News and Other Bits
Read a Q&A with Kate Lebo and Jessica Bonin of A Commonplace Book of Pie here
Curious about the latest Chin Music author, Kate Lebo? Read all about her here
Welcome to Chin Music Press
Thanks for stopping by. We're a media company that creates beautiful, engaging and affordable books. We began as a publisher of books on contemporary Japan, expanded to include New Orleans after the levees broke, and soon we'll be turning our eye to China.
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A Commomplace Book of Pie
Who wants pie?
I love banana cream pie and Kate Lebo's poems with the same fervor. Lebo is a necessity and luxury. I will forever be her fan.
– Sherman Alexie
– Shelf Awareness
We've launched Kate Lebo's A Commonplace Book of Pie
just in time for the holidays. This slim volume is chockful of poems, recipes and baking tips from Lebo as well as beautiful illustrations by Jessica Lynn Bonin. Shelf Awareness
says that readers will be hard-pressed to know whether this book belongs in the kitchen for the recipes or on the coffee table for the illustrations and poems. Charming to read in either spot.
Order now and we'll include Lebo’s latest zine, The Pie Lady’s Manifesto
Go to our store.
Yurei: The Japanese Ghost
Catch Yurei Author Davisson on Nat Geo Special
We're publishing Yurei: The Japanese Ghost
by Zack Davisson next year, and we're proud to say it will be the definitive work on the subject in English. On August 23, the National Geographic Channel launches a series on Asia's haunted sites called "I Wouldn't Go in There,"
and Zack appears in the "Lost Souls of Okinawa" episode.
Don't miss it. If you want to hear more about the book, sign up for our infrequent but highly entertaining newsletter
, which will feature messages from Zack in the future. Plus, don't forget there are still copies of the limited edition chapbook, The Ghost of Oyuki
Yokohama Yankee: My Family's Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan
Order through our store and get an autographed copy.
is a marvelous and eloquent work of family history. What makes it more remarkable is this family's history also sheds light on the political, economic, cultural, and racial interactions and tensions between Japan and the United States for more than a century and a half, right up to the present day. This is a humane and insightful book that will be read many years from now." — James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic
and author of China Airborne
Leslie Helm’s decision to adopt Japanese children launches him on a personal journey through his family’s 140 years in Japan, beginning with his German great grandfather, who worked as a military adviser in 1870 and defied custom to marry his Japanese mistress. The family’s poignant experiences of love and war help Helm learn to embrace his Japanese and American heritage.
Yokohama Yankee is the first book to look at Japan across five generations with perspective that is both from the inside and through foreign eyes. Helm draws on his great grandfather’s unpublished memoir and a wealth of primary source material to bring his family history to life.
The book also contains photographs, maps, illustrations, postcards and ephemera from the late 19th century to today, making it another Chin Music work of art.
More info >
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
Title page, letterpress edition
This beautiful, limited-edition letterpress version of the title page from our hit book Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
was created in conjunction with Mercuria Press
. The two-color fine-art poster (with a subtle pop of gold) is the perfect piece of art for that New Orleans lover or Mardi Gras aficionado in your life. The poster is 7.5x15 inches. Here's the complete text of the title page:
"Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?
A collection of stories & essays set in the Big Easy. An arousing assortment of tales filled to the brim with blood and spit. Follow our heroes and heroines as they escape from a sinking city
. Featuring: A woman on a flying trapeze, a down and out jazz pianist, a teenage float grunt, acclaimed writers, drunken professors & radical southern intellectuals. Containing an illustrated map of the highest artistic standards, mouthwatering recipes & old engravings of the crescent city that were discovered in the depths of a library in the Orient. Do you know what it means?
Mourn the city's loss, fight for its survival and celebrate its legacy. Then join us, the celebrated and only world-renowned Chin Music Press, in the streets for Mardi Gras."
Buy a copy >
Does anyone else smell beignets?
