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Documentary film



Wander along a downtown shopping street in the west of Japan, and on the corner you’ll find a small bookshop run by the Kobayashi family—Yumiko, Masahiro, and their daughter, Ai.

Faced with the rise of online shopping, falling readership amongst the young, and a publishing industry in crisis, bookshops continue to struggle with ever-tougher conditions.

Still, folk trek from afar to buy their books from the Kobayashis.Still, folk eagerly wait for Yumiko’s recommended book to drop through their letterboxes each month.Step foot into Kobayashi Books, and you’ll find books—and something more.And it’s that “something more” which draws people to Kobayashi Books.


This film tells the tale of an enduring love felt for books and for people alike.

This is both Economical and love story.

-Publisher employee


Kobayashi Books

Founded in 1952 by Yumiko Kobayashi's parents in Amagasaki City. Yumiko, who has seen the difficulty of doing business since childhood, decided not to open a bookstore, but decided to take over the store with a word from her husband, Masahiro, who is an office worker.

In December 2020, a novel "I learned everything important in my work from a small book in Amagasaki" (written by Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd./Tetsuya Kawakami), which was born from the true story of Kobayashi Bookstore, was released.


A message from Director

In 2015, I met Kobayashi Bookstore when I was recommended by an employee of a publishing company called an enthusiastic Kobayashi Bookstore fan to listen to a lecture given by Yumiko.


While introducing the harsh current situation of a small bookstore, the main topic is "There are things that can be done because it is a small store." The time passed quickly for a powerful, warm and humorous story. I was deeply moved and wanted to shoot a movie intuitively, but I couldn't make the cut because of my gender.


So, I decided to go to Kobayashi Bookstore near JR Tachibana Station. I was a little confused because I was imagining the inside of the store, which was crowded with few customers, probably because the time was bad. Yumiko asked me, "Is the time okay?" And then told me how she took over the store from her parents and how she started selling umbrellas after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. It has the same amount of heat as the lecture. I bought the recommended book and had a very satisfying time.


After that, after several years of attendance, I decided to make a movie and wrote a letter asking for cooperation in shooting. The shooting period is from the summer of 2019 to the end of the year. The time was very enjoyable and fulfilling, I thought a lot and noticed. For me, the theme of the editing was to make a movie that would give me a simulated experience of time like a treasure.


I want to buy a book without thinking that Yumiko would recommend it. The reason is that he analyzes the contents of the book as speaking, like what happened in the neighborhood, like a familiar small talk. Therefore, the scene where Yumiko introduced the book was lengthened in the movie. How do you feel?


By the way, "I know a lot of bookstores who like books better than Yumiko, but I don't know bookstores who like people better than Yumiko," is the words of a publisher employee who gave me the opportunity to make this movie. I am deeply grateful to Kobayashi Bookstore, my wife, and everyone who cooperated with the shooting, not to mention that person. Thank you very much.


Director Naoki Ooda

After graduating from the Department of Imaging, Osaka University of Arts, directed a TV documentary program. This is the first directorial work of a documentary film.

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​2024/6/2 更新


​2024/5/23 更新



#1 特別支援学校教員 三浦千尋さん


#2 講談社 販売局 吉田俊輔さん


#3 ポプラ社 一般書事業局






#4 共同通信社 編集委員室 藤原聡さん


#5 コピーライター 川上徹也さん

まちの本屋の日常を淡々と映しているだけなのに、波瀾万丈なストーリーがある映画のように、まったく飽きることなく食い入るように観てしまったのはなぜだろう? その秘密をさぐりに、大阪でもう一度観たいと思います。



#6 絵本・応援プロジェクト 事務局 池水秀徳さん


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