1 For Mum & 1 For Me

From Danchi-Do, I brought back a book for mum and an old magazine for me.

A book I bought for mum…


This book about French antiques & vintages, was written by Asabuki Tomiko (朝吹登美子) who was the first author to translate the works of French novelist, Françoise Sagan, famous for her book, “Bonjour Tristesse” (1954)…


My mum loves travelling, especially to overseas.
However, her lower back had started to trouble her 7 years ago and at one stage the pain got so unbearable, she nearly gave up all hopes of boarding airplanes ever again.
But being always a little fighter, instead of popping pain-killer and taking up a more sedentary lifestyle, she started to walk in a shallow swimming pool in order to get fitter and strengthen the muscles to support her lower back. Under the watchful eye of her physician, she stuck to her exercise regimen day in day out for 6 years and eventually, her back was well enough for a long-haul flight. She proved herself by holidaying in NYC last October and was over the moon about her achievement.
By being given a book of European vintage and antique market, she would be even more motivated to be fitter and healthier, I thought…


I’ve invited her to London this June, by the way. I can hardly wait to zoom around the city with her!

The magazine I bought for myself was Kurashi no Techo (暮しの手帖)…


This magazine was first published in 1953 and had been well-known and trusted by consumers for having no advertiser to fund their publication.
It contained a number of interesting essays and articles for women, especially targeting housewives – like Good Housekeeping magazine with no ads.

The copy I brought home was the spring issue, 1971…


The article was about how to use frozen vegetables…


During the 70’s, the speed of westernisation in the Japanese lifestyle was accelerated and as the result, the way people cooked their everyday food had changed too. Eating in the western-style became fashionable and desirable…


I showed the copy to Hubbie too when I was back in London. Some of the layouts and graphics were refreshingly modern. We were impressed…


I really moan on about the disappearance of used bookshops in London. Where have they all gone? I miss them so much…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

2 thoughts on “1 For Mum & 1 For Me

  1. I love secondhand bookstores too! There’s a district in Tokyo that does that and I remember going there to get a few books when I was a student.

    I like the magazine you got. While 21st Century Japan amazes me and I absolutely love it, I find it really interesting to look into history and see how Japanese society has changed. I’ve got a book from Blackwells Oxford two Xmas ago on Cafe culture in Japan and how it was influenced by Europeanisation and Americanisation. The BBC then did a documentary on jazz cafes in the 60&70s in Japan!

    • You mean Jinbo-cho? Yes, I went there for magazine- hunting for Paul! Instead of being piled up on the floor and gathering dust in European used bookshop, the vintage magazines in Jinbo-cho were meticulously categorised and wrapped up individually. It was fantastic!! I shall write about the experience later on. So please wait for it 😘

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