(The Sun)

[Editing & publication] The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature / [Publication & sale] Yagi Shoten

Hakubunkan’s general interest magazine, indispensable for modern Japanese studies from the First Sino-Japanese War to the early Showa period. Featured writers are prominent figures in their respective fields.

Taiyo was a comprehensive magazine published by Hakubunkan publishing house from January 1895 to February 1928, for a total of 34 volumes containing 531 issues amounting to approximately 175,000 printed pages. It not only offered political, military, economic and social commentary, but included articles on the natural sciences, literary works and cultural trends and mores written by about 6,500 authors. Although considered indispensable for the study of Japan’s modern period, it’s massive volume and extensive range along with the rarity of extant original copies has made it difficult for researchers to approach this most prominent of Japan’s comprehensive serial publications.

By successfully launching magazines such as Bungei Kurabu, Shonen Sekai and Bunsho Sekai, Hakubunkan was able to establish itself among Japan’s major comprehensive publishing houses. Taiyo is considered to be the flagship publication of Hakubunkan.

In 1894, the company discontinued printing political and economic journals to meet the needs of a society in transition following the first Sino-Japanese War by launching a comprehensive magazine that covered all areas of society, the nation and the world, establishing Taiyo successfully in the role of opinion leader for its readers.

The chief editors who served the magazine during it publication were, Tsuboya Suisai, Takayama Chogyu, Toyabe Shuntei, Ukita Kazutami, Hasegawa Tenkei and Hirabayashi Hatsunosuke. The first issue was divided into 24 sections; editorials, biographies, geography, novels, miscellany, literary essays, artistic societies, family life, politics, law, literature, science, art, commerce, agriculture, industry, society, foreign intellectual thought, public opinion, fashionable society, new publications, domestic topics, overseas topics and articles in English. In later issues changes in the content are seen, but political, economic and social commentary continued to be emphasized, along with the dissemination of current knowledge and technology of the various industries, art and literature, family and lifestyle concerns, and other topics covering a broad range of interests.

Also, Taiyo lists over 200 people from various walks of life as honorary supporting members, and article submissions were received from an exhaustive representation of notable individuals from all social and public worlds. Starting publication earlier than Chuo Koron and Kaizo, it is Japan’s very first comprehensive magazine.

Editorial committee: Aoki Toshihiro, Ikeuchi Teruo, Izawa Tsuneo, Umezawa Nobuo, Ono Ryoji, Kaneko Akio, Kono Kensuke, Sakuma Yasuaki, Sone Hiroyoshi, Takahashi Osamu, Takematsu Yoshiaki, Yoshida Morio, Rin Shukumi, Wada Atsuhiko

Contents information

Original books 太陽
Publisher [Editing & publication] The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature / [Publication & sale] Yagi Shoten
Original publication date January 1895 (Meiji 28) - February 1928 (Showa 3)
Number of volumes 34 volumes 531 issues
Release date May 2008
Number of pages 175,000 pages
Number of articles 40,703 articles
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(as of October 2014)