Traveler’s Company 2021 theme: Books and Traveler’s Notebook!
At the end of each year, Traveler’s Company releases a theme for the upcoming year and 2021’s theme is “Books and Traveler’s Notebook!” With simply a notebook, a pen, and some imagination, you can travel to anywhere in the world from the comfort of your home! Each page of your notebook or planner is a still moment in time that allows you to write stories of adventures and to plan for journeys yet to come. It is perfect for these times we are living in and this year, we really think all of the stories and motifs chosen are amazingly fitting and so incredibly well thought out.
One that immediately caught our eye for the rich color scheme and bold shape was the “Lemon” sticker, made for the book of short stories titled 檸檬 or “Lemon,” written by Motojiro Kajii in 1924. We had to dig a little deeper to learn more about this book and what we found was an inspiring story with a really interesting cultural relevance tied to one of our favorite stores in Japan.
The book’s eponymous short story is told from the perspective of an ailing man with lung disease who suffers from a depression and a loss of excitement for the things he had once loved. He once frequented the Japanese department-store-style book (and stationery) store, Maruzen, where he used to love pouring over elegant perfume bottles, small stationeries and art books but has since lost a taste for these things. Then one night, he happens upon a delicious fruit store where the fruit are piled up high in rainbow towers and he is inspired to purchase one lemon, the sheer sight and smell of which revitalize him and lift his spirits. In his elevated mood, he wanders back into Maruzen for the first time since his melancholic funk and he ends up getting the idea to stack up a tall tower of his beloved art books and places that lemon on top. This is how the story ends and the last moments of it are very exciting to read and you can imagine his mood as he is excitedly building his masterpiece. Since publication, this book has been closely tied to Maruzen, a name known by nearly all in Japan, and it is said that after its release, many people would visit the department store and make their own little stacks of books, each with a bright yellow lemon on top.