Fish-Man to be Featured at Japanese Book Store That Sells One Book at a Time

By Dianna Dilworth 

Japanese bookseller Morioka Shoten has taken niche bookselling to a new level: The Tokyo-based shop only carries one title at a time.

The first book that will be featured at the store in 2016 is Maseru Tatsuki’s photo anthology Fish-Man, a $1,000 hardcover art book featuring photos of the people who live in the Hachinohe city, Aomori prefecture, in Northern Japan.

The idea behind the bookstore is to have a single room with (multiple copies of) a single book. The store features an art exhibition with work inspired by the book as well. The title and installation change weekly. The store’s owner Yoshiyuki Morioka dreamed up the idea when he was working as a bookstore clerk in second-hand bookstores. His ideas was to build a deeper connection between the reader and the book by having such a sharp focus on one title.

The idea came to fruition at a lecture on new business at design firm Takram’s  “takram academy” in September 2014. Every attendee presented was given the chance to present a business. Morioka attended the event and shared his idea: “Regeneration of Bookseller Atom → A bookstore with a single book”. “This very incident brought a path to his ideal book store he has dreamt for many years,” explains Takram’s site.