Once I lived in Japan, I collected fairly a tower of secondhand yuri manga. I needed to enhance my studying velocity for the JLPT, and I felt decided to do it in a means that was pleasing (learn: sapphic) and pleasant to each the setting and my checking account.
Suffice it to say, I bought very acquainted with the yuri sections of my native used bookstores. At any time when I visited, I imagined all of the queer ladies in Nagoya passing the identical few volumes of manga round to one another. It was like an unstated lending library taking place on the hilariously tiny homosexual shelf of each Ebook-Off on the town. Each ebook had a historical past earlier than me and a future after me, hopefully having a optimistic affect on everybody it touched.
However it doesn’t matter what style floats your boat, I need that feeling of neighborhood reuse for you too. So how do you get began shopping for secondhand Japanese books? Fortunately, it isn’t too powerful. On this article, I will provide my suggestions on the place to purchase secondhand Japanese books and manga, each in Japan and abroad. However first, I will wax lyrical concerning the wonders of secondhand ebook shopping for and educate you some useful Japanese phrases for the method. I hope that after studying, you are feeling extra comfy throwing down some yen at your native secondhand bookstore!
Why Purchase Secondhand Japanese Books & Manga?
In fact, there are tons of excellent causes to purchase Japanese books and manga. Perhaps you need to degree up your Japanese studying comprehension with some intensive studying, or 多読 (tadoku). Or maybe you are simply an otaku on the lookout for some manga translated into your native language. However why exit of your means to purchase them secondhand?
Used manga is notoriously cheap in Japan — we’re speaking lower than 100 yen per quantity typically.
The reply is fairly easy: cheapness, child. Used manga is notoriously cheap in Japan — we’re speaking lower than 100 yen per quantity typically. And used books will not be that far behind, with some nice finds priced at lower than 1,000 yen. Plus, it is usually not possible to inform the distinction between a brand new ebook and a secondhand one in Japan. Personally, I by no means observed any flaws vital sufficient to hinder my studying expertise among the many used books I purchased there.
On high of that, you are doing the setting a favor by reusing a pre-owned merchandise, so you may get some self-congratulatory emotions out of the deal. It additionally feels nice to move on a narrative or assortment of ideas that affected you to another person in your neighborhood by way of secondhand resale, or 買い取り (kaitori). Earlier than I left Japan, I resold all however one in all my sixty-six volumes of LGBTQ+ manga, partially as a result of I assumed they’d do extra good being learn by another person than on my shelf accumulating mud. (And partially as a result of I used to be out of baggage house.)
If you wish to assist your favourite authors or mangaka by shopping for their work full-price, I completely perceive. I like to do this too! However in any other case, contemplate this a pleasant invitation to a minimum of examine whether or not the books you need can be found secondhand. And what can be a good way to start out trying?
Japanese Phrases to Look For
…That is proper, studying some vocabulary! In case you’re solely on the lookout for translated books, you in all probability will not want a lot Japanese. However if you happen to’re in Japan, shopping for books written in Japanese, or utilizing Japanese websites, you may should be hip to some widespread phrases. First, listed here are a couple of normal phrases for purchasing something secondhand in Japanese.
|on-line purchasing, mail order
|リサイクルショップ (risaikuru shoppu, “recycle store”)
|retailer that sells used items
|フリーマーケット (furī māketto)
|フリマアプリ (furima apuri)
|flea market/e-commerce app
|買取, 買い取り (kaitori)
|common retail worth (new)
|参考上代 (sankō jōdai)
|producer’s recommended retail worth, MSRP (new)
|もったいない or 勿体ない (mottainai)
|wasteful, a waste (typically used to explain items that might go to waste if not put up on the market)
Bought these phrases down? Effectively completed, my fellow cheapskate. Now, listed here are some extra particular phrases for all of your secondhand (and common) book-buying wants.
|中古漫画 (chūko manga)
中古コミック (chūko komikku)
|古本屋 (furuhon’ya), 古書店 (koshoten)
|single quantity/standalone ebook
|X巻セット (X maku setto)
|X-volume set (e.g. 8-volume set)
And that is it! Fairly simple in comparison with shopping for secondhand garments. Subsequent up — the place do you discover these musty outdated tomes anyway?
