If you live in Seattle, or have ever visited it, you probably know about Pikes Market. You’ve probably even visited its maze of shops and crowds of people. But have you even ventured deeper in?

Did you know that if you head down there are another two floors below ground level? Have you found Chin Music Press hidden away? A gold mine of Japanese and Japan related books?

 

Chin Music Press

Chin Music Press is a small publishers as well as a book shop. It was founded by Bruce Rutledge and Yuko Enomoto in 2002 when they lived in Tokyo.

They publish and sell translated fiction and nonfiction from Japanese to English. But also books originally written in English about Japan and the US.

They have such a wide arrange of books there’s bound to be something for everyone!

 

Chin Music Press’s Books

Here are just a few examples of the wide range of books they have.

 

Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

This tells the story of Misuzu Kaneko’s life through story and poetry, with some incredibly beautiful illustrations.

Poetry translation is (I think) one of the hardest forms of translation, but the translators have done a wonderful job transforming the original imagery in a beautiful way.

The poems tacking some deep thoughts and big ideas in a simple way that children can understand. It’s great that these poems can create a space for insightful discussions between children and adults.

Pikes Market's Japanese Book Store Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

 

To Love the Coming End

Described as a “teeming lyrical novel” this book by Leanne Dunic explores how the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake impacted life.

The book changes between diary-like narrative and poetry as the narrator explores Singapore, Fukushima, and Vancouver.

Leanne Dunic won the Alice Munro Short Story Contest and was shortlisted for the Asian-Canadian Emerging Writer Award in 2015.

Pikes Market's Japanese Book Store To Love the Coming End

 

 

Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan

Is a non-fiction piece that explores what it’s like being Japanese with ‘foreign’ ancestry. In other words, looking like a foreigner when you were born and raised in Japan.

Leslie D. Helm decides to adopt two Japanese children which inspires him to research his own family’s 140 year history in Japan.

It starts with his great-grandfather who was in the military in 1870 and did the unthinkable thing of marrying his Japanese mistress.

Helm uses his great-grandfather’s unpublished memoirs and other primary sources to convey that narratives about his family’s history.

Pikes Market's Japanese Book Store Yokohama Yankee

 

Why Ghosts Appear

This literary noir mystery follows a detective in Tokyo trying to find the missing son of a fortune teller.

But as he follows the string of clue’s he’s reminded of a previously unsolved case which still haunts him.

If you love suspense, mystery, Japanese culture, and the underbelly of societies, then this is a book for you!

 

Come for the Sights, Stay for the Poetry – Pikes Market’s Japanese Book Store