Once I lived in Japan, I gathered 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 manner that was satisfying (learn: sapphic) and pleasant to each the surroundings and my checking account.
Suffice it to say, I received very conversant in the yuri sections of my native used bookstores. Every time I visited, I imagined all of the queer girls 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 guide 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 robust. On this article, I am going to supply my suggestions on the place to purchase secondhand Japanese books and manga, each in Japan and abroad. However first, I am going to wax lyrical in regards to the wonders of secondhand guide shopping for and train 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?
After all, there are tons of excellent causes to purchase Japanese books and manga. Possibly you need to degree up your Japanese studying comprehension with some in depth studying, or 多読 (tadoku). Or maybe you are simply an otaku in search of some manga translated into your native language. However why exit of your manner 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 typically not possible to inform the distinction between a brand new guide 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 prime of that, you are doing the surroundings a favor by reusing a pre-owned merchandise, so you will get some self-congratulatory emotions out of the deal. It additionally feels nice to go on a narrative or assortment of ideas that affected you to another person in your neighborhood by secondhand resale, or 買い取り (kaitori). Earlier than I left Japan, I resold all however certainly one of 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 gathering mud. (And partially as a result of I used to be out of baggage area.)
If you wish to assist your favourite authors or mangaka by shopping for their work full-price, I completely perceive. I like to try this too! However in any other case, think about this a pleasant invitation to a minimum of examine whether or not the books you need can be found secondhand. And what could be an effective way to start out wanting?
Japanese Phrases to Look For
…That is proper, studying some vocabulary! In the event you’re solely in search of translated books, you in all probability will not want a lot Japanese. However in the event you’re in Japan, shopping for books written in Japanese, or utilizing Japanese websites, you will have to be hip to some frequent phrases. First, listed below are just a few common phrases for purchasing something secondhand in Japanese.
|通販 (tsūhan)||on-line procuring, 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)||trade-in, buyback|
|定価 (teika)||common retail value (new)|
|参考上代 (sankō jōdai)||producer’s advised retail value, MSRP (new)|
|もったいない or 勿体ない (mottainai)||wasteful, a waste (typically used to explain items that may go to waste if not put up on the market)|
Acquired these phrases down? Properly completed, my fellow cheapskate. Now, listed below 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)||used bookstore|
|単行本 (tankōbon)||single quantity/standalone guide|
|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 previous tomes anyway?
The place to Discover Secondhand Books & Manga from Japan
Thankfully, 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? Properly, it is determined by the place you reside and what sort of guide or manga you are in search of.
Would you like secondhand books written in Japanese? Then your choices are:
- purchase Japanese books which might be already in your nation,
- import books from retailers that ship internationally or by a third-party forwarding service, or
- dwell in Japan.
In the event you do not dwell in Japan, chances are you’ll be in for a tough time.
In the event you do not dwell in Japan, chances are you’ll be in for a tough time. Choice #2 might be wallet-bustingly costly, so I extremely advocate going with #1 at any time when potential. Significantly, it is the import charges that’ll getcha! However in the event you should import, strive ordering issues in bulk to avoid wasting on worldwide transport. Or you may at all times purchase e-books in Japanese, eliminating transport prices solely. (Are you able to inform that is my most popular technique after leaving Japan?)
However, are you in search of secondhand books which might be translated into English or one other language? Excellent news — that tends to be simpler, assuming you do not dwell in Japan. All you should do is purchase from sellers inside your nation or Japanese retailers with a world presence.
First, I am going to introduce shops which have each Japanese areas/web sites and worldwide web sites with abroad transport. These are nice locations to search for each translated and untranslated books/manga. Then, I am going to get into some Japan-only retailers that promote primarily untranslated works. Reference whichever sections are most helpful to you, relying on the place you grasp 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 in the event you’re fortunate sufficient to dwell close to a Kinokuniya or Ebook-Off. Nonetheless, shopping for Japanese books/manga which might be each secondhand and untranslated is by far the hardest permutation in the event you dwell abroad.
It isn’t not possible, although! You may simply should boot up the great previous web, which is why I’ve targeted on on-line shops right here. For analysis functions, I went so far as the transport display screen at every service provider to match worldwide transport prices. (Look ahead to the juicy exposé within the following sections.) I put them so as from those I am most conversant in to least conversant in, however they’re all value perusing.
Relaxation assured, all of those shops supply 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 guide/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 loads of secondhand books/manga in Japan, one quantity is commonly solely 100-200 yen. Suruga-ya additionally has the most affordable transport costs I’ve seen inside Japan: lower than 500 yen for orders underneath 1500 yen, and free for orders 1500 yen or extra. This low threshold without spending a dime transport makes it dangerously simple to simply preserve crawling again for extra.
I might actually solely advocate Suruga-ya if you may get home transport inside Japan.
The transport charges on their worldwide web site are fairly a bit steeper although. My faux buy of 1 160 yen guide would’ve price me over 2,000 yen to ship, and 4 books would’ve run me about 4500 yen in transport charges. Moreover, you solely get transport reductions in the event you spend 10,000 yen or extra, they usually’re fairly measly (500 yen off for spending 10,000 yen; 1,000 yen off for spending 20,000 yen). Thus, I might actually solely advocate Suruga-ya if you may get home transport inside Japan or are determined for sure untranslated titles and prepared to shell out for worldwide transport.
However uniquely, Suruga-ya additionally sells secondhand video games, merchandise, toys, CDs, DVDs, electronics, and extra that additionally are usually fairly low-cost. So if you wish to throw any of that into your cart when you’re at it, Suruga-ya is perhaps useful for you! It is definitely my best choice for secondhand manga.
Talking of my best 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 strange folks purchase and promote their used items. In the event you’ve by no means heard of it earlier than, take a look at our common article on secondhand procuring for extra detailed recommendation on utilizing the platform successfully.
In the event you’re not choosy about what you learn in Japanese, this is perhaps an fascinating solution 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, due to some Joe Schmo on the market seeking to do away with it. Equally, on the Japanese model of Mercari (メルカリ), nearly any untranslated title I’ve looked for is accessible for buy from some Joe Schmorimoto on the market. Is smart, for the reason that languages match the variations of the app.
As common, although, the difficulty begins when the language does 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 stunning number of books and manga in Japanese on English Mercari — simply search 漫画 (manga), 本 (hon, “guide”), or every other related Japanese phrase and no matter’s accessible on the time will come up. You might not be capable to discover precisely what you are in search of, however in the event you’re not choosy about what you learn in Japanese, this is perhaps an fascinating solution 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 aid you preserve a watch out for when that particular guide you need turns into accessible. Of their bios, some sellers even supply to take requests to purchase sure titles you are in search of, though it may cost you a little bit additional.
Assuming you’ll find one thing you need, it will in all probability be pretty low-cost on both model of Mercari.
Assuming you’ll find one thing you need, it will in all probability be pretty low-cost on both model of Mercari. The most important benefit is that you simply’re seemingly looking for gadgets which might be already in your area of the world, which means no have to go bankrupt on import charges. This technique can prevent some huge yen, so I particularly advocate trying out Mercari in the event you dwell outdoors of Japan and are in search of translated titles or have an “something goes” perspective about which Japanese guide/manga you purchase. Plus, you are serving to folks rehome their previous stuff to keep away from a dreaded mottainai scenario.
In the event you’ve completed any secondhand procuring 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 underneath this umbrella firm as effectively. With over 800 areas in Japan, you may’t go quite a lot of blocks in any Japanese metropolis with out stumbling throughout one. The daring colours and big 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 the event you’re in Japan, you could have the pleasure of trying out a Ebook-Off in individual. Once I lived in Nagoya, certainly one of 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 huge wall-to-wall cabinets). There’s at all times a big selection of books and manga accessible at Ebook-Off, so even if you cannot discover what you are in search of, you are positive to return out with one thing fascinating.
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, principally from Suruga-ya? I resold all however one quantity to Ebook-Off. They have an inclination to pay you about half the retail value, and I used to be impressed that they really paid up for nearly all the typically unusual, off-the-heterosexual-path manga I introduced them. Any used bookstore that provides buyback (買い取り) will in all probability be okay, however think about this my testimonial for Ebook-Off.
