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July 14, 2005

about this site

I'm starting this page as a resource for all the crafters out there who love Japanese craft books. When I bought my first book, on a visit to Japan in 2003, I had no idea there were legions of other crafters with the same interests. There's something about these books that makes them stand out over all other craft books - the simplicity, the beauty, the styling, the instructions even an illiterate American can follow.

The goal of this site is to collect reviews and completed projects from as many books as possible. I'll list all the local bookstores where you can go and page through them yourselves, and the online sellers too. Plus, I hope to have instructions on how to buy through the Japanese sites and links to inspiring shops and artists.

Posted by maitreya at July 14, 2005 11:31 PM


I am new to the Japanese crafting scene and want to give you a huge THANKS for this site! I am always drooling over your, and several other blogger's, japanese crafts.

My first japanese book purchase was the trendy little apron book as inspiration for tie one on. The title and the isbn escape me right now. I look forward to seeing all the cute crafts and great info!

Thanks again!

Posted by: atouria at July 15, 2005 07:55 AM

ah! this is GENIUS!!! I am going to re-organize all my jp book posts so I can just send you one link "japanese books"
thank you for doing this! this kind of thing is exactly why I think this whole weblog business is sooo amazing.

Posted by: amy k. at July 15, 2005 10:05 AM

What a fantastic idea, I've been bookmarking sites but to put it onto a website. Absolutely wonderful!

Posted by: Sera at July 15, 2005 10:37 AM

Brilliant idea Maitreya! I'm sending you an email now...

Posted by: kelly at July 15, 2005 10:55 AM

This is a great idea! I just did a post on some craft books but they were Chinese not Japanese. I'll have to look through my stash. Are you including paper crafts or just sewing?

Posted by: Julie K in Taiwan at July 15, 2005 01:15 PM

where shall i send my donation?
you are amazing for sharing, creating such a resource for us.
domo arigato.

Posted by: laura r. at July 15, 2005 02:19 PM

I am also new to the Japanese crafting world and want to thank you so much for offering this blog. I have wanted to obtain some patterns and books but just didn't know how to find them or go about it.

Posted by: Sue at July 15, 2005 02:45 PM

I just remembered Hillary's gorgeous patchwork bag: http://weewonderfuls.typepad.com/wee_wonderfuls/2005/06/zigzagd_patchwo.html

Posted by: kelly at July 15, 2005 03:07 PM

Fantastic idea! And what a coincidence that you started this page the same week that I bought my first Japanese craft book!

Can I make a suggestion: what about also including Japanese web graphics? There are some really great sites out there, like

http://lambie.fem.jp/nightontheplanet/home.htm and

http://pomo.vis.ne.jp/main.html and


Posted by: Lindsey at July 15, 2005 05:42 PM

Thanks! Keep the suggestions coming. I think web graphics is a great idea. I want to collect inspiring web sites of all varieties. Also, I'm open to all crafts, not just sewing.

Posted by: Maitreya at July 15, 2005 05:46 PM

Fantastic idea! I've just sent you an email too :)

Posted by: Rosa Pomar at July 15, 2005 06:21 PM

Ever since I went to japan last autumn I have been obsessed with all things japanese especially craft. The books are fantastic and I am on my second japanese quilt. This blog is a great idea!

Posted by: Susan at July 16, 2005 11:52 AM

I am usually quite shy about commenting, even on blogs I adore, but I had to come out of the woodwork for this one. My crafty aunt had these two great Japanese craft books kicking around her house when I was a kid, and I became totally obsessed with them (I was already obsessed with making things). Then when I was in middle school, I found a way to order Ondori craft books directly from the publisher, even though I felt like a total dork about it. I had no idea that others shared my obsession - or that it would one day be hip! Thanks so much for starting this site - I'm leaving on a trip next week, but I am looking forward to contributing when I get back next month!

Posted by: Tamar at July 16, 2005 11:24 PM

Thanks, it´s a great ideia :)
I´ll send you my contribution soon.

Posted by: Débora Figueiredo at July 18, 2005 08:13 AM


Some one upload at least one Japanese crochet book onto webshots......:)

Posted by: Tracy at July 18, 2005 02:24 PM

I can't thank you enough for putting together this website! It's so nice to have everything in one place. I'll have a contribution or two also, I just need some time to get it together, but I wanted to let you know how much your time and hard work is appreciated!

Posted by: Cassi at July 23, 2005 09:33 PM

Just to let you know that I have updated my library list at www.flickr.com/photos/65303933@N00/. The entire collection is now there.

Posted by: Therese at July 29, 2005 11:56 PM


Just wanted to let you know that this site is great! It's a good idea to try and compile all these funky little books.

I live in Australia and so it is a little hard to get a hold of these Japanese books, as most are sold on eBay by US sellers and I don't have a credit card! However I have found a Japanese bookshop through which I can order them for a great price! So for that I need the ISBNs, which aren't displyed on eBay of course... That's why this is a great resource for me!

Also, if you want me to translate any of the titles in to English letters/romanji so you can include them in your cataloguing? (Although I'm sure there's many other people can do this too!)

