Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Real Japanese Craft Books (in a Real Japanese Book Store)

I used to order Japanese craft books from Etsy sellers when I lived in Alaska. I would examine the pages up close on the Etsy sites, just those four or five little pictures Etsy allowed for each book, and make a decision on whether or not those pages would be worth the price. Most of the books I bought always made me happy, but I longed for a time I could page through them myself and decide based on the whole book.

I had heard that there was a bookstore in the Portland/Beaverton area that carried the same books. My sister Johanna lives in the Portland/Beaverton area. I didn't investigate further. I already felt guilty about spending time in Target (Alaska didn't get a Target until fall of 2008) when I visited my family, how could I then spend hours in a Japanese bookstore looking at craft books?

So now that I live down in the Lower 48, I finally googled Kinokuniya.

It is 1.8 miles from my sister's house. ONE POINT EIGHT. Ugh.

So I went!  The following pictures are officially titled...

Japanese Book Store Eye Candy
For your enjoyment.

And I bought two adorable books.

I love them.

Here they are!  The big red one is here.  The small one is here.  The small book's projects are pretty much what you see on the cover.  Small bags for toting your lunch or your shoes.  Or paper.  But the big red book!  Variety!  Behold!

I love all the different bags in the big red book.  So many choices...

And more choices...

And more choices!

I especially liked how clear the directions seemed in this book.  More clear than usual anyway.  It's still Japanese.

How cute are these illustrations?!  These are the designs for embroidery.

If you don't live close to a Kinokuniya, but know which Japanese craft book you want to order, Alicia of Posy Gets Cosy has a post here that talks about the Beaverton store (the one I went to) and how to order your books through them.

And, if you want to purchase them through Etsy anyway, I loved getting them from this shop or this shop.

So, now I have lots of lovely Japanese craft books.  Have I sewn something from them? Uh...not yet.  I am dreaming of taking this class here to teach me how someday soon!

Do you have a favorite Japanese craft book?  Have you sewn something from one?


  1. You have got to be kidding - that's so close to me. I never would have thought of checking that store for Japanese books. This was a dangerous post to read!

  2. My fave is your fave! I could plant myself in the store for hours, and an empty wallet later.

  3. Many a happy hour I have spent in that store! I just love the instructions in the Japanese books - so easy to understand! (Since I like pictures and not words.)

  4. This post makes me so excited to move to NYC (despite all the craziness this summer has brought) because there's a Japanese book store their that I love. You picked some beauties. I have sewn from Japanese craft books before and I do find it confusing but doable if you have some time and patience :)


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