Some publishers have even gone as far as printing special jackets with Empress Michiko's words on them, shown at the bottom with cherry blossoms motifs. Photo: Twitter/@karihana_aki

Classic British stories get sudden burst of popularity in Japan thanks to Empress Michiko

By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

The date that Japan’s Emperor Akihito will be stepping down from the throne on is quickly approaching, and while ordinary citizens are busy coming up with names for the next era of Japanese history, the emperor and his wife, Empress Michiko, are probably really looking forward to living their rest of their lives in peace with some good R ’n’ R.

In fact, one of the questions they frequently get asked nowadays is about what they plan to do after retirement. Recently, Empress Michiko answered the question at her last birthday celebration as the empress, and she said, “There’s been a book series I’ve sought to read for a long time, that I have left untouched for years. I am looking forward to taking the time to read each and every one.”

The book series she is referring to is a collection of over 30 comedic short stories and 11 novels affectionately referred to as the “Jeeves series”, about the industrious and clever butler Jeeves, who is always getting his carefree master Bertie out of trouble. They’re written by the famous 20th century British author, P.G. Wodehouse, and are beloved across the UK as classic stories, though they were likely much less known in Japan, until now.

When asked why she hasn’t read all of the Jeeves stories yet, Empress Michiko replied, “When I read them, I get completely hooked and can’t do anything else, so up until now I’ve kept away from them. But after retirement I can easily keep them on hand. I’ve got two or three volumes standing by.”

Thanks to Empress Michiko’s unintentional recommendation, thousands of Japanese people rushed to bookstores to buy or order a copy of one of the books or collections for themselves. According to local publisher Kokusho, their telephones would not stop ringing the first business day after the Empress spoke about the series. The company said that in just one day they had received thousands of orders for Jeeves books.

Japanese Twitter was also abound with posts about the Jeeves series, with many saying they went out and bought a copy of one of the books after hearing Empress Michiko speak of them. Japanese bookstores also posted their displays of Jeeves books, inviting netizens to come out and pick one up.

▼ A post by Japanese bookstore Isehara Shoten: “We have Her Majesty’s beloved 'Casebook of Jeeves' series in stock.”

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 8.07.03.png

Really, it’s quite impressive how celebrities can influence the demand of a specific product. It’s just like when rock star Yoshiki caused a nationwide stampede for cheese crackers after he said he liked them. It’s a good thing the Empress has a couple of volumes set aside, otherwise she might not be able to get her hands on a copy when the time come!

Source: FNN Prime

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Hatsune Miku becomes classic hina doll to show girls they don’t have to get married to be happy

-- Tokyo’s crazy-luxurious obstetrics clinic delivers babies with service fit for a queen 【Pics】

-- A crime of jealousy? Horrific scene emerges after cat attacks princess doll

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

“When I read them, I get completely hooked and can’t do anything else, so up until now I’ve kept away from them. But after retirement I can easily keep them on hand. I’ve got two or three volumes standing by.”

I know this feeling! Love me some Wodehouse!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always loved Wodehouse, silliness at its best, and brilliantly well written silliness to boot.

The Empress of Emsworth is still one of my favourite characters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Empress has great taste, Wodehouse is wonderful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, but this article is about how popular it will be for Japanese readers and the picture shows Japanese translations.  Or am I missing something?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No need to translate for her - she speaks English fluently, has a B.A. (summa cum laude) in English Literature, and has done several Japanese - to - English translations.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes Wodehouse was the master.  but a lot of his talent and the charm of his stories lie in his user of the English language.  will be interested to see how well it translates.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Her Imperial Majesty has good taste. PG Wodehouse wrote a great yarn. I wonder if she enjoyed the TV series as well?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites