Earlier this month, I rode my bike out to a particular bookstore. It’s rather far from my house by bicycle.
I try to support brick and mortar bookstores because I know it is tough for them nowadays. Not to say I don’t do online shopping. (For English books, it’s a necessity for me because English books are not really sold in Fukushima City.)
My bicycle is the pretty pink one. I always tell husband that I want a bright colored bike so I can pick it out among the bikes easily! Most bikes in Japan are gray.
And omigosh, that bookstore really is brick and mortar!!!!
I asked permission to take photos and got a yes. I am just not allowed to open the books and take photos of the insides.
Poster for something????
Poster for something???
This series is interesting……What is that man? WHAT IS THAT MAN?!?
He is a butt. Bottom. Derriere. Buttocks. (In Japanese: Oshiri.)
His name is Oshiri Tantei.
America, you just can’t keep up with Japan’s cleverness.
Regular picture books.
There are, of course, many illustration styles in Japan for picture books. (Of course!!!)
However, I have noticed that one style that I see in Japan, but not much in American picture books is this kind of….I don’t know the word for it. Cute, but not cute, style of illustration.
Here is another example of the “Cute but not cute” style. (That’s my own term, by the way.)
It’s not gorgeous like it belongs in an art museum, it’s not overly clever, it’s not daintily pretty.
Another “Cute but not cute” style. It sort of looks like what a fifth grader might do? And that’s the point? Like a kid could have drawn it?
One book that is very famous in the “Cute not cute” style is called “My Not Cute Little Sister.” Click to see its front cover.
I discovered “My Not Cute Little Sister” (Boku no kawaiikunai Imouto) in a first grade list of good books to read. I read it.
It’s about a boy who has a little sister who is NOT cute. If you look at the book cover, that’s her face. So it’s kind of funny. We expect girls to be cute, but this one isn’t. Anyway, that’s my prime example of the “Cute but not cute” illustration style I see so often (well, about ten percent of the time) in Japanese picture books.