July 18, 2011

Whats Popped Up: A Japanese Book

This weekend we got to see Japan’s overtime win in the finals of the Women’s World Cup. I do not confess to be much of a soccer fan, but even I eagerly watched the penalty kicks as an underdog Japanese team bested the U.S. squad. Let face it, Japan needed a win after the horrible trifecta of earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

So today, we are taking a closer look at Japanese pop-up books. Long coveted with high price tags, I can only drool over photos and Ebay listings. Today I found a link to A Japanese Book, a small online bookseller based in, you guessed it, Japan. The owner has created a webpage that showcases 60 years of Japanese edition movable books, which you can find here.

He prefaced the list with these words: “Modern Japanese pop-up and movable books (tobidasu ehon) are still at their beginning. Japan counts numerous fine illustrators and writers, and has a very active book industry — the only thing left is for paper engineers and publishers to give one another the means to realize their desires and meet our expectations! Greatly looking forward to it.”

I too am looking forward to the creative collaborations that continue to come out of this tiny island nation. Some of these pop-up books are simple adaptations of popular cartoon enterprises but as you scroll down to more recent titles you will see there are many winners; just like Coach Sasaki and his team of champions.


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