They’re one of many few retailers that promote untranslated Japanese manga within the US.
Sadly, in the event you’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 transport solely kicking in in the event you spend $150 or extra. Nonetheless, they’re one of many few retailers that promote untranslated Japanese manga within the US. Plus, the common transport 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 dangerous in any respect! So in the event you’re a retro manga lover who desires to learn in Japanese, American Ebook-Off is perhaps a great possibility for you.
Ah, Amazon. In the event you should make the most of our web procuring overlord, you could 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 utilize worldwide credit score/debit playing cards, not like on some Japanese on-line shops.
Books/manga specifically might be pretty low-cost to import on Amazon Japan, particularly in the event you’re shopping for a full sequence set.
Books/manga specifically might be pretty low-cost to import on Amazon Japan, particularly in the event you’re shopping for a full sequence set. However, whenever you’re shopping for issues from separate sellers, transport can add up shortly. And in the event you’re solely shopping for one quantity of manga at a time, the associated fee will not be value it. In any case, it may be hit and miss, so positively plug your deal with 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 will discover them proper beneath the common non-used buy possibility. Amazon sellers checklist the situation of the used books as effectively, so you may determine 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 normally 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 however, Amazon does are inclined to have a wider choice than worldwide Mercari. So if what you are in search of is simply accessible on Amazon, you do not need to add it to a bulk order elsewhere, and/otherwise you need reliably quick transport, Uncle Jeff’s cash emporium is perhaps the one solution to go.
Shops Solely in Japan
Yeah yeah, worldwide transport will rob you blind…however what in the event you truly dwell 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 — in reality, because you’re shopping for from inside Japan, you will have entry to higher costs and a greater variety there than folks utilizing their worldwide websites. Or you may enjoy candy, candy exclusivity and discover the next shops which might be at the moment solely accessible 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 their Japanese web sites so you do not have to, although, so let’s get crackin’!
Native Used Bookstores
Do you could have morals? Would you fairly your hard-earned yen go to a mother and/or pop than the human equal of the Monopoly Man? Then think about investigating whether or not there are any native used bookstores in your space. In the event you’re in search of one thing extremely particular, shopping for on-line is perhaps 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 “previous/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 outdoors, strive going to at least one and seeing what you’ll find! You may assist your area people, and maybe even interact within the historical artwork of tachiyomi (立ち読み) when you’re at it. Simply keep in mind to possibly purchase one thing too, in the event you’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 in the event you’re on the hunt for one thing they do not have?
If I nonetheless lived in Japan, Web Off could be a go-to possibility for me.
If I nonetheless lived in Japan, Web Off could 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 transport costs will not be that far off. Presently, transport inside Japan is 440 yen for orders underneath 3,000 yen and free over 3,000 yen, with gross sales that cheapen it even additional. That is one other great spot to position 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 underneath 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 the mail. It does seem like free although, so no motive to not give it a strive!
You might have heard of shopping for used manga, however have you ever ever thought-about renting them? How retro! Tsutaya is a large chain retailer in Japan that sells/rents out manga, CDs, DVDs, video games, and different pastime stuff. It is like a library you pay for…okay, I am making it sound worse than it’s. Consider it as a solution to borrow newer publications than your common library might need in inventory.
Renting is nice in the event you’d fairly not amass a mountain of books you will by no means crack open once more.
Renting is a type of secondhand reuse and nice in the event you’d fairly not amass a mountain of books you will by no means crack open once more. However in the event you’re not into the concept of returning what you paid for, you can too purchase issues usually at Tsutaya. You may as well discover used books and manga generally 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 below are some phrases to recollect when renting issues by Tsutaya (and possibly different locations too!):
|貸出中 or 貸し出し中 (kashidashichū)||at the moment rented out|
|ネットで借りる (netto de kariru)||lease on-line|
|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)||dwelling supply rental|
On their on-line web site, books can solely be purchased, however manga, CDs, and DVDs might be both purchased or rented. If the merchandise you need is accessible for lease, the itemizing ought to have a button that claims ネットで借りる (netto de kariru, “lease on-line”) on the best of the display screen. However if you wish to see solely rentables, click on the tab on the prime that claims 宅配レンタル (takuhai rentaru, “dwelling supply rental”) and comb by your choices. You then simply wait to your merchandise to reach in your mailbox, take pleasure in it, and ship it again for another person of comparable style to devour. 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 definitely’ll be charged 55 yen per day as a late charge. Tsutaya leases have a set value in Japan for each the gadgets themselves and transport relying on what number of volumes you order (as much as thirty per field). You’ll be able to take a look at the complete desk on their rental information. Delivery makes the costs a little bit steep, in my view, however they do appear to return and choose up your gadgets without spending a dime whenever you’re completed with them. So possibly it is a truthful commerce?
