NB: Some of my earliest blogs no longer have their accompanying images but enjoy the copy!
London really likes tempting me to spend my money, and I recently discovered a lovely little shop in Angel that might push me over the edge. The Japanese Gallery is tucked away in Camden Passage, close to Angel tube station, and there really is something for everyone’s budget. The gallery is a specialist in Japanese art and sells prints and related items, from postcards to original Ghibli cinema programmes to geisha hair accessories to original woodblock prints. There are even traditional pornographic novel pages, completely in Japanese, of course. If you’re a collector or work in a museum, you can buy some more expensive and rarer original art work!
I stumbled across the gallery a few weeks ago when I spotted a card holder outside the shop. I was tempted by the five postcards for £10 sign, and didn’t even try to resist them. I picked up a nice selection of traditional Japanese prints on some greetings cards, complete with envelopes, although they’re too beautiful for me to write anything for now and they’re currently lined up on my windowsill! For those of you interested, the names of the prints left to right are:
- ‘Snow on Willow Bridge’ by Koson Ohara
- ‘Mountain Moon’ after Rain by Yoshitoshi
- ‘Clearing After Snow’ by Hiroshige Ando
- ‘Asakusa Rice Fields’ by Hiroshige Ando
- ‘Spirited Away’ by Hayao Miyazaki
A few weeks later, my friend Jenny’s birthday was coming up, and I went straight back to the gallery! A print would be perfect for a fellow anime nerd and best friend, and there was a wide range of shows and sizes to choose from. I settled with two small prints from Akira and Spirited Away, and they’ve now joined the legions of posters on Jenny’s wall!
I haven’t taken any photos of the inside of the studio but I really recommend you go! There are even original Japanese cinema programmes from some of your favourite Ghibli films, which are about £35. Admittedly not the cheapest thing to buy, but one would be perfect as a special present for someone you love… or yourself! The most desirable things there for me are the original promotional posters for various Japanese films and anime, from Naruto to Ghibli to Neon Genesis Evangelion. Again, these are £100 so not something the majority of us will spend on a whim. That said, I would love to own one eventually!
You can check out The Japanese Gallery’s online store or, if you live in London, drop by just after pay day and enjoying perusing!