First Eslite bookstore in Tokyo fuses Taiwan, Japan elements

The store places an emphasis on Edo period aesthetics and fuses this with contemporary industrial design from Taiwan

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Eslite bookstore in Nihonbashi (CNA photo)

Eslite bookstore in Nihonbashi (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The first branch of the renowned Taiwan bookstore chain Eslite will open in Japan on Friday (Sept. 27).

Located in Nihonbashi, the commercial district of Tokyo, the Eslite outlet is designed by Taiwanese architect Kris Yao (姚仁喜) and features cultural elements from both countries. The result fuses the aesthetics of Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868) and contemporary industrial arts, reported Central News Agency.

A centerpiece of the design is seasonally-themed light fixtures in the store’s four corners. Inspired by traditional palace lanterns, the illuminations feature calligraphy by Taiwanese artist Tung Yang-tzu (董陽孜), who presents works from the Japanese haiku master Matsuo Basho.

According to a manager of the Japanese outlet, the new store demonstrates how the company is seeking to incorporate local characteristics while preserving the essence that defines Eslite, wrote the report.

To mark its opening, the new Eslite store joined Mitsui Fudosan and publishing company Yurindo to hold a book exhibition based on eight themes. Also, merchandise from more than 50 Taiwan brands will be available at the bookstore, showcasing off the island’s cultural creativity.

Eslite, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, currently has 50 retail stores across the globe, including 44 in Taiwan, three in Hong Kong, one in Suzhou, one in Shenzhen, and now one in Tokyo.

Eslite bookstore in Nihonbashi (CNA photos)