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Welcome to Chin Music Press

Chin Music Press is a curiously bibliophilic indie publisher located deep in the recesses of Seattle's historic Pike Place Market. For 15 years, we've been creating beautiful, engaging, and affordable books on a wide range of quirky and eclectic topics. Supernatural cats from Japan? Got 'em. A commonplace book of pie with both true and untrue facts? Check. An ode to New Orleans structured like a jazz funeral. Yep. An accordion book that unfolds into a beautiful poem about the Columbia River? Mmhmm. Tempted to visit? Our showroom is open from 11 to 5 daily. Or check us out online ... which, we guess, is what you are doing right now...

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WhentheWavesCame.jpg When the Waves Came
MW Larson

"Michael Larson has made an important contribution to the English-speaking world's understanding of the events in Japan during and after March 11, 2011. Larson's book captures the complexity of what happened: a triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that took the lives of almost 20,000 people, and uprooted hundreds of thousands more. Larson gives a textured and compassionate account of those events via the accounts of people who lived through them. He shows a journalist's ability to listen, and a novelist's flair for bringing those stories to life. He also shows an intense concern for the fate of Tohoku, having spent much time himself up in the disaster zone, which shows in his feel for places and the people. The personal connection makes the story all the more compelling, as the disaster has clearly changed Larson's life as well. Well done!"--Martin Fackler, former Tokyo bureau chief for The New York Times

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9781634050081_FC.jpg Persimmon and Frog
Fumiko Kimura with David Berger

Fumiko Kimura survives a terrible childhood accident and wartime stress to become a powerful sumi ink artist.

"Fumiko Kimura writes with stunning honesty. Many would have buckled under the weight of war, abuse, family separation, and tragedy. Kimura has steadied herself with grit, talent, and devotion, creating art of ethereal beauty and celebration."--Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, author of Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

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9781634059756_FC.jpg Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota's Garden
Charles Johnson, Jamie Ford, Claudia Castro Luna, Samuel Green, and more

Novelists, poets, scholars, and garden enthusiasts examine the legacy of nurseryman Fujitaro Kubota, whose unique gardens transformed Seattle's landscape in the 20th century. Kubota immigrated to the US in the early 20th century, worked as a nurseryman, and eventually bought 20 acres of clear-cut forest in southern Seattle that he shaped into a beautiful and enduring Japanese garden. Today, the public garden serves one of Washington’s most diverse zip codes.

Kubota also created a memorable garden in the Minidoka prison camp while he was incarcerated there during World War II. Upon his return to Seattle, he created the first “drive-through” garden to capitalize on the automobile craze of the 1950s. To Kubota, everything has spirit. Rocks and stones pulsed with life, he said, and that energy is still apparent in his gardens today. 

Photographs by Gemina Garland-Lewis. Nathan Wirth, and the Kubota Garden Foundation are interwoven with original poetry by Samuel Green, Claudia Castro-Luna, and others to make this a unique book where every page presents a different view of Kubota’s garden.

Essayists include National Book award winner Charles Johnson and New York Times best-selling author Jamie Ford.

 

 

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We_Lived_Here_FC.jpg We Lived Here: Stories of Seattle's Central Area
Interviews by Madeline Crowley

Seattle is rapidly gentrifying and changing the face of its core neighborhoods. Like Harlem in New York and the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, the Central Area has long been the heart of Seattle culture, the source of its unique musical, political, religious, and cultural identity. Madeline Crowley saw the need to interview the people of this neighborhood before it was too late. "We Lived Here" chronicles their colorful, powerful, and inspiring stories.

Interviewees include political activist Uncle Bob Santos; Linda Lee Cadwell, a martial artist married to Bruce Lee; Aaron and Elmer Dixon of the Black Panther Party; and many more community leaders. 

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VariationsCoverBrandon.jpg Variations of Labor
Alex Gallo-Brown

"Alex Gallo-Brown is the poet of the service economy." -- Valerie Trueblood, author of Search Party, Terrarium and other works of fiction

In this debut collection, Gallo-Brown explores through poetry, essays, and fiction what it means to labor in modern-day America. Stories about semipro poker players, line cooks in high-tech company cafeterias, down-on-their-luck drug runners, and an activist trying to drum up support for his union paint a bleak picture of dead-end jobs and truncated hopes, but also depict the roiling just underneath the surface of all those who have been disrespected and written off.

Watch Gallo-Brown read from his poem "After Charleston."

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HB_Cover_proof_Illus.jpg Houseboat on the Ganges & A Room in Kathmandu
Marilyn Stablein

Stablein drops out of Berkeley at age 19 and travels through India and Nepal from 1966 to 1972. Her life on the road is revealed in a series of letters to her parents. Sweet, intimate, and richly descriptive, this book reminds us of what a spiritual quest looked like before the digital age. 

"This wondrous book is more than a travelogue detailing Marilyn Stablein's years in India and Nepal: we also encounter the astonishing independence of a young woman at the forefront of the spiritual revolution of the 1960s." -- George Kalamaras, author of The Theory and Function of Mangoes

 

 

Watch Stablein read from her work at a launch event at the fabulous Cargo store in Portland, OR:

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