Benesse Corporation (ベネッセコーポレーション, Benesse Kōporēshon) is a Japanese company which focuses on correspondence education and publishing. Based in Okayama-City, it is the parent company of Berlitz Language Schools, which in turn is the parent company of ELS Language Centers. Benesse is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (listing code 9783).

Benesse Holdings, Inc.
TypePublic KK
TYO: 9783
IndustryEducational Services
FoundedJanuary 28, 1955
Key people
Eikoh Harada
RevenueDecrease JPY 430.064 billion (2017) [1]
Decrease JPY 7.685 billion (2017) [1]
Increase JPY 3.557 billion (2017) [1]
Number of employees
21,022 (consolidated) (2017) [1]
SubsidiariesBerlitz Language Schools
Benesse Corporation Building in Tokyo, Japan.

Origin of the company nameEdit

The company name is derived from the Latin words "bene" (well) and "esse" (being).

Company historyEdit

The company was founded in 1955 as Fukutake Publishing Co., Ltd. (株式会社福武書店, Kabushiki-gaisha Fukutake Shoten) by Tetsuhiko Fukutake, as a publisher of educational materials. In 1986, Soichiro Fukutake succeeded his father as President on the latter's death.[2] In 1994, the company completed the construction of the Fukutake Shoten Tokyo Building (now Benesse Corporation Tokyo Building) in Tama-City, Tokyo. In April 1995, the company was renamed Benesse Corporation.

A major breakthrough in the company's history was the acquisition of a majority stake in Berlitz Language Schools, which had gone public in 1989. In 2001, Benesse completed the take-over by acquiring 100% ownership of Berlitz and making it a private company once again.

Benesse FoundationEdit

The Benesse House is a 10-room hotel located inside a contemporary art museum on the island of Naoshima in the Seto Inland Sea.[3] Built in 1992, it was designed in partnership with architect Tadao Ando.[3] It was built by the Benesse Foundation which is funded by the Benesse Corporation.[3]


Benesse is the originator of the Kodomo Challenge educational program,[4] which debuted in April 1988 and introduced three young-animal mascot characters: Shimajiro the tiger, Torippi/Flappy the parrot,[N 1] and Ramurin the lamb.[5] These characters, along with later 1991 addition Mimirin/Mimi-Lynne the rabbit,[5][N 1] would appear in a long-running series of Shimajiro anime starting in 1993.[6]


  1. ^ a b Names to the left of the slashes are the original Japanese; those to the right, the English ones used in WildBrain Spark's dub.


  1. ^ a b c d Fact Sheet - Investor Relations
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Williams, Ingrid K (26 August 2011). "Japanese Island as Unlikely Arts Installation". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Benesse's Preschool Education Course Faring Well in China: Pres" (Press release). Jiji Press English News Service. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2022-02-12 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ a b Takō, Wakako (2020-02-20). "通信教育発「しまじろう」、"子どもと一緒に成長"するキャラクターが30年愛された理由". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved 2022-02-12.
  6. ^ "BENESSE CORPORATION'S PRESCHOOL HIT SHIMAJIRO WINS MAYOR AWARD". Licensing Magazine (Press release). 2021-09-20. Retrieved 2022-02-12.

External linksEdit