Flea Markets of Japan: A Pocket Guide for Antique Buyers

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9784770029027: Flea Markets of Japan: A Pocket Guide for Antique Buyers

To the Japanese antique enthusiast, flea markets are collectively known as a source of rare finds, a treasure trove of bargains, and the most freewheeling, exciting place to shop.

But for the Western shopper, the prospect of uncovering what these modern-day bazaars have to offer may be somewhat daunting. Besides the language barrier, there is the need to bargain for every purchase, concern about unscrupulous vendors, and difficulty when it comes to ascertaining an unknown item's name, origin, and uses-not to mention determining a fair price.

This is the first-ever book written to help non-Japanese cope with the challenges of shopping at flea markets, enabling them to go out and get the goods they are after. The book starts with a general orientation, discussing the advantages of flea markets over antique stores, and the availability, quality, and prices of antiques sold through this channel.

Next comes a list of 115 flea markets taking place across Japan, the most comprehensive of its kind.
The heart of the book is the Things to Buy section, which gives names and descriptions for 450 antiques and artifacts, conveniently classified into 18 categories. Last, the section on "flea-market Japanese" supplies the shopper with the linguistic tools to bring it all together, with a "survival kit" of over 250 shopping-related Japanese words and phrases. Powerful yet easy-to-master phrases enable the shopper to communicate with vendors effectively.

Pocket-sized but packed with information, Flea Markets of Japan: A Pocket Guide for Antique Buyers is the flea-market shopper's indispensable reference. For gaijin in the hunt, that killer find is now within reach.

FEATURES
* List of 115 flea markets-plus detailed directions for getting there.

* Names and descriptions of about 450 antiques and artifacts

* Photographs of the most popular items for sale

* "Survival kit" of over 250 shopping-related Japanese words and phrases

* Complete explanation of flea-market bargaining techniques, including tips for getting the lowest price and a special section on etiquette

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

From the Publisher :

Foreword

Your forearms ripple with goosebumps and your heart takes a little leap-these are the frissons of expectation before a first date, your first pay raise, or your first trip abroad. They also describe what happens to many people en route to a flea market. Those few minutes of anticipation as they head toward the market are exciting in a special way. What will I find today? What treasures will I uncover? Will I find any real bargains?

The pleasure of the hunt effects one and all, but more so if you are a thing person. What's a thing person? Simply put, it is a person with a love for objects that have a certain charm or character. I can best explain it by way of illustration. Once a visitor to my house looked around at all the objects lining my shelves and decorating the walls and said, "Boy, you sure have a lot of stuff." Indeed I do, but it is more than just stuff. What my guest failed to see is that every one of the artifacts on display was chosen. Each entered my life as the result of a fascination with special things-a curiosity about their history, their use, and how they were made. My visitor, an unthing person, saw them as mere clutter. He had no appreciation for the objects' beauty, grace, or presence.

Thing people are usually in search of an antique that resonates with a sense of time and place. There are probably lots of reasons why artifacts should appeal to some people and not others, but the whys and wherefores are less important than the act of immersing oneself in the free-flowing, high-spirited swirl of a flea market. Interacting with objects of different shapes and colors and materials and periods, all made by craftspeople decades or even centuries ago, is a pleasure we should all treat ourselves to at least once. It is a visual and sensual feast that gives nourishment to some hungry part of the psyche. And should you find a treasure, it will, like a new friend, become a part of your life.

The stuff at flea markets includes antiques and castoffs and everything in between. The sellers are usually professional dealers. While few of them are scholars or researchers, they are generally well informed about what they sell, especially since approximately half of them have their own antique stores. In many cases, you can talk to them at length and in great detail about what they sell. Talking to dealers, of any level of knowledge, can only enrich your experience.

Once you find a specialty or interest, you will soon find vendors with the same focus and may naturally drift into a friendship with them. The best vendors, after they learn of your interests and tastes, will take pleasure in finding something that may add to or fill a hole in your budding collection.

So join the hunt. Rise to the chase. Make the rounds and go where your curiosity leads. Don't be afraid to touch, smell, or heft the objects you find. That is part of the allure of the flea-market experience in Japan. With a few trips under your belt, if you find yourself changing from casual observer to inveterate flea-market shopper to hard-core collector, know that you are in for a thrilling ride.

With this book, you are well on your way. Theodore Manning has done a heroic job of filling a need. As far as I know, this is the first and only book ever written with the specific needs of flea-market shoppers in mind, and it is destined to be a classic. So keep it close at hand-and happy hunting.

K. B. Booth

About the Author :


THEODORE MANNING is an American who worked in Tokyo as a teacher, translator, and businessman for thirteen years. Inspired by the beauty of Japanese art and artifacts-and needing an affordable alternative to antique stores-he discovered flea markets to be not only the best source of bargains but also the most enjoyable way to shop for them. He is married and lives in Chicago.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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