This is an excerpt of “Thoughs on Rao’s Newsstand” By Motoyuki Shibata

Those who are familiar with the works of the American writer, Paul Auster, will be reminded of “Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story,” the only short story ever written by the famous novelist. In the story, a man who works in a Brooklyn cigar shop stands on the same street corner at the same time every day and takes a photograph. Every day, never taking a day off, Auggie takes a picture, until 365 photos fills a whole album. The narrator observes, “Auggie was photographing time, I realized, both natural time and human time, and he was doing it by planting himself in one tiny corner of the world and willing it to be his own, by standing guard in the space he had chosen for himself. ”

Takuya Ishikawa’s book Rao’s Newsstand shares this inspiration. In fact, it would not be surprising if Auster had written “Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story” after being inspired by Ishikawa’s work. (Auster wrote “Auggie Wren” in 1990 so it’s not actually possible.) Not only do their inspirations have the same root, but Ishikawa’s photographs evoke the same respect, love and thoughtfulness with which Auggie Wren approaches his own world.