Magazine Hunting @ Jinbōchō

Ohhhh, I was stomping and squealing in front of the TV as Japanese women’s ice hockey team struggled against the Swedes. Even though the Japanese was defeated with a narrow margin of 1 – 0, they played really tenaciously and made me proud. I am also very much looking forward to watching more ice hockey later on on BBC2.
Oh, what a treat!

Now, let’s rewind my memory to our escapade in Tokyo…
We got off metro at Jinbōchō, the heart of used book trading in Tokyo…

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The first shop we headed to was Komiyama-shoten (小宮山書店), located along Yasukuni-dōri Street, 1 minute walk from the metro exit A7.
They were specialised in vintage art books & magazines…

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Their shelves were crammed with valuable volumes. I imagined Hubbie would have gone nuts if he were here…

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The magazine I was after was a copy of Harper’s Bazaar from the 60’s. Unfortunately, they had nothing in stock. So we headed to our second destination, Magnif (マグニフ) on Suzuran-dōri, stone’s throw from Komiyama-shoten…

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Magnif was much smaller in scale but it made much easier for us to look for what we were after…

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They did have more than a few HB from the 60’s and I was over the moon! The magazine was meant to be a souvenir for Hubbie who was an avid fan of Avedon & Brodovitch…

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A trip down memory lane.
I was happy to find copies of “Olive” the magazine of my youth on the shelves…

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The shop was so much nicer than that snobbish and unhelpful bookshop, Comptoir d’Image in Paris. And they had more stock than that miserable old man behind the counter did too.
And instead of being piled up on a filthy floor and covered with dust, each copy of vintage magazines was kept in a plastic sleeve and recorded meticulously. All in all, they were more professional…

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I will definitely be visiting those two amazing bookshops again and exploring the area further.

Ta-dah!

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Phew! So relieved that I managed to find something Hubbie would love. I could hardly wait to see a big smile on Hubbie’s face…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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…

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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)…

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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…

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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)…

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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…

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The article was about how to use frozen vegetables…

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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…

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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…

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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

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