When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Tokyo's Morioka Shoten Ginza bookshop
Tokyo's Morioka Shoten Ginza bookshop
Jonas Pulver

TOKYO — It's a bit further away from the bigger stores in Tokyo's Ginza district. Between the sake bars, along the tall towers that watch day and night over the Sumida River, a quiet art gallery hosts large, abstract paintings. And across the street from a shop for urban bikes with monochromatic frames is a bare storefront, where the door is ajar. It's 20 square meters at the most, with a bench, a chest of drawers for a counter and a wooden easel. On it is one open book. Just one. Welcome to Morioka Shoten Ginza, a minimalist bookshop.

Actually, on this day two other paperback formats supplement the stock, a trio of titles by Japanese novelist and poet Sakae Tsuboi (1899 — 1967). The graphic designer and the publisher are here, wrapped in their black cloaks with their ink-colored hair. The narrowness of the space is cozy, and they talk about the choice of paper, font and the plastic quality of the texts. I stay an hour. Another author will take the place of this one next week. That's the cycle founder Yoshiyuki Morioka has maintained since she opened the space a few months ago.

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
In The News

War in Ukraine, Day 92: Is Severodonetsk The Next Mariupol?

Russian troops are attempting to encircle Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk region, as Vladimir Putin looks to claim victory in a war that is not going Moscow's way. But will the toll be for civilians?

Inside a shelter in Severodonetsk.

Meike Eijsberg, Shaun Lavelle and Cameron Manley

Severodonetsk, the last key city remaining under Ukrainian control in the Luhansk area, is now the focal point of Russia’s war. In 2014, it had been recaptured from the pro-Russian separatists in a hard-fought battle by Ukrainian forces. Now, eight years later, Moscow is launching an all-out attack to try to take it back again.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Alex Crawford, a Sky News correspondent in the region, says Russian forces have the means to conquer the city that in normal times has a population of circa 100,000 — and Moscow will be eager to cite it as the “victory”. But, Crawford wrote, “the path to victory comes – like the capture of the port city of Mariupol – strewn with the broken and battered bodies of the city's citizens.”

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