Kim Seungbok

CUON (Japan)
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Please introduce yourself and what interests you have

Born in South Jeolla Province in 1969. After Studying contemporary poetry at Seoul Institute of the Arts, study in Nihon University College of Art. Established a publisher and literary and media agency, CUON Inc., in 2007, and introduce Korean books to Japanese market. Opened a book cafe “CHEKCCORI” at Tokyo in 2015. Translation work <서점의 일생>, Kenji Yamashita, UU Press, 2019.

How did you come to be in charge of <私は私のままで生きることにした>? How this book connected with WANI Books Co., Ltd?

Soon after reading the original book in 2016, I contacted an editor of Wanibooks and recommend publishing its Japanese version. The reason why I contacted Wanibooks among Japanese publishers is because they had published illustration essay books that encourage readers to take better care of themselves.

What is your role as a Japanese-Korean content agent? Introduce the process of introducing Korean book through your company. *if possible, could you explain the way of publishing and what was the challenge? etc

According to client publishers’ interest, we select good books among various genre and propose them. When we make a proposal, we value the impression and feelings when we actually read it.

Your thoughts on why Korean books gained attention in Japan?

Korean culture spread to Japan through music, cinemas, and dramas, then many people has begun to take an interest in literature too. Many readers say, when Korean literature (including essay), they feel as if it’s their own story and they have a lot of empathy with Korean literature.

Is there any Korean books catches your mind these days? Are there any Korean books you are interested in?

– Cheon Seonran *not official English title
⋆ Korean SF works are attracting attention in Japan and Japanese publishers seeks good SF works.

– Kim Young-Ha Essay series <Speak/Look/Read>
⋆ Everyone agrees that Kim Yong-ha is an excellent writer. In this series, not only he “write” as writer but also he seize words from various angles: “speak,” “look,” and “read.” In that way, Kim Young-ha let us know the power of “words” in various dimensions, I admire that.

– Kim youngmin *not official English title
⋆We would like introduce more wider genre of Korean books, especially humanities books to Japanese market. The reason why we are interested in this book that it is readable and rich in content.

These days, what is the issue in publishing industry in Japan?

– Korean books gain attention day by day, many articles and radio programs are made.
– On November 28 and 29, 2nd K-BOOK FESTIVAL 2020 in Japan will be held online with big-name guests. Don’t miss it!

Lastly, what do you want to say to the Korean publisher who has interest in Japanese market?

We would like to recommend you to make an official website. Many Korean publishers frequently update information on Instagram, facebook, twitter, but some official website isn’t updated for longtime— or not found. In order to promote B to B contact more easily, we would like to recommend to show the contact information (email, address, tel, and so on) on the official website.

Please tell us about your company, CUON

CUON introduce actively Korean books into Japanese market as publisher, literary and media agency, and bookshop (CHEKCCORI). Please drop in CHEKCCORI when you will be in Tokyo!