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Major Japanese bookstore chain opens Dallas chapters

Major Japanese bookstore chain opens Dallas chapters

Kinokuniya bookstore, books
Kinokuniya is opening two bookstores in the Dallas area. Photo courtesy of Danny Choo/Culture Japan

Japanese bookstore chain Kinokuniya is coming to the Dallas area, with two stores set to open in early 2017. The first will open in Carrollton in January, with another debuting in Plano in February.

Kinokuniya, one of the largest bookstore chains in Japan, has nearly 30 stores abroad in Southeast Asia, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. The chain was founded in Tokyo in 1927 and began importing English books in 1949.

It opened its first overseas store in San Francisco in 1969, to provide the Japanese community with books and magazines, and also to introduce Japanese culture to the locals. There are currently 10 stores in the United States, in West Coast cities such as Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles, as well as New York and Chicago.

The stores host a variety of events, from book signings to horror storytelling sessions to anime meet-ups.

The Carrollton store will open at 2540 Old Denton Rd. in Carrollton Town Center. It will focus not only on Japanese literature, but also the fusion of Asian and American pop culture. The store will carry a wide selection of Japanese- and English-language books, ranging from manga to art to fashion. The ratio of Japanese- to English-language titles will be about 3-to-7.

The Plano store will open in the growing Mitsuwa Marketplace at US 75 and Legacy Drive, with many other major Japanese companies. Plano will offer the most up-to-date Japanese new releases and best-sellers. The ratio of Japanese- to English-language titles will be about 7-to-3.

Both stores also will carry a wide variety of stationery and other merchandise from both Japan and the United States, including Kinokuniya's exclusive collaboration items with popular Japanese brands.