News and Other Bits
As a publisher with one foot in Japan and another in the U.S., with plenty of books taken up as translations, we were wondering how some of the heavy-hitters of the literary world looked through the lens of translations. Read more in our blog >
A recent post on ramen got the staff talking - where were our favorite noodle places in Seattle? Read more in our blog >
People have raved about the smell of books for centuries. They’ve described it as musky, musty, and grassy, frequently with hints of vanilla. No matter how you describe it, though, there’s something that escapes words, which is what makes the olfactory factor such a lovely complement to the text. Read more in our blog >
Check out what the media is saying about our new Pike Place digs -- The Stranger
, Publishers Weekly
, The SunBreak
, and City Arts
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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New Releases! New Releases!
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 Odyssey
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. We're shipping this 272-page tome free of charge to addresses in North America for the month of June.
Go to our store.
Enfu: Cute Grit
Pre-order Enfu: Cute Grit today and we’ll ship it for free in the US and at steep discounts everywhere else. The book ships later this spring.
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.
Go to our store.
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 >
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 >