The place to Discover Secondhand Books & Manga from Japan
Happily, Japan has no scarcity of secondhand booksellers, from international chains to native outlets to on-line marketplaces. So the place do you have to begin? Effectively, it depends upon the place you reside and what sort of ebook or manga you are on the lookout for.
Would you like secondhand books written in Japanese? Then your choices are:
- purchase Japanese books which can be already in your nation,
- import books from retailers that ship internationally or by way of a third-party forwarding service, or
- stay in Japan.
In case you do not stay in Japan, you might be in for a tough time.
In case you do not stay in Japan, you might be in for a tough time. Possibility #2 will be wallet-bustingly costly, so I extremely advocate going with #1 at any time when doable. Significantly, it is the import charges that’ll getcha! However if you happen to should import, strive ordering issues in bulk to avoid wasting on worldwide delivery. Or you may all the time purchase e-books in Japanese, eliminating delivery prices completely. (Are you able to inform that is my most well-liked technique after leaving Japan?)
Then again, are you on the lookout for secondhand books which can be translated into English or one other language? Excellent news — that tends to be simpler, assuming you do not stay in Japan. All you want to do is purchase from sellers inside your nation or Japanese retailers with a global presence.
First, I will introduce shops which have each Japanese places/web sites and worldwide web sites with abroad delivery. These are nice locations to search for each translated and untranslated books/manga. Then, I will get into some Japan-only retailers that promote primarily untranslated works. Reference whichever sections are most helpful to you, relying on the place you hold your hat. Darn you, measurement of the world!
Shops with Each Japanese and Worldwide Web sites
Exterior of Japan, it may be fairly simple to search out new, translated manga. Even untranslated books and manga aren’t exhausting to trace down if you happen to’re fortunate sufficient to stay close to a Kinokuniya or Ebook-Off. Nonetheless, shopping for Japanese books/manga which can be each secondhand and untranslated is by far the hardest permutation if you happen to stay abroad.
It is not not possible, although! You will simply need to boot up the nice outdated web, which is why I’ve centered on on-line shops right here. For analysis functions, I went so far as the delivery display at every service provider to match worldwide delivery prices. (Sit up for the juicy exposé within the following sections.) I put them so as from those I am most acquainted with to least acquainted with, however they’re all price perusing.
Relaxation assured, all of those shops provide methods to purchase from inside Japan and internationally. So irrespective of the place you reside, take a look at these accessible retailers for all of your secondhand ebook/manga wants!
If there is a one-stop store for secondhand Japanese books and manga, in my view, it is Suruga-ya. Most of my leaning tower of secondhand manga in Japan got here from me and my pockets letting unfastened on their on-line retailer. Like quite a lot of secondhand books/manga in Japan, one quantity is usually solely 100-200 yen. Suruga-ya additionally has the most cost effective delivery costs I’ve seen inside Japan: lower than 500 yen for orders below 1500 yen, and free for orders 1500 yen or extra. This low threshold totally free delivery makes it dangerously simple to only preserve crawling again for extra.
I would actually solely advocate Suruga-ya if you will get home delivery inside Japan.
The delivery charges on their worldwide website are fairly a bit steeper although. My faux buy of 1 160 yen ebook would’ve price me over 2,000 yen to ship, and 4 books would’ve run me about 4500 yen in delivery charges. Moreover, you solely get delivery reductions if you happen to spend 10,000 yen or extra, and so they’re fairly measly (500 yen off for spending 10,000 yen; 1,000 yen off for spending 20,000 yen). Thus, I would actually solely advocate Suruga-ya if you will get home delivery inside Japan or are determined for sure untranslated titles and prepared to shell out for worldwide delivery.
However uniquely, Suruga-ya additionally sells secondhand video games, merchandise, toys, CDs, DVDs, electronics, and extra that additionally are typically fairly low-cost. So if you wish to throw any of that into your cart whilst you’re at it, Suruga-ya could be useful for you! It is actually my best choice for secondhand manga.