Anyway, keep up the good work and I will contribute when I get my hands on some books!


Posted by: Emma at August 4, 2005 04:21 AM

What a great idea! I bought a few books during my first trip to Japan for a few days in March, and have bought a few more since then (it helps to live near a Japanese bookstore). I think I'm hooked! Japanese craft books are great, and the craft designs are so creative and refreshing compared to what I've seen in the U.S. Who wants to crochet another afghan from simple squares when there are such great crocheting and other crafting ideas out there! I just wish I could read Japanese so I'd know exactly what was written in the instructions. I'm so glad I found this website. Thank you!

Posted by: Lydia at August 6, 2005 12:47 AM


I go to this bookstore in Japantown/SF to buy books on beading. Beading books from Japan are wonderful!! I'm crazy about them - trying to stay away from knitting ones....

Thanks for this site - it's a wonderful site!

Posted by: Terry at August 7, 2005 12:14 AM

Pure genius! I love this idea and how you have the site set up! Thanks so much for the time, work, and thought you have put into all of this. It is one of my favorite places to visit!!! Thank you!!!!

Posted by: lk at August 11, 2005 06:11 PM

Thank you so much for this site...it is becoming a great resource. Now I wish I could find out how to become a distributor for the Japanese craft books here in the US. I started utlizing Japanese sewing magazines waaaaaay back in the late 60's and loved them -- here I am again!

Posted by: Kipp at August 19, 2005 11:04 AM

i have tons of japanese origami books. the instructions and illustrations are actually easy to follow.

Posted by: joyce at August 23, 2005 01:54 PM


Posted by: barefooteagle at September 23, 2005 03:36 PM

What a wonderful idea! I have many chirimen craft books - I'll try to find the time soon to send in photos are ISBN!

Posted by: Naomi at October 8, 2005 08:56 PM

wow, i just found this site, good job! coz this site help me in looking japanese craft books, it's really difficult to find japanese craft books here, in indonesia, thx, domo arigato and hello to u all

Posted by: ichee at October 11, 2005 02:22 AM

THANKS SOOOOO MUCH FOR THIS!!!! i had been looking all over for these!!..you think u can find more japanese jewelries ones? like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. i bookmarked your page hahah so i'll be checking often =p

Posted by: justalilodreamer at October 13, 2005 09:38 PM

Wow, I love this site! This is the best Jap Craft resource I've ever come across. I've been searching your books on ebay and came across this little gem. The problem is that I don't know what the book is called nor know the ISBN. The book is already sold! *sniff* If you do know it than please advise! I'm going crazy just searching for it on the net! Thanks so much!


Posted by: sammi at January 17, 2006 09:52 PM

I was wondering if any one has any crafting magazines for pet accessories that they happen to have the pattern pages scanned that they can send me?

Posted by: Amy at February 8, 2006 12:51 PM

Please don't solicit scans on my site. Check out the pets category for ideas for what books might be worth buying.

Posted by: Maitreya at February 8, 2006 05:40 PM

Thank you for this website. I just love it!

Posted by: Gina at February 12, 2006 12:26 AM

thanks so much for creating this!!
i m starting to do my quilting just a month ago n now fall head over heal to those cute japanese craft projects, anyhow, it is pretty hard to find the resource of this kind of things!!

after spend nites after nites, still only very least info i can get from the internet ... eventually, ... thks again!!

Posted by: Ry at February 13, 2006 12:12 PM

thanks for all the great information on craft books. i've recently started collecting the books but have yet to try and make something from them. do you know if the seam allowance is included in the patterns? any help would be appreciated. thanks! kinokuniya bookstore in seattle has little pieces of paper with your site in it. great job! thanks again.

Posted by: Jonah at February 15, 2006 06:42 PM

We, Kinokuniya Seattle store, now have a special display for Crafting Japanese till Mar.31.
We are carrying most of the titles on this web site that are available.
You can find these books and more!
Just say "Crafting Japanese" at the cashier,
so that you can get 10% discount for any craft books.
Plesase visit our real shop & web site.

Kinokuniya Booksotes of America
Seattle store
525 S Weller St.
Seattle, WA 98104

Posted by: Mikio Funaki at February 17, 2006 02:50 AM

This is so great. I lived in Japan and fell in love with the bookstores there, especially the craft books. They're so much cooler than here in American. Now all we need is to export all those random photo books....

Thank you!


Posted by: Alicia at April 13, 2006 06:57 PM

I love your site and would like to share a snailmail address for a Japanese Bookstore in Germany. They have Japanese magazines, books etc. only and order any available Japanese (craft) book for you that they don't have in their store.

Japanische Buchhandlung
OCS Frankfurt,
Grosse Gallusstrasse 1 - 7,
60311 Frankfurt am Main,
Tel.: +49(0)69-294047,
Fax.: +49(0)69-281198,
E-Mail: info@ocsfrahq.de,
opening hours: Mo - Sa 10:00 am - 06:00 pm

Posted by: Redwork in Germany at May 2, 2006 05:25 AM

Has anyone tried to learn enough kanji to read (a little) of these great books? I'm thinking of studying kanji that frequently appear in crafting texts. Is there a list already out there of these kanji? Is anyone already fluent who might be a saint and post such a list for us?

