Jigoku — a Picture Book of Hell is selling like hot cakes in Japan


Jigoku, a book of hideous pictures depicting hell, was first published over thirty years ago. This year the book has been enjoying a rapid rise in sales, ever since it was introduced in the popular graphic novel style parenting book Mama wa Tenparist (moms are always panicking) by Akiko Higashimura. In Mama wa Tenparist, the author mentions how effective it was to educate her young son by showing him Jigoku and telling him to behave or he might go to hell when he died. The pictures of hell are scary enough to spook even an adult, and there’s controversy that this kind of approach may be traumatic for small children. Nonetheless, several news sources report that the book’s main buyers are parents who are raising little kids.

Koji Chikatani
Senior agent
Japanese Writers’ House