Talking of my biggest loves on this merciless universe, sure, I’m as soon as once more shilling for Mercari. For the uninitiated, Mercari is a Japanese e-commerce app/web site the place atypical individuals purchase and promote their used items. In case you’ve by no means heard of it earlier than, take a look at our normal article on secondhand purchasing for extra detailed recommendation on utilizing the platform successfully.
In case you’re not choosy about what you learn in Japanese, this could be an attention-grabbing method to roll the cube in your studying materials.
On the subject of particularly discovering secondhand books and manga on Mercari, your luck will fluctuate. On the worldwide English model of Mercari, most translated titles I seek for can be found, because of some Joe Schmo on the market seeking to eliminate it. Equally, on the Japanese model of Mercari (メルカリ), virtually any untranslated title I’ve looked for is offered for buy from some Joe Schmorimoto on the market. Is smart, for the reason that languages match the variations of the app.
As standard, although, the difficulty begins when the language would not match the model of the app; that’s, whenever you’re seeking to purchase untranslated works abroad or translated works in Japan. There is a shocking number of books and manga in Japanese on English Mercari — simply search 漫画 (manga), 本 (hon, “ebook”), or another related Japanese phrase and no matter’s obtainable on the time will come up. You could not be capable to discover precisely what you are on the lookout for, however if you happen to’re not choosy about what you learn in Japanese, this could be an attention-grabbing method to roll the cube in your studying materials. By the identical token, there are English variations of Japanese books/manga on Japanese Mercari typically.
In each of those circumstances, the “saved search” perform of Mercari would possibly provide help to preserve an eye fixed out for when that particular ebook you need turns into obtainable. Of their bios, some sellers even provide to take requests to purchase sure titles you are on the lookout for, though it may cost you slightly additional.
Assuming you will discover one thing you need, it’s going to in all probability be pretty low-cost on both model of Mercari.
Assuming you will discover one thing you need, it’s going to in all probability be pretty low-cost on both model of Mercari. The most important benefit is that you just’re probably looking for gadgets which can be already in your area of the world, which means no must go bankrupt on import charges. This technique can prevent some large yen, so I particularly advocate trying out Mercari if you happen to stay exterior of Japan and are on the lookout for translated titles or have an “something goes” angle about which Japanese ebook/manga you purchase. Plus, you are serving to individuals rehome their outdated stuff to keep away from a dreaded mottainai scenario.
In case you’ve completed any secondhand purchasing in Japan, you’ve got in all probability heard of the “-Off” sequence of shops. Japan’s most well-known chain retailer of used books, Ebook-Off, falls below this umbrella firm as properly. With over 800 places in Japan, you may’t go various blocks in any Japanese metropolis with out stumbling throughout one. The daring colours and large 本 indicators make them fairly unmissable!
Not solely is Ebook-Off nice for purchasing used books, it is nice for unburdening your self of them too.
In case you’re in Japan, you might have the pleasure of trying out a Ebook-Off in particular person. Once I lived in Nagoya, one in all my favourite actions was to wander into one and simply see what I might come upon. An enormous portion of their manga is within the 100 yen “nook” (which is seemingly what Ebook-Off likes to name large wall-to-wall cabinets). There’s all the time a big selection of books and manga obtainable at Ebook-Off, so even if you cannot discover what you are on the lookout for, you are certain to return out with one thing attention-grabbing.
Not solely is Ebook-Off nice for purchasing used books, it is nice for unburdening your self of them too. Bear in mind my mountain of homosexual manga, largely from Suruga-ya? I resold all however one quantity to Ebook-Off. They have a tendency to pay you about half the retail worth, and I used to be impressed that they really paid up for nearly the entire usually unusual, off-the-heterosexual-path manga I introduced them. Any used bookstore that gives buyback (買い取り) will in all probability be okay, however contemplate this my testimonial for Ebook-Off.
They’re one of many few retailers that promote untranslated Japanese manga within the US.
Sadly, if you happen to’re within the West, Ebook-Off won’t have fairly the identical luster because it does in Asia. Their US web site primarily sells older sequence of manga (not books), with free delivery solely kicking in if you happen to spend $150 or extra. Nonetheless, they’re one of many few retailers that promote untranslated Japanese manga within the US. Plus, the common delivery prices are fairly cheap, since their inventory has already been imported. My faux order of 9 volumes of manga would have price $8 to ship to the West coast — not unhealthy in any respect! So if you happen to’re a retro manga lover who desires to learn in Japanese, American Ebook-Off could be a very good possibility for you.
