En Ja

The Monocle Book of Japan

Writer, 2020

“Japan may be one of the world’s biggest economies, a global leader in everything from architecture to food and a country whose brands have flourished around the world, but it remains a bit of a mystery. Somehow it is simultaneously familiar and hard to fathom – or it has been, until now. This book is the culmination of years of reporting across the country by Monocle and it delivers a unique insight into the people, places and products that define Japan.”

For Monocle’s comprehensive survey of Japan, I wrote a feature on the country’s specialty shops. Ever since coming across a hole-in-the-wall bookshop for mountaineers almost ten years ago, I’ve been fascinated by the dedication of these shops and their passionate owners. This article introduced ten such retailers, specialising in everything from chopsticks to towels, plants and daruma dolls. The common thread? They’ve mastered the art of doing one thing well.

All rights reserved © 2020 The White Paper by Ben Davis