Help me expand this list! If you know of anywhere outside Japan where you can buy or borrow Japanese children’s books, or if you have more information about any of the places already on this list, e-mail me and let me know. Please include a link, if possible, and a general idea of things like how big the store is or how many books are available. (If it’s a library, see if there’s a way to search for all Japanese children’s books: for example, with the Tacoma library, if you search for “JAJ” (JApanese Juvenile) all the available books are returned.)

USA

California

Costa Mesa

  • Kinokuniya: I’ve never been to this location but I presume it’s like the one in Seattle: that is, a spectacular source for new Japanese books, including children’s books and manga.

Los Angeles

San Francisco

  • San Francisco Public Library – Western Addition Branch: Only this branch specializes in Japanese books. It is west of SF Japan town. There are hundreds of Japanese kids books. They have all levels from kid’s picture books to juvenile books. They also have adult level books in a different section. (Thanks to Wayne for the description!)
  • Kinokuniya: It’s been many years since I’ve been to this location, but like the Seattle branch, it was, and presumably still is, a huge Japanese-language bookstore with a good selection of children’s books and manga.

San Jose

Michigan

Ann Arbor

Novi

  • Mirai: medium-sized store with a good amount of new and some used books.

New York

New York City

Oregon

Portland

Tennessee

Nashville

  • The Nashville Public Library: has about 20 children’s books in Japanese, ranging from high level 1 to low level 3. These seem to all be at the main branch. Not much, but it is a place to start. (Thanks to e_dub_kendo for the description!)
  • McKay Used Books: I can’t speak for their other 2 locations, but the Nashville location is an enormous used book store, with an entire bookcase of Asian books. Generally these are about 70% Japanese. I usually only find 1 or 2 children’s books per visit, but there’s always plenty of manga. Prices are incredibly cheap. Generally I pay less than $1 per book. Sometimes you can find manga and light novels in really decent condition being sold for .25 cents. Definitely a resource worth checking out. (Thanks again to e_dub_kendo!)

Washington State

Pierce County

  • Pierce County Library: there are around 800 Japanese books of all levels spread among the various branches, though I can’t say how many of those are children’s books. The Lakewood branch and University Place branch seem to have the most.

Tacoma

Seattle

 

3 Responses to Local Sources for Japanese Kids’ Books

  1. e_dub_kendo says:

    Nashville, TN
    The Nashville Public Library ( http://www.library.nashville.org/ ) has about 20 children’s books in Japanese, ranging from high level 1 to low level 3. These seem to all be at the main branch. Not much, but it is a place to start.

    McKay Used Books ( http://www.mckaybooks.com/ )
    I can’t speak for their other 2 locations, but the Nashville location is an enormous used book store, with an entire bookcase of Asian books. Generally these are about 70% Japanese. I usually only find 1 or 2 children’s books per visit, but there’s always plenty of manga. Prices are incredibly cheap. Generally I pay less than $1 per book. Sometimes you can find manga and light novels in really decent condition being sold for .25 cents. Definitely a resource worth checking out.

    I’ll add more as I discover them. Still a few things I really need to get off my lazy rear end and check out ;P.

  2. Wayne says:

    Liana,

    After reading your blog, I wondered if the SF Public Library would have Japanese books. They do!! This idea would not have occurred to me except for your blog. I went today and checked out 10 Japanese kid’s picture books. Thanks!!

    San Francisco

    San Francisco Public Library – Western Addition Branch (http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=0100002101)
    Only this branch specializes in Japanese books. It is west of SF Japan town. There are hundreds of Japanese kids books. They have all levels from kid’s picture books to juvenile books. They also have adult level books in a different section.

  3. Liana says:

    Yay! Thank you, Wayne! That’s wonderful news. I added it to the list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>