Ah, Amazon. In case you should make the most of our web purchasing overlord, you might have two choices: Amazon Japan or your personal regional model of Amazon. You may make an Amazon Japan account (separate out of your common Amazon account) and purchase from abroad, as some sellers do ship internationally. And don’t be concerned, you should use worldwide credit score/debit playing cards, in contrast to on some Japanese on-line shops.
Books/manga particularly will be pretty low-cost to import on Amazon Japan, particularly if you happen to’re shopping for a full sequence set.
Books/manga particularly will be pretty low-cost to import on Amazon Japan, particularly if you happen to’re shopping for a full sequence set. Then again, whenever you’re shopping for issues from separate sellers, delivery can add up rapidly. And if you happen to’re solely shopping for one quantity of manga at a time, the price might not be price it. In any case, it may be hit and miss, so undoubtedly plug your tackle into the checkout to see how a lot the injury is for optimum pockets well being.
You’ll be able to typically discover untranslated books and manga on non-Japanese Amazon too.
Curiously, you may typically discover untranslated books and manga on non-Japanese Amazon too. They’re labeled as “Japanese Version,” in order that they’re simple to distinguish from translated editions. On each Amazon.co.jp and Amazon.com, do not forget to search for “Used” choices and examine them out — if there are any secondhand choices, you may discover them proper under the common non-used buy possibility. Amazon sellers listing the situation of the used books as properly, so you may resolve how pristine or raggedy you need your new tome to be. Particularly on Amazon.co.jp, “Very Good” tends to be principally mint situation, and “Good” is often nice too, so that you’re fairly secure to belief the analysis system right here.
Prices for untranslated books/manga generally is a bit greater on Amazon than Mercari, even for used volumes. However then again, Amazon does are likely to have a wider choice than worldwide Mercari. So if what you are on the lookout for is barely obtainable on Amazon, you do not need to add it to a bulk order elsewhere, and/otherwise you need reliably quick delivery, Uncle Jeff’s cash emporium could be the one method to go.
Shops Solely in Japan
Yeah yeah, worldwide delivery will rob you blind…however what if you happen to truly stay in Japan? You fortunate duck! On the subject of discovering untranslated secondhand books and manga, the world is your カキ. You’ll be able to choose from any of the retailers I already talked about — the truth is, because you’re shopping for from inside Japan, you may have entry to higher costs and a greater variety there than individuals utilizing their worldwide websites. Or you may experience candy, candy exclusivity and discover the next shops which can be presently solely obtainable in Japan.
Take this part with a grain of salt, since I have never personally purchased from most of those shops. I did extensively comb by way of their Japanese web sites so you do not have to, although, so let’s get crackin’!
Native Used Bookstores
Do you might have morals? Would you reasonably your hard-earned yen go to a mother and/or pop than the human equal of the Monopoly Man? Then contemplate investigating whether or not there are any native used bookstores in your space. In case you’re on the lookout for one thing extremely particular, shopping for on-line could be the extra logical selection — however for a random browse on a sleepy Sunday afternoon? There’s nowhere higher.
To begin exploring, sort the phrase 古本屋 (furuhon’ya) or 古書店 (koshoten), each of which imply “outdated/secondhand bookstore,” into Google Maps. Google-sensei will then present you used bookstores near you, together with each unbiased outlets and large chains. In your subsequent journey exterior, strive going to 1 and seeing what you will discover! You will assist your area people, and maybe even interact within the historical artwork of tachiyomi (立ち読み) whilst you’re at it. Simply keep in mind to perhaps purchase one thing too, if you happen to’re gonna stand there respiration their air all day.
Web Off (ネットオフ)
Alright, you’ve got purchased some goodies out of your native used bookstores. However what if you happen to’re on the hunt for one thing they do not have?
If I nonetheless lived in Japan, Web Off can be a go-to possibility for me.