Jackson Squared is an irreverent celebration of the exponential quirks at the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. Tom Varisco captures the many moods, events, faces, textures, smells and sounds of one of America's most famous destinations, documenting the unpredictable, beloved Jackson Square(d) with funny, surprising and sometimes shocking images and essays.
Even the statue of Old Hickory weighs in with some colorful art criticism and an ode to the Who Dat nation.
More info >
Buy a copy >
art by L.J.C. Shimoda
Subduction is a timely, seductive mystery set on a tiny, earthquake-plagued island. The narrative is elevated by LJC Shimoda's exquisitely designed and evocative artwork. The book includes two-color brush art throughout, and a sixteen page full-color illustrated retelling of the myth of Kashima, the Japanese god who controls a giant, thrashing catfish that causes earthquakes.
Part murder mystery, part romantic thriller, part seismological textbook, Subduction heaves with a splintered brilliance I could only appreciate after rejoining the parts inside my imagination. Each section slides or grinds along another, but the final whole is a work that stayed with me for weeks afterward. - The Japan Times
Subduction is a wonderful, multi-layered mystery filled with good humor, razor-sharp tension and startling aftershocks that recalls the best of Haruki Murakami. - Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, Love in Translation and Midori by Moonlight
Todd and Linda Shimoda's skills blend seamlessly together to make Subduction a hauntingly beautiful and highly unique novel. The author's prose and illustrator's talent give the book a tone and quality that is both rare and memorable. - ForeWord
More info > Buy a copy >
Patrick W. Galbraith
photos by Androniki Christodoulou
A fascinating new book featuring an insider's look at Japan's otaku
("nerd or über-fan") collector subculture, and a snapshot of how otaku
continue to shape a global cultural consciousness. Patrick W. Galbraith, the author of the highly successful The Otaku Encyclopedia
(Kodansha USA), takes us beyond the superficial stereotypes of "Weird Japan" and into the private spaces and places of self-proclaimed otaku
In Otaku Spaces
, Galbraith - a self-proclaimed otaku
- has produced a groundbreaking work of reportage, utilizing interviews and dozens of photos to reveal a seldom seen side of these reclusive Japanese collectors. They talk frankly here about their collections of blow-up dolls, comic books, military paraphernalia, anime videos, and much more. Photographer Androniki Christodoulou
brings the interviewees to life, intimately capturing their collections and living spaces in full-color images.
"In addition to the outstanding content, the book design is superb and the result is a delicious feast." - Terrence Cain, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City
Read more > Buy a copy >
Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer
Shiro Kashiba helped spark a food revolution nearly 50 years ago by bringing sushi to the Pacific Northwest. Today he promotes another dietary change by advocating fresh, local fare over expensive imports. This cookbook/memoir tracks Kashiba's rise from Ginza apprentice to the godfather of Seattle's sushi scene. Ann Norton takes mouthwatering photos of seasonal recipes.
From the Seattle Times: "Three days a week you'll find Seattle's pre-eminent sushi chef right where he wants to be: standing behind his sushi bar, celebrating the fact that at 70, he's doing what he dreamt of doing as a grade-school boy in Kyoto." Seattle Times article >
Read more >
Buy a copy >
This odyssey of exile, birth and return, told through the dreamlike and haunting photographs of toys and dolls, chronicles the Shaws' escape from New Orleans ahead of the broken levees, the birth of their first child on the day Katrina made landfall, and their eventual return to the city as a family.
"You're going to love Shaw's marvelous memoir."
- The Times-Picayune
"This is the kind of book that reminds
you that books can be beautiful objects." - The Los Angeles Times
"Like a mournful fairytale, Jennifer Shaw's beautifully staged tableaux are alternately sweet and menacing, filled with emotion but never spilling over into sentimentality. The poetic marriage of words and photos makes Hurricane Story a children's book for grown-ups."
- Josh Neufeld, creator of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge
More info > Buy a copy >