Unboxing

Booksquisite Book Japan – July 2018

Booksquisite Book Japan is a book box for lovers of Japanese literature! The box offers up Japanese novels in English translation and some goodies shipped straight from Japan. This box ships worldwide and for a box shipped from overseas it is actually pretty reasonably priced.

This box comes with two options: their monthly box which comes with a book and four mystery gifts from Japan, and a book only option which comes with a book, one washi bookmark, and one mystery gift. I opened for the book only option to test it out but also because I didn’t feel that I needed all that many items. This month’s theme is Eternal Summer.

As you may have noticed with the title of this post and the actual date it was posted my first box ran into some shipping difficulty. It was stuck for a while in customs and then was lost once it hit the US Post Office. I waited around a month because I figured it would take a while anyway coming from Japan, but when I finally reached out to the owner and we investigated we found where the box was lost. Saori was more than wonderful with prompt responses and she immediately shipped me a replacement box.


The Goodies

Furin (Wind Chime)

The gift item in this box shouldn’t have shocked me given the theme but it did, mostly because I didn’t expect to get something so nice! Anyone that’s ever watched Japanese films or anime has likely seen a furin at least once, softly ringing in the summer time. It is an image and sound that is so iconic and to me really makes summer feel relaxed and peaceful. I received my very own furin that was decently sized with cute hand painted goldfish on it. This is one of the most beautiful items I’ve ever received in a book box and I am incredibly happy to receive it! I have already hung it in my window to enjoy the rest of this summer.


Washi Bookmark

As advertised in the box description, I received my first washi bookmark. It’s small and cute, the paper surprisingly thick and durable. It’s very simple but cute all the same and now one of the more unique bookmarks I have in my collection.


Drawstring Purse

Due to the shipping difficulties I encountered Saori was extremely generous in including another surprise gift in my box! It’s actually a reasonably high quality bag, much thicker than I expected and feels good to hold. It looks beautiful but is durable at the same time which I can always appreciate. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers so I really love the peony stitching that decorates this bag.


The Book


I had never heard of this author, but she has won numerous Japanese and German literary awards for her work. The book sounds incredibly off-beat and exactly like my kind of book. I have yet to read any Japanese literature that didn’t fall under the crime thriller or horror genres, so I am excited to try something new! Especially since this book appears to be some kind of post-apocalyptic dystopia which I am all about. I’m very excited to receive this book and will be reading it soon, it feels like the perfect book to finish off my summer and kick my reading slump.

Synopsis
Yoshiro thinks he might never die.

A hundred years old and counting, he is one of Japan’s many ‘old-elderly’; men and women who remember a time before air and sea were poisoned, before terrible catastrophe prompted Japan to shut itself off from the rest of the world. Yoshiro may live for decades yet, but he knows his beloved great-grandson – born frail and prone to sickness – might not survive to adulthood. Day after day, it takes all of Yoshiro’s ingenuity to keep Mumei alive.

As hopes for Japan’s youngest generation fade, a secretive organization embarkes on an audacious plan to find a cure – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson be the key to saving the last children of Tokyo?

addtogoodreads


Box Review


Box Value
If I exclude the additional purse that I was given as compensation for the shipping troubles, looking for similar items on Amazon came up with a value of around $25 which is very close to what I paid for this box. Overall you get about what you pay for, but are paying a little extra really to have authentic items shipped from Japan. Besides the purse, the other items were quite easy to obtain on Amazon, so the value will be subjective depending on how much you care about having what is likely nicer quality items shipped from Japan and the surprise factor of the book box.

Are these items I’d buy?
Actually yes, every single one of them. The items are extremely beautiful and surprisingly nice quality. All of the items are ones that I love and the book falls under one of my absolute favorite genres.

Would I order again?
Yes, and I actually have another box coming in. I hesitated at first because of how long it took to ship, but the quality of the box and the level of customer service from this box convinced me that it was worth ordering again. I love Japanese literature and so I am beyond happy that this box exists.

Final Thoughts
Overall I am extremely happy with my first box, it was absolutely worth the wait and I am glad that Saori was more than willing to help me sort out the shipping issues. I really love that this box doesn’t choose authors that’re already widely popular in the United States but still includes award winning authors for their book choices while also following a theme. After looking at previous boxes it is clear that this is a wonderful box to really discover new authors that are reputable in Japan who perhaps are not nearly as well known overseas. This is great for readers like me that are lovers of Japanese literature and a really standout and unique box compared to what’s offered on the rest of the book box market.


How did you like this box?
Are you interested in Booksquisite Book Japan or Book Boxes in general?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

2 Comments

  1. This book box is on my wishlist! Even before I started learning Japanese, I was thinking that I wanted to read other books by Japanese authors! I’m fascinated by the culture, though I don’t know how to properly explain it without it coming off as a fetish. I guess…American plots repeat, and there’s only so much until diversity still feels like it’s lacking. I love foreign films because they offer such a different world, and I like to feel like I’m not living in the privileged country that is the US for awhile. Stories that come from other countries offer a foreign feeling—like I’ve traveled there and am listening to someone else’s story for a change, in this setting unlike my homeland.

    Like, there are all these stories out there, but only so many are in English. That’s kinda why I’m learning Japanese—because licensed English translations of manga take soooo long, and I’m so impatient, and also I want to support the author but can hardly navigate the sites. XD

    I’m so glad you tried and reviewed Booksquisite Book Japan, because I have to admit to feeling wary about trying it, considering the price and there being only five reviews on Cratejoy.

    P.S. Not sure if you knew this, but Cratejoy has an affiliate program! It’s awesome, because you can make purchases using your own link and earn compensation, as the idea is so you get a “discount” to try and promote their items. Although I’ve not taken advantage yet, I am a member of their affiliate program because I liked the setup. https://www.cratejoy.com/affiliates/
    Jane recently posted…Review: Enjoy Life Trial PackMy Profile

    1. What you’re saying makes sense though, Japanese literature is extremely different from Western literature in terms of the themes, social attitudes, and even the style of speech. You definitely get a taste of something different because you are very right that there are some repetitive trends in American lit.

      Oh I had known they had affiliates from watching some BookTube channels but I had no idea you could request partnership now, that’s awesome! I’ll definitely need to look into it as I get back into the blogging groove.

      I was hesitant with Booksquisite Box at first as well since it was a new box, but I just love Japanese lit so much I decided to try it out for my birthday and I’m glad that I did. 🙂

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