Re: Ehon dealers in Japan


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Posted by Colin Birch on October 23, 2002 at 02:12:08:

In Reply to: Ehon dealers in Japan posted by Stephen on October 22, 2002 at 18:10:59:

Hi,
I would be interested to see what other people suggest. I have probably only found the most obvious and expensive places.
Near Jimbocho station, Tokyo:
Ohya Shobo is more or less at the end of the main book sellers' street, at street level, at a bend in the street, with a big sign based on a Hokusai Fuji.
You pass Isseido on your way there from the central book sellers' junction.
Hara Shobo is in the opposite diection. They sell old ehon on the first floor.
I forget the name of another shop near Isseido and easy to find, which sells fabulously expensive ehon on its upper floor.

In Kyoto there is a dealer selling ehon in the shopping arcade between sanjo-dori and shijo-dori. There is also a print shop at the entrance to the arcade, which is supposed to be good, but you have to ask for items to be brought from the back of the shop. Unsodo is also in roughly the same area, but I have never been there, so I don't know exactly where they are or what they sell.

Everything is labelled in Japanese, and none of the dealers speaks English much better than my very poor Japanese. Most Japanese, let alone foreigners, would have trouble understanding the titles even if they could read the script. Some books, like Hokusai Manga, are easy to recognise from the covers and familiar artist names. Otherwise you will often not know what is in a book until you open it. If you are looking for high value books, you should ask for assistance. Prices tend to be written as multiples of Y10,000, so take care, because some books are very valuable.

Incidentally, you may need a permit if you want to leave Japan with a valuable ehon. I don't have that kind of money, but the queue for passport control at the airport is surrounded by reminders about export permits.

Enjoy your shopping!


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