If I nonetheless lived in Japan, Web Off can be a go-to possibility for me, proper subsequent to Suruga-ya and Ebook-Off. Web Off’s manga costs are about the identical as these two, and their delivery costs will not be that far off. Presently, delivery inside Japan is 440 yen for orders below 3,000 yen and free over 3,000 yen, with gross sales that cheapen it even additional. That is one other excellent spot to put bulk orders, particularly when there is a vacation particular happening.
Like Suruga-ya, they promote video games, CDs, and DVDs too, so you may toss a 348 yen copy of Animal Crossing: Wild World into your cart stuffed with Demon Slayer doujinshi. To solely see secondhand stuff, simply seek for one thing, look below さらに絞り込んで探す (“filter your search additional”), discover コンディション (“situation”), and click on the checkbox subsequent to 中古のみ (“secondhand solely”). Web Off may even purchase your used stuff, however solely by way of the mail. It does look like free although, so no purpose to not give it a strive!
You’ll have heard of shopping for used manga, however have you ever ever thought of renting them? How retro! Tsutaya is a big chain retailer in Japan that sells/rents out manga, CDs, DVDs, video games, and different passion stuff. It is like a library you pay for…okay, I am making it sound worse than it’s. Consider it as a method to borrow newer publications than your common library might need in inventory.
Renting is nice if you happen to’d reasonably not amass a mountain of books you may by no means crack open once more.
Renting is a type of secondhand reuse and nice if you happen to’d reasonably not amass a mountain of books you may by no means crack open once more. However if you happen to’re not into the concept of returning what you paid for, you can even purchase issues usually at Tsutaya. It’s also possible to discover used books and manga normally by typing 中古ランク (chūko ranku, “used [item] rank”) into the search bar. That’ll present you secondhand gadgets with their high quality “rating” listed, from S to C.
Listed here are some phrases to recollect when renting issues by way of Tsutaya (and possibly different locations too!):
|貸出中 or 貸し出し中 (kashidashichū)
|presently rented out
|ネットで借りる (netto de kariru)
|まとめてレンタル (matomete rentaru)
|bulk rental (e.g. all volumes of a manga sequence)
|宅配レンタル (takuhai rentaru)
|house supply rental
On their on-line web site, books can solely be purchased, however manga, CDs, and DVDs will be both purchased or rented. If the merchandise you need is offered for hire, the itemizing ought to have a button that claims ネットで借りる (netto de kariru, “hire on-line”) on the suitable of the display. However if you wish to see solely rentables, click on the tab on the high that claims 宅配レンタル (takuhai rentaru, “house supply rental”) and comb by way of your choices. You then simply wait on your merchandise to reach in your mailbox, take pleasure in it, and ship it again for another person of comparable style to eat. Identical to Ye Olde Netflix.
The rental interval is twenty nights and twenty-one days.
The rental interval is twenty nights and twenty-one days, and then you definately’ll be charged 55 yen per day as a late price. Tsutaya leases have a set worth in Japan for each the gadgets themselves and delivery relying on what number of volumes you order (as much as thirty per field). You’ll be able to take a look at the total desk on their rental information. Delivery makes the costs slightly steep, in my view, however they do appear to return and choose up your gadgets totally free whenever you’re completed with them. So perhaps it is a honest commerce?
There are some extra downsides to Tsutaya, although. Tsutaya would not have as many secondhand choices as different bookstores I’ve talked about, and plenty of of these listings do not have footage. Additionally, there is no worldwide on-line retailer, with just a few bodily places within the US. However for a sure sort of one who prefers renting over shopping for, Tsutaya can undoubtedly work out.
Public sale Websites
I am certain you are acquainted with public sale websites like eBay. However what concerning the Japanese equivalents?
You usually want a Japanese bank card, cellphone quantity, tackle, and so forth. to bid on issues.
eBay truly would not presently exist in Japan — as a substitute, the largest public sale website is Yahoo! Japan Auctions, or Yafuoku! (ヤフオク！). They are often troublesome to make use of as a foreigner in Japan, as you usually want a Japanese bank card, cellphone quantity, tackle, and so forth. to bid on issues. However so long as you might have these items, you will discover some fairly good offers, particularly if what you need is not in the stores or add to a bulk order wherever else. So individuals on the lookout for restricted/collectors’ editions and out-of-print or hard-to-find books might need some luck right here!