Posted by: Paige at July 14, 2006 06:17 AM

Wow, I am amazed at how so many people are infatuated with Japanese crafts. I lived in Japan for five years and was there when my son was born so I would go to the department stores there and buy these little craft kits but at that time they were very American in style (ie. Santa mail bag). A very dear neighbor who could have been an apple doll herself, made my son a tiny little bean bag lady out of traditional Japanese silk fabric that we've kept all these years and I am totally taken away by how the tiny little handicrafts of the islands of Japan are now such a huge hit in America. Older Japanese women sometimes make these items as "omiage" or souvenirs that visitors will buy and take home with them as a reminder of their vacation. I've seen how women in Europe will make their own souvenirs by stitching their memories into wall hangings using cross stitch, embroidery, quilting or a combination of all three - which I've seen in the Marie Claire Idee craft magazine (all in French) which is sold in a few bookstores where I live in California. I have a submission that is not Japanese but within the spirit of international design, there is a very lovely book called "Poetry in Stitches" that I think you might enjoy.

Posted by: kathy at July 27, 2006 02:23 PM

In response to the reply made by Redwork in Germany, learning to read Japanese is a very time consuming task. It takes the average Japanese student at least 7 years of education before he or she can read a newspaper in Japanese. You would have to take at least two years of college level Japanese before you could gain enough knowledge to read and interpret a Japanese publication. There are kanji dictionaries that you can use, but it would take you hours to translate a single paragraph,if you are new to Japanese. To my knowledge, there is one publisher here who has done the work of translating Japanese designs into English for a quiltbook I bought, called Winter Wonders by C&T Publishing. You're best bet is to find someone living near you who is Japanese and ask them for help in translating the information you are interested in reading. I've seen lists of knitting terms that have been translated into several languages when I was trying to find help with knitting patterns from Scandinavia (until I found Dale of Norway who offers English patterns). I haven't seen anything like that for Japanese craft books, but I'm not sure if it would help because of the character problem. If you speak English, you could offer to give English conversation practice time to housewives from Japan who are living in Germany with their husbands and in return they could provide you with a summary of information from pages in your Japanese craft books. If you were to have these pages translated by a translation company it could run as much as $100 per page. I noticed that one of he winners from last year's international quilt festival in France was from Japan. If you look her up, she might be able to put you in touch with someone you could collaborate with to start a joint project focused on bringing this information into other languages! You can find the festival online through the website quilt.com I believe.

Posted by: Kat at July 27, 2006 02:36 PM

I'm hoping someone can help me. I've fallen IN LOVE with a quilt in Quilts Japan, May 2005. Part of the pattern is in the magazine, but it is difficult to see. Does anyone know how I could find out if the whole pattern is available and whether I can purchase it? As I can't read Japanese and don't know anyone who does, I am at a loss. This is one of those "thinking about this for more than a year, and it won't go away" things! If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it. Please e-mail me @

Thanks again, Tammy

Posted by: Tammy Porath at August 15, 2006 10:45 AM

I love your site! I, too, have a bad addiction to Japanese Craft Books. I am going to do a shameless plug, because I have been clearing out my tiny apartment and listing them on my site (see URL). I still have about 30 to list over the next few weeks. If anyone is looking for anything in particular, please contact me through my shop. Thanks. Also check out etsy.com, there are other Japanese craft magazine sellers on there.

P.S. I don't want to be rude, I really just wanted to share this information with you but if you do order from me, put craftingjapanese in the comments field and I will give you a 15% discount.

Posted by: TDC at January 29, 2007 02:34 PM

I've always been a fan of Japanese crafts and dolls. I mostly like the Hakata and Origami Dolls that I have seen in different books and websites. I'm now making origami dolls and I love every second of it. They have such a variety in the designs and patterns of paper. After that, I've been searching for more books on Japanese crafts and came across this website. Thanks for creating such a great site for all of us who love crafting!

Posted by: Marcia at February 2, 2007 01:45 PM

I went to Japan twice when my daughter was stationed in Yokosuka, in the navy. I too got addicted and spent on lot of money on the local crafts and crafting supplies, they are really into it there. There is a company that sells craft kits through retailers, "I bought 2 kits" of Oshi-e, chirimen fabric flat pictures, stuffed with thin layer of batting to make a 3d picture. Something like that , the manufacture name I believe is Togei, but I cant find a way to contact them to possibly get them to make english instructions. Would welcome any help.

Posted by: christie at March 8, 2007 11:41 PM

Hi, I am interested in trying to find a specific craft book. "New Design Lace", published 30 or 40 years ago. I am trying to find this pattern..
The seller names it as "Mazurka" doily, not sure of actual name though.
I just started my passion with Japanese style crochet books, they are soooo much nicer than American. They are true treasures!
Any help with the above is appreciated.

Posted by: Eileen at March 15, 2007 02:11 PM

I HAVE a customer looking for a UK source for
Ondori books
Can anyone help

Posted by: F REEVES at April 13, 2007 10:07 AM

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