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THE HISTORY

Kinokuniya Bookstore was founded in January 1927 by former president Moichi Tanabe. Located in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo in a two-story wooden building, with a floor space of 125 square meters (1,349 sq.ft.) and an art gallery on the second floor, the first Kinokuniya started with five employees, including Mr. Tanabe himself.


Kinokuniya began importing English books in April 1949, and the 1956 opening of its first sales office in Osaka marked the beginning of the the company’s nationwide expansion into the academic institutional market.


In 1964, Kinokuniya Bookstore’s headquarters was established in Shinjuku. The building later became the current Shinjuku main store building, consisting of nine stories and two underground floors. Following the opening of its Shibuya store in 1965, Kinokuniya quickly expanded its business in major cities in Japan, providing customers with a wide variety of books and magazines.


Kinokuniya believes that bookstores should also function as a center for the promotion of arts and culture. As a result, Kinokuniya makes an effort to include theaters and art galleries inside the bookstores where possible. The two theaters in the Shinjuku main store and the Kinokuniya Theatre Award established in 1966 are both fine examples of this tradition.

In February 1969, the first overseas store opened in San Francisco. The goal was to provide Japanese living in the U.S. with books and magazines from home and introduce Japanese culture to the local community. Kinokuniya ventured into the Asia-Pacific market when it opened its first store in Singapore (Liang Court Store) in December 1983. Other store openings around Asia-Pacific area followed in Taiwan (1987), Malaysia (1990), Thailand (1992), Australia (1996), and Dubai (2008). Kinokuniya’s first online bookstore, Kinokuniya BookWeb, launched in September 1996. It was later expanded to eight countries worldwide and underwent a major re-design in 2012.


Kinokuniya is now one of the largest bookstore chains in Japan, with over 80 stores and 35 sales offices worldwide. In 2011, the number of customers with membership cards exceeded two million for the first time.



KINOKUNIYA BOOK STORES OF AMERICA

Following the first store in San Francisco in 1969, the New York City store in Rockefeller Center opened in 1981. It was replaced by its current location near Bryant Park on 6th Avenue in 2007. The New York store became the headquarters of Kinokuniya Book Stores of America. The company now has seven store locations in the United States, including New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Seattle, and Portland. Each store offers a large range of books in English, Japanese and Chinese, as well as CDs, DVDs, and high quality stationary. In addition to bookstores, Kinokuniya operates sales offices which provide services to business and academic institutions.



VISION
Creating opportunities of contacts between cultures and civilizations and developing the growth of local cultures and talents with the aim of promoting better understanding amongst cultures.

MISSION
We are committed to provide excellent services and pleasant ambience to satisfy and delight all our customers. Together, we work in trust, harmony, and integrity so that all of us can be proud of being a member of Kinokuniya.

CORE VALUES
• Professionalism
• Spirit of Kaizen
• Service Excellence
• Pleasant Ambience
• Welfare for Employees
• Integrity
• Trust
• Harmony
• Finest Range of Titles
• Competitive Pricing

COMPANY PHILOSOPHY
The Company is like a stage. Books and information products are like actors and actresses. Staff are like producers and directors, and customers are like the audience. Once the customers come into contact with Kinokuniya, their theatrical experience begins. To receive a standing ovation from the customers, the Company must provide a well-designed stage. The staff must provide clear directions to the actors and actresses and they must ensure all props are in place. Actors and actresses are well cared for so that they can perform their very best before the audience.