I know Viz's Shonen Jump has an ISSN (1545-7818), but that's from North America.

Do any Japanese manga magazines (e.g. Weekly Shonen Jump, Monthly Shonen Gangan, Dengeki Daioh, Comic Yuri Hime, etc.) have ISSNs?

  • Related on Writing.SE: What is the difference between ISSN and ISBN?
    – Hakase
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 12:54
  • Have you looked at a cover scan/photo of any of these magazines? Did you see a barcode?
    – Hakase
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 12:55
  • I don't have access to any of these magazines, so I don't know. I was hoping someone here might be able to check.
    – ahiijny
    Commented Apr 10, 2018 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


By all indications, no.

There are a few places I checked. First, while Wikipedia gives the ISSN for magazines such as Shonen Jump but doesn't give it for magazines such as Weekly Shonen Jump or LaLa.

Second, I looked at OCLC WorldCat, which similarly gives the ISSN for Shonen Jump but not Weekly Shonen Jump or LaLa. (Those are just some random popular magazines I picked, I checked for others as well, I just don't want to list them all.)

Lastly, I checked the ISSN International Centre, which has Shonen Jump but can't find Weekly Shonen Jump or LaLa. The reason I didn't mention this first is that a lack of search results is not always the best indicator of something not existing, particularly when there are issues across languages, but I did search in both English and Japanese, so I'm fairly certain this means there just aren't ISSNs for them.

Extrapolating out, it can be assumed that Japanese manga magazines don't have ISSNs. However, they do have 雑誌コード (magazine codes) that are used as identification codes for magazines/journals in Japan. The Wikipedia article is in Japanese but if you translate it, it provides a decent explanation. You can also see the magazine code (09206-06) to the left of the barcode in the magazine below.

Magazine with Magazine Code


kuwaly's answer is correct; in Japan, ISSN is not generally used. They instead use either 雑誌コード (zasshi CODE, magazine/journal code), JAN (Japanese Article Number) code, or 定期刊行物コード (teikikan koubutsu CODE, periodical publication code).

Magazine code is located on the back cover on the bottom left with the format "雑誌 ABBBC-MM/YY" or "雑誌 ABBBC-I":

  • A: Issuing form code
    • 0, 1: monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly
    • 2, 3: weekly, bi-weekly
    • (4-9 is omitted skipped since it seems unrelated to Japanese manga magazine)
  • BBB: Magazine name code
  • C: Extra info
    • If A is 0, 1 (monthly):
      • odd number: regular
      • even number: extra/special
    • If A is 2, 3 (weekly):
      • 1-5: issuing week
      • 6-9: extra/special
  • MM/YY: Month & year, or
  • I: Issue number

Taking kuwaly's example of 09206-06, it means:

  • 0: Monthly
  • 920: LaLa Special
  • 6: Special
  • 06: Issue number #6

JAN (Japanese Article Number) code is an exclusive code for Japanese publication which is compatible with EAN code. It's always started with 49/45 and is in a format of 13-digit or the shortened 8-digit code.

For the 13-digit code:

  • Country code (2 digits)
  • Maker code (5/7 digits)
  • Product code (5/3 digits)
  • Check digit (1 digit)

For the shortened 8-digit code:

  • Country code (2 digits)
  • Maker code (4 digits)
  • Product code (1 digit)
  • Check digit (1 digit)

Taking kuwaly's example of 4910092060607 (13-digit), it means:

  • 49: Japan
  • 1009206: LaLa Special (note the magazine code)
  • 060: Issue number #6
  • 7: Check digit

Periodical publication code is an extension of JAN code, consisted of 18 digits with 5 add-on digits. The format is AAABCCCCCDDEF-GHHHH:

  • AAA: Periodical publication flag (fixed to 491 for Japanese magazine)
  • B: Reserved code 1 (for the time being, fixed to 0)
  • CCCCC: Magazine code
  • DD: Month/issue number
  • E: Year (the last digit of the year)
  • F: Check digit
  • G: Reserved code 2 (for the time being, fixed to 0)
  • H: Price (in 1 Yen)

Again, taking kuwaly's example of 4910092060607-00590, it means:

  • 491: Japanese magazine
  • 0: Reserved code 1
  • 09206: LaLa Special
  • 06: Issue number #6
  • 0: Year 2010
  • 7: Check digit
  • 0: Reserved code 2
  • 0590: 590 Yen (before tax)

Regarding ISSN in Japan,


Unlike other countries, ISSN is not used in the distribution of serial publications in Japan ("magazine code" is the common one), granting of ISSN will take place only after the publisher apply for it.

Sources: Japanese Wikipedia

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