wins and losses determined in the courtroom have no ruling over one’s true happiness. Witnessing various personal relationships firsthand for over 60 years, and realizing the difficulty behind analyzing them through the eyes of the law, she began to wonder what true happiness actually is. Her conclusion is here.


This generation is burdened by a number of issues including divorce, nursing care and suicide. Although it has become easier to connect with people, it’s almost as if that has had an adverse effect on our relationships. Relationships are weak, and people suffering from loneliness are increasing in number. In such times, let’s think about what a happy way of living actually is:  To be nice, flexible and refrain from fighting things, all without draining your spirits.


Hisako Yukawa has gained a lot of trust from her clients, who have said that just talking to her helps lift their spirits. This book will help you rediscover the tenderness that’s inside us all.

From the table of contents

◎ Don’t waste precious time with quarrels

◎ Be gentle when saying what is right

◎ Don’t poke your nose into other people’s business

◎ Communicating promotes moderate distance

◎ Tears spilled for others feed the soul

◎ People express their second intention before their first intention

◎ Stop yourself from saying “that’s obvious”

◎ Although you intend to live alone, you can’t keep living alone forever

◎ People who pass away don’t leave extra money behind

◎ As time goes by, the worst moments will change to the best memories

From the editor "HANA"

When I first met Hisako Yukawa, I couldn’t believe that she was 90 years old. She’s called me in the middle of the night to let me know an interesting drama on NHK, and she’s also accompanied me in editing the book’s script until the  late hours of the night. She not only taught me but showed me how to live a full life. I strongly felt I wanted to be like her at that age. This book is a wonderful gift from a person well experienced with life on this earth. Hisako Yukawa will teach you the joy of living a long and happy life.


Hisako Yukawa

Hisako Yukawa was born in 1927 in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. She is a graduate of the Chuo University Law Department. She married soon after passing the bar examination in 1954, and opened a practice in Fukuoka in 1957 as the first female lawyer in Kyushu. While raising two children of her own, she worked on over 10,000 divorces and succession cases in a career exceeding 60 years, studying the lives of women and happiness while witnessing numerous types of personal relationships.  


She was a member of the Fukuoka Family Courthouse Mediation Committee from 1958 to 2000. During family cases, she took off her lawyer’s badge and assumed the role of a life coach. After becoming a lawyer, she took up Noh as a hobby and even worked as a commissioned instructor, teaching the Hosho style of Noh. While usually very gentle, she occasionally encouraged her clients with a stern voice, consoled their hearts, and helped them to unravel the complications in their lives. She is still active at 90 years of age and has clients of all ages and generations.

A Lesson on Instant Happiness

by Kotaro Hisui

ISBN978-4-7631-3664-0 C0095

296 pages / December 2017 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)

This textbook on living a happy life is the product of 12 years of research.


A manual about life from an author who has written numerous books on happiness. Here you’ll find the secret to happiness you were never taught in school.


This book is for:

  • Those who feel happiness doesn’t exist.
  • Those whose lives remain unchanged after having read countless books.
  • Those who are burdened by stress and anxiety.

This book will resolve all of these issues!


Were you aware that the Chinese character for “happiness” derives from a pictograph of hands in handcuffs?


The idea is that not being bound by handcuffs is a blessing. If you look at it that way, happiness isn’t something that’s created, but a state describing circumstances that are free of misfortune. This book will help you to clearly visualize and resolve any misfortune, be it stress, personal shortcomings, or poverty.


If you’re in distress, this book is what you need. If a person appears to be transparent, you scream “Ghost!” and look on in fear. If you see them clearly, you think nothing of it and walk right by. The concept is the same with any personal issues. If you see them for what they are, you can resolve them easily.

From the table of contents

“Misfortunes that have been visualized successfully”


Negativity/stress/every day is boring/

Uncertainty about the future/poverty/the truth about your enemies/

Why you can’t find love/shortcomings/trauma/

a lack of confidence/failure/the difference between success and happiness/

in a pinch/ And more…

From the editor "Kisshie"

In addition to math and English, why weren’t we also taught at school how to live a meaningful life? The amount of time we spend simply living is overwhelmingly longer than the amount of time we spend studying. However, I think I figured out the answer to that question once I became an adult. It’s because “how to live a happy life” isn’t something you can simply teach people. To all of you teachers out there, I’m sorry I was blaming you!


I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of creating a book on such a topic and was curious to know who could write it. The first person I thought about was the energetic bestselling author Kotaro Hisui.


He exceeded my expectations. We produced a book more perfect than I could have imagined. This is the only book that I know of that’s both fun and teaches you about life. Take a look for yourself!


Kotaro Hisui

Kotaro Hisui is a translator of “good spirits”, author and gifted copywriter whose motto is “Your life will change if you change your point of view.” He studied psychology, and earned his qualifications as a mental health counselor under Nobuyuki Eto of the Japan Mental Health Association. His book Wise Saying Therapy — Happiness in 3 Seconds (Discover 21) won the Discover Message Book Prize, becoming a 300,000-copy bestseller. His other bestsellers include You Might Die Tomorrow, Your Life is Boring Because You’re Making It Boring (Discover 21) and The How to Look at Things Differently Test Book (Shodensha). He has also co-authored a number of other books including The World’s Most Ridiculous Way to Make Your Dreams Come True (Forest Publishing) and Why Did Jobs Wear Only a Black Turtleneck? (A-works).