Huffington Post Japan have recently investigated the matter of whether a woman could be an editor at Weekly Shonen Jump. This came off the back of an anonymous tweet which stated that Shueisha had visited the Twitter user’s university. Allegedly when Shueisha HR were asked “Can women become editors at Shonen Jump?”, they responded, “It’s not without precedent, but you have to understand the hearts of boys”.
When the Huffington Post wrote Shueisha to ask if this was true, they received the following statement from the manga publishers:
Our company conducts seminars at a number of university campuses. Regarding the matter of female editors at Jump, our statement is as follows:
It is not unprecedented. There are women at Jump+, and publications like Young Jump have had female editors in the past. Women’s fashion magazines need people who understand women’s fashion regardless of gender, so for a shonen manga it’s important to understand the hearts of boys.
Also, new recruits to the company are not selected based on the department. We hire suitable people for the company as a whole, and after they have joined, they are assigned to a place that suits them. Regarding the statement made above, we cannot answer any questions regarding the date or the name of the university it took place in.
It is oddly apparent here, and Huffington Post also noted, that this statement doesn’t actually answer their question.
The magazine has owned up to its lack of female editors. In a 2018 radio interview, Shonen Jump‘s deputy editor in chief Kohei Onishi said it’s never had a single female editor in its 50-year history. Certain Jump staff might feel a pang of guilt, but for now it seems unlikely that Shueisha will take that crucial step towards workplace equality.