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Kenji Boys
The “Kenji” still alive and Well to this day

Daisuke Hayasaka
"BOOKNERD" Proprietor

Kenji Miyazawa was interested in a wide variety of studies, cultures, and natural providence, devoting his passion and ideas to these throughout his life. This series of stories features the young men of Iwate who perpetuate such creativity and spirituality in the modern world.


A venue for enriching the lives of Moriokans

In a past life, Mr. Hayasaka was a nine-to-fiver in Akita and Sendai. In the midst of it all, the doubts welling up in him grew and grew until four years ago, he opened BOOKNERD in Morioka.

“I worked in sales for ages, but I had this creeping feeling that I didn’t like what I was doing despite thinking I did. Then one day, I affirmed to myself that my life was messed up and I decided to stop conning myself and follow my dream. I had always wanted to open a bookstore one day, and just decided to not wait any longer”.

The place he chose was Morioka, where he had lived for a year when on a work transfer. One thing that reeled him in was the moderate size of the city.

”Music is really important to me, and Morioka has a line-up of venues offering diverse genres, as well as convivial cafes in the town. Most of all it’s not a car dominated scene, and it’s the perfect size for just cruising around on foot. But what was missing for me was a unique book shop, so I just decided to set one up on my own”.

Having set up a bookstore with no prior knowledge whatsoever, business was sluggish to begin with due to only stocking titles that he wanted to sell. 

”Looking back, it was like I was trying to exert my will on people. I chose all the products through my own filter, but it was only when I thought hard about what customers really wanted did it start to pick up. In the case of Miyazawa Kenji, it is “Gauche the Cellist” in a nutshell. I had been haughty and rigid, but the people who visited altered my thinking and I began to think more in terms of doing things to make people around me happy.

Hayasaka says that he hopes to impart even just a little bit of insight into people’s lives by putting books in the store that can be enjoyed over a long time span, not just fleetingly.  Every day brings a genuine delight of happiness to Daisuke knowing that  his bookstore is enriching the lives of the people of Morioka.

Daisuke Hayasaka
Born in Akita. On top of running BOOKNERD, he has published a book entitled “Born to do it”  and a collection of essays by Morioka poet Rain Kudo. His second book “It’s not like I am just reading books all the time”  is currently on sale.

text | Miguel Utsunomiya Photography | Shuhei Tonami