What triggered your interest in Japan? There are various triggers such as motorbikes, electric appliances, and Japanese food, but I think few people have become interested in Japan through comics (manga). I’m now happy to reveal a little-known place I heard about from Muslims studying in Japan – a used book store called “Book-Off” which attracts 16 million customers a year.


       Book-Off is a used book store with a network of more than 900 stores in Japan as well as stores in the U.S.A., France, and South Korea. It primarily handles used books and comics, but also CDs/DVDs, game software, consumer electronics, sporting goods, tableware, and miscellaneous goods. The products available in the store are so neatly maintained that you will ask “are they used!?” when you pick them up. They are also much cheaper than new products, of course.


       Until now, Book-Off has focused on over the counter sales and many overseas fans have come to Japan to visit the store. However, from this month Book-Off has begun to sell an overwhelming assortment of products on Yahoo! auctions. Useful websites such jauce.com, which allow you to bid directly on Japanese auction sites and arrange overseas delivery, are springing up making it easier for you to acquire Japanese books and comics in the future.