There are some extra downsides to Tsutaya, although. Tsutaya does not have as many secondhand choices as different bookstores I’ve talked about, and lots of of these listings do not have photos. Additionally, there is no worldwide on-line retailer, with only some bodily areas within the US. However for a sure sort of one who prefers renting over shopping for, Tsutaya can positively work out.
Public sale Websites
I am positive you are conversant in public sale websites like eBay. However what in regards to the Japanese equivalents?
You typically want a Japanese bank card, telephone quantity, deal with, and many others. to bid on issues.
eBay truly does not at the moment exist in Japan — as a substitute, the most important public sale web site is Yahoo! Japan Auctions, or Yafuoku! (ヤフオク！). They are often tough to make use of as a foreigner in Japan, as you typically want a Japanese bank card, telephone quantity, deal with, and many others. to bid on issues. However so long as you could have these items, you’ll find some fairly good offers, particularly if what you need is not available for purchase or add to a bulk order anyplace else. So folks in search of restricted/collectors’ editions and out-of-print or hard-to-find books might need some luck right here!
In the event you’re in search of secondhand books and manga, simply pop the phrase 中古 (chūko, “secondhand’) into the search bar with the title of what you are in search of. 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 loads of used books.
For buyers outdoors 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 transport accessible”). What you unearth this fashion could also be fairly random, however you may nonetheless discover some fairly cool stuff. Once we seemed, 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 will have to leap by some hoops.
To make use of these websites from abroad in any other case, although, you will have to leap by 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 referred to as Buyee, or you should utilize different forwarding providers like White Rabbit Specific, ZenMarket, DeJapan, and many others. This technique is perhaps useful in the event you’re actually in a bind, however remember that the comfort and fee charges could make it pretty expensive.
One other technique is to ask a good friend, acquaintance, or trusted member of the expat neighborhood to do you a strong 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 the event you get deep sufficient into any Japan-related fandom, you will seemingly discover some sort Japan-dweller recognized for transport stuff at a fee that hopefully beats the larger proxy providers on the market. These folks will typically personally purchase, bid on, bundle, and ship gadgets to you as a one-stop service, so it is value wanting into.
All in all, public sale websites aren’t probably the most simple manner of shopping for secondhand books/manga. However it’s definitely an possibility, particularly in the event you’re in search of one thing particular and/or dwell 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 fairly take a look at some cartoons than learn precise literature? Then take a look at Manga Zenkan, a web-based retailer that principally solely sells full units of manga sequence. You should buy single volumes of manga in e-book format, however if you would like bodily manga, it is all or nothing.
Manga Zenkan is a web-based retailer that principally 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 the event you’re in Japan, transport might be simple, as the sunshine of Amaterasu shines down upon you. In the event you’re abroad, good luck with that. You’ll be able to positively attempt to use their companion proxy service, Worldshopping, to get your items shipped, although it is perhaps a little bit expensive. Individuals in Japan may interact in some 買い取り (“resale/buyback”), very like at different shops on this checklist, 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 if you’re in search of a set of untranslated manga you can’t discover anyplace else, Manga Zenkan might be a handy selection.
Learn ‘Em and Weep
Now you understand how to buy secondhand books and manga in Japan or from abroad. Would 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 a little bit 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 find out how to spend your yen greenly, take a look at our different articles on secondhand procuring in Japan.
Anyway, now that I’ve launched you to all these totally different bookstores, see you at Shopaholics Nameless!