Our Story

"Books to Span the East and West”

MISSION: The Tuttle Publishing company was founded in 1832 in the small New England town of Rutland, Vermont [USA]. Our core values remain as strong today as they were then—to publish best-in-class books which bring people together one page at a time. Since 1948, when the company established a publishing outpost in Japan, Tuttle has become a leader in producing English-language books about the arts, languages and cultures of Asia. The world has now become a much smaller place, while Asia’s economic and cultural influence has grown tremendously. Yet the need for meaningful dialogue and information about this diverse region has never been greater. 

HISTORY: Many people are surprised to learn that the world's largest publisher of books on Asia is located in the small town of Rutland, Vermont. The company's modern founder, Charles E. Tuttle, belonged to a New England family steeped in publishing—but the war in the Pacific brought him to a new career in Japan.

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Tuttle's father was a noted antiquarian dealer, and Charles honed his knowledge of the trade working in the family bookstore, and later in the rare books section of Columbia University Library. His passion for beautiful books—old and new—never wavered throughout his long career as a bookseller and a publisher.

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After graduating from Harvard, Tuttle enlisted in the military and in 1945 was sent to Tokyo to work on General MacArthur's staff. He was tasked with helping to revive the Japanese publishing industry, which had been devastated by the war. After his tour of duty was completed, he left the military, married a talented and beautiful singer, Reiko Chiba, and in 1948 began several successful business ventures.

To his astonishment, Tuttle discovered that postwar Tokyo was actually a book-lover's paradise. He befriended dealers in the Kanda district and began supplying rare Japanese editions to American libraries. He also imported American books to sell to the millions of GIs stationed in Japan. By 1949, Tuttle's business was thriving, and he opened Tokyo's first English-language bookstore in the Takashimaya Department Store in Nihombashi, to great success. Two years later, he began publishing books to fulfill the growing interest in the West for all things Asian.

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Though a westerner, Tuttle was instrumental in bringing a knowledge of Japan and Asia to a world hungry for information about the East. By the time of his death in 1993, he had published over 6,000 books on Asian culture, history and art—a legacy honored by Emperor Hirohito in 1983 with the "Order of the Sacred Treasure," the highest honor Japan can bestow upon a non-Japanese.

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FROM IMAGE ABOVE: "The Emperor of Japan confers an Order of the Sacred Treasure on Charles E. Tuttle, a citizen of the United States of America. The Emperor put an officially registered seal on this the testimonial at the Imperial Palace on November 3rd in 1983." —Nakasone Yasuhiro, Prime  Minister and Nariaki Yanagawa, the Bureau of Award in the Prime Minister's office.

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Since its founding in 1948, Tuttle has published more than 6,000 books and today maintains an active backlist of around 2,000 titles, Many of the books originally published by Charles Tuttle in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s remain popular today—a great testament to his success as a publisher and his keen insight into delivering relevant content that stands the test of time. Today, Tuttle publishes 150 new titles each year in focusing on Asian Languages, Asian Food & Cooking, Gardening & Flower Arranging, Crafts & Origami, Children’s Books, Martial Arts, Asian Literature, Games & Graphic Novels, Asian History & Culture, Health & Fitness, Self-Help & Eastern Religion, Asian Art & Collectibles, Interior Design & Architecture, Travel Guides, Maps, and Business Books.‚Äč

Tuttle products are available in printed formats as well as popular eBook formats.