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LOOKING GOOD
In store

Compiled by
Mayumi Saito

Chaplin'
Old timers may start swingin' their sticks at the sight of this shop specializing in walking canes. Chaplin's offers the pre-war classic aid with several modern twists. On display is a wide variety: from century-old, intricately carved wooden sticks to flower-patterned ones, from sleek, black shafts with red-rose handles to ones in iMac-translucent materials.

"Fashion-crazed" store manager Sumiyo Yamada always had trouble finding a stylish stick to support her half-paralyzed body before she opened her store in 1996. She herself has designed most of the 600 models on display. The older models she snagged at antique auctions throughout Europe. With over 6000 units in inventory, Yamada says the canes can cost anywhere from JY3500 to JY1,600,000. Most canes are height-adjustable, many come with a hand strap on the top, and some even fold to a pocket-size packet. Yamada's ingenuity has won her an international clientele, including the king of Brunei.

1-19-4 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku (5454-1431)


in out
Scandinavian fabrics printed in the late 1970s-80s didn't exactly rock the Japanese market. A lot of stock was returned to warehouses and almost forgotten until now. A new boom in the popularity of Scandinavian furniture triggered the opening of in out, in 1999. This trendy interior shop offers nearly 90 patterns of picturesque textiles from Sweden, Finland and other European countries. About 130-150cm in width, these colorful, cotton tapestries are perfect wall decorations, with vibrant and bright designs calculated to combat long winters and little sun. This store also offers beads, buttons and ribbons in addition to candles and feel-good knick-knacks to spice up your life with a little DIY fashion or interior decoration.

1F Crossroad Bldg., 1-29-1 Shoto, Shibuya-ku (3462-0233)


Genki-do
You can find a few art books at most bookstores, but this secondhand emporium beats others in range. Genki-do carries illustrated books from as far back as the 1600s. Most of the really valuable antique publications-ukiyo-e prints, scripts and postcards-are secured under glass, but the rest are readily available on the shelves. Books covering the works of popular artists, such as CÚzanne and Picasso are relatively cheap and readily available anywhere. This is why Genki-do focuses on post-1950s modern art and photo collections of individual artists, according to manager Akio Suzuki.

Western books, occupying at least a tenth of the shelf space, are reasonably priced, according to Suzuki's worldwide market research. English books include Occupied Japan Collectibles from 1979 for JY2300, a collection of Helmut Newton's nude photos from 1982 for JY2300 and a portfolio of Cornell Capa's war scenes from 1992 for JY3000. There's a bargain area at the shop front and another bookstore, Book Brother - Takeuchi Shoten, in the basement offering a wide collection of Japanese and Western magazines from the 1950s. Where else can you pick up a 1970s copy of Life for JY1000?

3-1 Ogawamachi, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku (3291-5081)


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