In case you’re on the lookout for secondhand books and manga, simply pop the phrase 中古 (chūko, “secondhand’) into the search bar with the title of what you are on the lookout for. Some retailers like Ebook-Off and Web Off additionally promote on these public sale websites, together with particular on-line storefronts like もったいない本舗 (mottainai honpo) that promote quite a lot of used books.
For buyers exterior of Japan, you may search for gadgets that may ship internationally by looking the time period 海外発送可 (kaigai hassō ka, “worldwide delivery obtainable”). What you unearth this manner could also be fairly random, however you may nonetheless discover some fairly cool stuff. Once we regarded, we discovered a set of 110 random manga/books and a Japanese model of The Little Prince.
To make use of these websites from abroad, you may have to leap by way of some hoops.
To make use of these websites from abroad in any other case, although, you may have to leap by way of some hoops. One possibility is to make use of proxy or forwarding providers that bid on/purchase gadgets, obtain them domestically in your behalf, after which ship them to you internationally. Yahoo! Auctions formally companions with a proxy service known as Buyee, or you should use different forwarding providers like White Rabbit Categorical, ZenMarket, DeJapan, and so forth. This technique could be useful if you happen to’re actually in a bind, however understand that the comfort and fee charges could make it pretty expensive.
One other technique is to ask a buddy, acquaintance, or trusted member of the expat neighborhood to do you a stable and act as your proxy. Some expats run providers devoted to this, like No Nation for Tall Males Exports within the idol/anime neighborhood. In case you get deep sufficient into any Japan-related fandom, you may probably discover some type Japan-dweller recognized for delivery stuff at a price that hopefully beats the larger proxy providers on the market. These individuals will usually personally purchase, bid on, bundle, and ship gadgets to you as a one-stop service, so it is price trying into.
All in all, public sale websites aren’t essentially the most easy means of shopping for secondhand books/manga. But it surely’s actually an possibility, particularly if you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing particular and/or stay in Japan already.
Manga Zenkan (漫画全巻ドットコム)
Does the concept of shopping for only one quantity of manga at a time provide the shivers? Would you reasonably have a look at some cartoons than learn precise literature? Then take a look at Manga Zenkan, a web-based retailer that largely solely sells full units of manga sequence. You should purchase single volumes of manga in e-book format, however in order for you bodily manga, it is all or nothing.
Manga Zenkan is a web-based retailer that largely solely sells full units of manga sequence.
Look within the 中古コミック (chūko komikku, “secondhand manga/comics”) part, separate from the 新品コミック (shimpin komikku, “new manga/comics”) part, to see solely secondhand manga. In case you’re in Japan, delivery will probably be simple, as the sunshine of Amaterasu shines down upon you. In case you’re abroad, good luck with that. You’ll be able to undoubtedly attempt to use their associate proxy service, Worldshopping, to get your items shipped, although it could be slightly expensive. Folks in Japan can even interact in some 買い取り (“resale/buyback”), very like at different shops on this listing, although it appears they solely pay you in factors to make use of on Manga Zenkan. Slick of them!
Mockingly sufficient, shopping for all of the volumes individually elsewhere can typically be cheaper than springing for the pre-bundled set on Manga Zenkan. However in case you are on the lookout for a set of untranslated manga you can’t discover wherever else, Manga Zenkan might be a handy selection.
Learn ‘Em and Weep
Now you know the way to buy secondhand books and manga in Japan or from abroad. Does not it really feel good to reuse? Can you are feeling the earth wrapping its arms round you and whispering ありがとうございます?
Studying any type of Japanese literature can introduce you to new components of Japanese language and tradition, and now you are able to do it slightly extra sustainably. So I hope that after studying this text, you are feeling extra comfy galloping into your nearest native used bookstore, Ebook-Off, or Mercari homepage and taking a gander at what they have. And if you would like to maintain studying about methods to spend your yen greenly, take a look at our different articles on secondhand purchasing in Japan.
Anyway, now that I’ve launched you to all these completely different bookstores, see you at Shopaholics Nameless!