Playboy’s Japanese Edition Ends 33-Year Run

Jan 1, 2009 11:00 AM PST
TOKYO — You can say sayonara to the Japanese edition of Playboy magazine.

December’s issue — its last — had a paltry press run of about 55,000.

When it launched in May 1975, the Japanese edition of Playboy had an initial press run of 438,000 copies, which sold out in about three hours.

Executives at Tokyo-based publishing house Shueisha Inc. at the time were so ecstatic that they ordered another 22,000 copies printed.

These days, however, Shueisha finds more consumer interest in its mainstream publications like Seventeen, You, More and Cookie, among others.

The Japanese edition of Playboy was unlike any other of the two-dozen international editions, which all are licensed by Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises Inc.

With an emphasis on fashion, the Japanese edition was the only one in which women do not grace the cover. About 80 percent of the material in any issue was original to the Japanese edition.

The first issue included a translation of "The Fight," a report by Norman Mailer on the "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match in Zaire between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974 that originally appeared in the U.S. edition.

Playboy’s cover of it final issue features a white bunny logo against a black background, a layout that mirrors its inaugural issue.

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