Wednesday, December 24, 2003
I've been into reading 'modern' Japanese writers from the 60s and 70s for as long as I've been aware of them. In their books, there have invariably been descriptions of the new & used bookstore district in Jinbocho that they frequented. I guess if you were a writer living in Tokyo anytime in the middle/middle-latter part of the last century, you spent a lot of time in that part of the city taking advantage of what the all seem to have agreed was hands down the best place to go. Personally, I'm not given to anachronism for its own sake, especially when it comes to Japan. I AM into progressive phenomenon like 'slow life' and the burgeoning 'shitamachi' arts scene. Well the other day, I went down to Jinbocho to see for myself is there were any remnants of the old bibliophile scene left, not really expecting much. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the area enjoying a kind renaissance! You can read all about it here. I have to admit that I've been patronizing a few exorbitant 'select shop'/'specialty' bookstores in the Nakameguro area, and one which recently opened in Kichijoji specializing in used English books (I found it rather poorly stocked), but now I've seen the light! From now on, I'll endeavor to adopt more of a DIY attitude when it comes to my used book shopping. From here on out, you can find me on Friday afternoons browsing the shelves in and around Jinbocho, and on the weekends taking my treasures over to my favorite cafes around my studio for reading.