We are super excited to announce that the Japanese rights to Mia Kankimäki’s Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster were acquired by Soshisha. Congratulations Mia and your new publisher Soshisha!

“Thank you very much for allowing us to introduce such an intriguing book to Japanese readers. Finland on the northern edge of the Eurasian continent and Japan, an island country in the Far East, may be as far apart as possible, but we do seem to share some characteristic traits, such as being naturally shy. (Aren’t we!?) I am pleasantly surprised that Mia Kankimäki, the author born in Finland took an interest in a female Japanese author from 1,000 years ago and decided to travel all the way to this country. Readers here will be more than excited to discover how Japan appeared in her eyes.”  Hiroshi Fujita, Chief Editor, Soshisha

“It is always the most delightful experience to find something new and valuable in unexpected places. Mia Kankimäki’s book is one of those things. Kankimäki imitates Sei Shonagon’s style of making lists and succeeds in conveying a message that human life is not a chronological story, but a collection of moments that carry different meanings.” – Suvi Ahola, Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

”Mia’s fascinating books will definitely make your heart beat faster: A beautiful, exceptional style, fancy ideas, honesty, bravery and wittiness – an exciting new voice. – Madlen Reimer, Editor, btb Verlag, Verlagsgruppe Random House

Sold over 30,000 copies in Finland!

Who was Sei Shonagon? A sharp-tongued courtesan, a brilliant poet and forgotten genius or something completely different? What is actually known about this Heian era writer who has always been living in the shadow of her famous rival, Murasaki Shikibu?

In this book the author Mia Kankimäki quits her job and travels to Japan to fulfill her long-time dream to do research about the court lady and poet Sei Shonagon, whose 1000-years-old writings had enchanted Mia’s heart.

In Kyoto Mia is faced with all things beautiful and strange. Cherry blossoms, bath houses, temples and incredible food, but on the other hand experiences a culture shock and language-barrier makes her research slow down. In her witty and humorous way she describes her three months in Kyoto, and the reader will learn a great deal about the modern day Japan, get great travel tips, and learn all there is to know about mysterious Sei Shonagon.

Perfect for those who love travelling and making lists!

Rights sold:

FINLAND: Otava (orig.)
ITALY: Edizioni Piemme
JAPAN: Soshisha
GERMANY: btb Verlag/Random House

Reading material:

English sample & synopsis

About author

Mia Kankimäki

Mia Kankimäki is the author of two best-selling books which blend travelogue, memoir, biography, and women’s history. After taking a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Helsinki and working diligently in Finnish publishing, in 2010 she left her job and traveled to Japan to write her first book. Her books have received several literary awards, for example the Best Travel Book of the Year 2013, the HelMet Award 2015, and Otava Book Foundation’s Non-Fiction Award 2020. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland, whenever she’s not traveling for her next book project.

Mia has been enthusiastic about Japanese culture for years and is a qualified ikebana teacher of the Sogetsu school. Her first book Things That Make One’s Hear Beat Faster took her to Kyoto where she has spent long periods of writing and making research ever since. Kankimäki’s second book The Women I Think About at Night has sold over 55,000 copies in Finland and the translation rights have been sold to 21 territories, including USA and China.

Mia's both books have been aqcuired by Japanese publisher Soshisha:

"I am delighted to share that Mia Kankimäki’s debut title, THINGS THAT MAKE ONE’S HEART BEAT FASTER, is embraced and loved by many Japanese readers. A cross between an autobiography and a travelogue, the author finds an emotional connection with a woman geographically far apart and from a different era and tries to discover who she really was. I believe this style is reflected in THE WOMEN I THINK ABOUT AT NIGHT as well. Though some of the female figures in this second book might not be well-known locally, I am looking forward to seeing how our readers will react to their lifestyles." - Daisuke Watanabe, Editor, Soshisha


2018, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

The Women I Think About At Night

Mia Kankimäki

2013, General Nonfiction, Narrative Nonfiction

Things That Make One's Heart Beat Faster

Mia Kankimäki