Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kinokuniya Bookstore in Costa Mesa, California!

Last Sunday afternoon, I visited the Kinokuniya Bookstore in Costa Mesa, California. The Kinokuniya is a Japanese bookstore chain founded in 1927 with its first storefront in Tokyo. According to Wikipedia:
 Kinokuniya is the largest bookstore chain in Japan, with 56 shops around the country, in cities such as Osaka, Kyoto and Sapporo. Overall, it has more than 80 stores in Japan and overseas.
Its first overseas store opened in San Francisco in 1969. Several other bookstores have since opened in the United States, in cities including Los Angeles and New York. It then ventured into the Asia-Pacific market, opening its first store in Singapore (Liang Court Store) in 1983. Shops in Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand followed suit. In 1996, Kinokuniya launched the first outlet in Australia, located in Sydney's Neutral Bay. It later moved to its present location in George Street in the CBD.
Since 2000, Kinokuniya in the US has capitalised on the growing popularity of anime by stocking both English- and Japanese-language manga, as well as other anime-related paraphernalia. The New York City branch in Rockefeller Center was the best-known, encompassing, lengthwise, an entire city block. A new store has recently opened on Avenue of the Americas, near Bryant Park, replacing the old store, which closed at the end of 2007.
The Costa Mesa storefront is in a nice sized location in a quaint strip mall just off the 405 Freeway.
KinoKuniya Storefront in Costa Mesa
I'm unable to speak or read Japanese, but I was nonetheless intrigued by the prospect of visiting the Kinokuniya storefront and encountering an entire bookstore filled with mostly books, magazines, etc. published in the Japanese language. Aside from books and magazines, one may find origami paper, blank journals, small toys, and character goods (i.e. anime figures).

There was a small selection of books published in English. I was most amused with some of the English language book titles in stock at the Kinokuniya Bookstore. I saw the following book titles there: How to Poo at Work, How Do You Light a Fart?, The Penis Name Book and Hello Kitty Must Die. Who comes up with these book titles and book topics? They certainly do grab ones attention, don't they?

I enjoyed perusing the Kinokuniya Bookstore. I'm now look forward to browsing a Russian language bookstore in the future!

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