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News and Other Bits

Where do global tastes verge into cultural appropriation? Where does good fun and moneymaking drive a serious misrepresentation and oversimplification of culture? We’re talking, of course, about music videos and TV commercials. Read more in our blog >

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Pike Place Market digs 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 we have recently turned our eye to China.

Check out what the media is saying about our new Pike Place digs -- The Stranger, Publishers Weekly, The SunBreak, and City Arts.

Want to hear more? Sign up for our infrequent but highly entertaining news blasts.

New Releases! New Releases!
Lizard Telepathy Fox Telepathy Lizard Telepathy Fox Telepathy
Yoshinori Henguchi, translated by David Michael Ramirez II

This collection of photography and bilingual poetry plunges booklovers into the backstreets and hipster bars of Osaka. Henguchi builds on the surrealism of Haruki Murakami and his contemporaries to create a new aesthetic for a young generation of Japanese artists. Everyday objects—tools, flowers, escalators, tangles of thread—are elevated, parodied, and ultimately made new. In language as funny as it is brash and philosophical.

With more than 60 pages of color photography, 70 beautifully designed poems, and Henguchi’s essay-poem “Nihongo,” this is a title that collectors, designers, and readers who revel in the act of reading will adore. Learn more about the book at its website or order it through our store.

Yellow River

Yellow River Odyssey
Bill Porter

The Yellow River is the world's sixth largest river. Bill Porter recounts his fascinating journey from the mouth to the source (some say he was the first Caucasian to actually reach the source) in the early 1990s. The winding trip over more than 3,000 miles takes the master translator and author into what was once the cradle of Chinese civilization and through the hometowns and graves of key historical figures such as Confucius, Mencius, Lao-tzu and Chuang-tzu.

This collection includes 43 black-and-white photos taken by Porter that provide a visual trail of the memorable journey.

Go to our store.

Enfu: Cute Grit Enfu: Cute Grit
Enfu

“Other than watching an octopus make love to a rainbow, I can’t think of anything I’d rather stare at than this book.” --Matt Inman, The Oatmeal.

“I look forward to the day when I’ll see the Enfu universe printed on handbags, hoodies, and yoga pants; in the form of blind box figures, limited edition pillows and slip-on sneakers; and part of pop-up shops, hand-painted murals and vinyl-wrapped jets. Yet for the moment, the Enfu universe is summed up in this book. It’s a small peek into [Enfu’s] hard work and a leap into his dreams.” -Eric Nakamura, Giant Robot.

Cute Grit is the debut collection of digitally designed pop art by Japanese American artist Enfu. So named for its fanciful, yet edgy style, this comprehensive compilation of hundreds of colorful illustrations merges childlike imagination with serious exploration of Asian American identity.

Check out this trailer for Cute Grit, and be sure to catch the full documentary Enfu airing later this month on the Seattle Channel’s Community Stories program. Go to our store.



Commonplace Book of Pie A Commonplace Book of Pie
Kate Lebo

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

Delightfully amusingShelf Awareness

With the holidays coming up, now is the perfect time for A Commonplace Book of Pie. 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.
Go to our store.

Yurei Japanese Ghost Yurei: The Japanese Ghost
Zack Davisson

Yurei: The Japanese Ghost will be launching later this month. Combining his lifelong interest in Japanese tradition and his personal experiences with these vengeful spirits, author Zack Davisson launches an investigation into the origin, popularization, and continued existence ofy?rei. Juxtaposing historical documents and legends against contemporary y?rei-based horror films such as The Ring, Davisson explores the persistence of this paranormal phenomenon in modern day Japan and its continued spread throughout the West. This book promises to be the definitive title on the subject.

For a taste of the book, visit Davisson’s website Hyakumonogatari.com. Zack also lent his ghostly expertise to the “Lost Souls of Okinawa” episode of Nat Geo’s series “I Wouldn’t Go in There.” If you want to hear more about the book and stay up-to-date on Zack’s events, sign up for our monthly newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. To order Yurei: The Japanese Ghost, go to our store.



Yokohama Yankee: My Family's Five Generations as Outsiders in Japan
Leslie Helm

Order through our store and get an autographed copy.

Yokohama Yankee cover "Yokohama Yankee 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 > Buy >


Jackson Squared Jackson Squared
Tom Varisco

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 >

Subduction
Todd Shimoda
art by L.J.C. Shimoda


Subduction 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 >