Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks: A Selection of 100 Titles

Iwanami Shoten, Publishers

Compiles knowledge from the thematically distinct paperbacks which for 80 years have stimulated the curiosity of Japanese people. A starting point for true cultivation.

Published in November 1938 with the aim of contributing to “the modern enlightenment of contemporary people,” Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks were the first pocket paperback to come onto the market. Since the first publication, the color of the cover has changed with the passing of time. The Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks published from 1938 to 1946 are known as the “red editions,” those from 1949 to 1977 as the “blue editions,” those from 1977 to 1987 as the “yellow editions,” and those from 1988 to the present day as the “new red editions.” Thus far, totaling over all four colors, over 3400 Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks have been published. “Cultivation” is thought not simply to be the amount of knowledge a person may have, but the spirit of wishing to learn what is important for a better life. This spirit is nurtured by confronting fundamental questions such as what do we mean by ‘the dignity of humankind,’ ‘what is history,’ and ‘what is creative imagination toward others?’ Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks are literally overflowing with such questions. These books have been continually read over the years, as they are considered to be the “departure point” for true “cultivation” and the “origin” that we should return to.

The JapanKnowledge School features 100 Iwanami Shinsho Pocket Paperbacks carefully selected for junior high and high school students.

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Contents information

Original books 岩波新書
Publisher Iwanami Shoten, Publishers
Publication date May 30, 1939 - June 20, 2023
Number of volumes 100 volumes
Book price ¥90,838 (Pre-tax price ¥82,580+tax10%)
Release date April 1, 2021
Number of entries 100 volumes ; 24,170 pages
Number of characters
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(as of April 2024)