The “Coloring Books for Adults” Series

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The “Coloring Books for Adults” Series
Author: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers
Specifications: 40 pages
21.0 x 27.0 cm / 8.4 x 10.8 in (WxH)
Category: Crafts, Hobbies & Home
Publisher: Kawade Shobo Shinsha, Publishers
Tokyo, 2005–
Translations: Simplified Chinese
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Country Languages Publisher Title ISBN Translator Affiliate Link
China Simplified Chinese 銀杏出版
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Recognized for their benefits in relieving stress as well as stimulating the brain, coloring books for an adult audience have been garnering interest in Japan and abroad. This series set the trend in 2005, popularizing coloring books as an adult hobby. Since then, it has been expanding at the rate of roughly two volumes per month, reaching a total of 120 titles as of November 2014. Among the wide range of subjects chosen for the volumes are scenes featuring castles, shrines, and temples; famous places and distinctive landscapes from around Japan; ukiyo-e prints and paintings; cute animals; flowers and fruit, and so forth. Sold in a variety of editions, including the large mainstay and postcard formats and combo packs that include coloring materials, the books have become tremendously popular gift items.

The series is distinguished by the delicate line art provided as a base for coloring, each image drawn meticulously by hand. Every detail has been considered with an eye to enhancing the beauty of the finished product, with subtle variations in the color and thickness of line to fit the particular subject matter. This attention to detail allows the user’s completed full-color picture to look like an original work of art. In addition to the stress relief that comes from total immersion in the coloring task, the user gains the satisfaction of having created something of his or her own. High-quality paper stock eases the coloring and brings out the best in the hues, and beautifully wrought examples are provided along with instructional pages with tips on technique.

Publisher Kawade Shobo Shinsha sponsors an annual coloring contest that attracts over 5,000 entries. Winning works are published in newspaper features and shown in gallery exhibits. Tie-in classes held throughout the country are also well attended. Because coloring is an activity that can be enjoyed either individually or in groups, eldercare facilities and educational institutions have adopted the books for use in their programs.

As of December 2014, French editions have been published of Kachō fūgetsu hen (The Beauties of Nature), Kyōto no fūkei hen (The Sights of Kyoto), Nobe ni saku hana hen (Flowers of the Field), Posutokādo bukku: Oishii kajitsu hen (Postcard Book: Tasty Fruit), Posutokādo bukku: Jōkamachi no fūkei hen (Postcard Book: Scenes from a Castle Town), and Posutokādo bukku: Minatomachi no fūkei hen (Postcard Book: Scenes from a Harbor Town).