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Sijosa Reflects on 110th Anniversary
February 03, 2020

 Sijosa, the Adventist publishing house in Korea, celebrated its 110th anniversary on October 31, 2019. All of the staff and committee members attended the celebration, which was held at the auditorium at the Sijosa. They gave thanks to God.

Pastor Hwang ChunKwang, president of the Korean Union Conference, delivered a sermon at the service. “It has truly been a blessing for Sijosa to serve God and preach the gospel through its publications for the past 110 years.” He also brought up the concern over the fast-changing environment of the publishing industry. “If you keep asking yourself what, why, and how in regard to your business and ask God for his wisdom, you can lead the publishing ministries in the future.”

Sijosa began its ministries in March 1909 with Washington Hand Press, a small hand-printing device, located in the corner of a school building at “Uimyoung School” in Soonan, which is now in North Korea. Four years before that, in 1905, the church leaders, recognizing the importance of publishing ministries, sent two young men to Japan to learn about the printing technology.  

At that time, the name of the company was “Seventh-day Adventist Mission Press.” The word “Mission” in its earlier name clearly reveals its identity. It shows the path it has been on and the path forward.

In August 1936, Sijosa imported a high-priced printing machine from Japan, which enabled them to print various magazines and books in large quantities in a short period of time. In September of the same year, the circulation of Signs of Time, one of the main periodicals of Sijosa, reached 39,000. They kept printing more than 30,000 copies until 1939. Considering that the population of Korea at the time was 15 million and the number of Seventh-day Adventists was only around five thousand, the circulation is surprising.

Although Sijosa has gone through tumultuous times, it is now recognized as one of the historic gospel publishing houses in Korea. However, it still faces challenges from the unstable publishing market, which has suffered from a long-term recession in Korea in recent years. Sijosa needs to be competitive with the development of various platforms and contents in conjunction with Information Technology (IT). Innovations that meet the needs of consumers should be made.

“Even though many challenges come from inside and outside, we will strive for continuous improvement. We will respond to the changes in the Korean publishing market, and at the same time, we will keep trying to find opportunities in foreign markets. Through our efforts, we can accomplish the mission of spreading the gospel and hasten Jesus’ second coming,” said Um KilSoo, president of Sijosa.