Monthly Archive for October, 2009

Closing of Asahiya Bookstore

Late last month I got an e-mail from a friend that the Asahiya Bookstore is closing it’s one and only flagship store here in New York City , over between 5th ave and Madison.

October 1st was the first day of the Asahiya closeout sale, so I tried to buy as much as I could. I wanted to get some Japanese language books that I had my eye on for a few years, but they were all sold out, It seemed.

But this is what I managed to get :

MahoKurohime vol.15

Majical Girls Rirical Strikers Visual Collection Top and Bottom ( Megami Magazine Special Selection )

How to draw Manga book

Nagasarete Airantō ( Cast Away…Airan Island )

Replicant Vol.35

WWII German Missle Graphic Action Series

Gothic Lolita Punk Brand Catalogue Magazine ( July and August )

and

Figure King Magazine ( A fantastic magazine for collectors of all kinds of toys, figures )

I spent a total of $104.67 that time – which , on my meager budget, was the maximum money for entertainment expenses for the rest of the month ( Or so I thought… )
But they were clearing out the store, and slashing prices. Alot of books I had put off getting in the past were now in my price range.
I then decided that I was going to make an effort to get to the store before it closed completely and for good by the end of the month.

I managed to return on the 27th…And the prices for most of the remaining books were reduced even futhrer..

On this trip, I got:

The Comic Artists Pose Book Vol. 1 ( Girl home poses ) Originally 2500 Yen, now $3.00.

Comickers Art Style ( ” Color Technique book Issued Semiannually Visual Supporter ” ) magazine, Issue # 2 – 5 ( origianlly 1800 yen, Closeout sale price, now $2.00 ) Quarterly.

Hisashi Hirai Illustration Works 2 ( ” hh2 ” ) Roman Album . He was the Chara Designer for Gundum Seed, I think. ( Originally 1905 Yen, before the sale, now $2.00! )

And Hiderou Horibe Colors Art Works 2 ( Originally 2480 Yen, now $3.00 ). He did art mostly for PC Hentai Games. I think that the first Art works book was called ” Yours “. I read that he is now unfortunately deceased…..He was a promising illustrator and character designer in the Japanese PC scene ( was mostly known for illustrating the covers of the adult oriented magazine PC Angel between 1993 and 2006 ), who died a tragic death of a heart attack at age 36 back in 2006.Too bad, he was a great artist… As one can tell from the image below from one of his previous Artworks books…


You can see a cache of his homepage here.

Anyway….Expenditure this trip :$ 19.58

Now, on my third and last trip was on the 29th. I bought:

8 mangas of Ikkitosen( aka “Battle Vixens: ).

10 mangas of Shikabane Hime ( “Corpse Princess” )

3 imangas of Gantz.

2 mangas of Tenjo Tenghe ( “Heaven and Earth” ).

Total expediture this last trip to Asahiya :$84.11 total.

I’ve been going to Asahiya Bookstore since 1993, when a friend took me there to get U-Jin manga. Back then, it was in a different location, just two blocks east of where it was now. It moved to the present location in 2003, I think it had a ten year lease or something.
Below is a picture of the site of the original store ( which once was home to the New York Savings Bank ), at 45th and Vanderbelt, across from Grand Central Station :


( You can still see the outline of the old Asahiya sign that was once there. )

And thus a passing of an age. The Japanese bookstore count in NYC is now down by one. A victim of these tough economic times…
Now it looks like I’ll have to make trips to Bookoff ( A famouse Japanese Used Bookstore ) and Kinokunya now……Both on or near 42ns street, and so they are pretty out of the way from my path home from work.
Oh well, I’ll probably be able save alot of money now ( I was often dropping about $60 average at Asahiya weekly! ).

Goodbye… Asahiya….I’ll miss you… : (