Craig recently shared a new essay that talks about the process he went through in putting out Koya Bound — as with all of his essays, it’s as informative as it is entertaining to read. I’d also point you to the latest edition of his Roden Explorers newsletter, in which he describes in detail what he experienced during a meditation retreat he attended earlier this year.
Although it was released a couple of years ago, I just came across Nicholas Hogg’s Tokyo novel, which appears to be quite good — I think I’ll pick it up. On the promotional site for the book, there’s also a great short video by Samuel Cockeday, a mesmerizing time-lapse of the city.
Big congrats to David on getting Ametora released in Japan — it’s available now. He shares a few details about the new Japanese edition in his latest Ametora Dispatches newsletter, and he’ll be doing a “talk event” at Ginza Tsutaya on September 1, with Popeye magazine editor-in-chief Takahiro Kinoshita.
I find The Art Of Computer Designing: A Black and White Approach by Osamu Sato to be pretty fascinating. Released in 1993, it’s an intriguing look at ways to produce art on computers, by someone who has created pretty trippy games (Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou, LSD: Dream Emulator). Read more about Sato and the book here, and you can download the whole thing here, courtesy of Archive.org. Via Simon Carless.
My buddy Ian has just produced a new lovely little handbook called Cannibals, which he describes as “a handbook of dubious exercises, tips, and rants about becoming a designer how teaches.” I loved his Start Somewhere handbook, and am very much looking forward to reading this one.
Well, since I left Japan, looks like Muji has launched dedicated “Muji Books” sections in some of their stores (pictured, a Muji Books in Shanghai). The big Muji stores — like the flagship Yurakucho one — always had small book sections, but now it looks like we have proper bookstores within their stores. Makes me miss Muji that much more.
My buddy Ian Lynam is simply one of the smartest people I know on this planet, and when he writes something, you should pay attention. His latest zine — which you can order online from his Wordshape webstore — acts as a guide to new graphic design graduates. I also highly recommend his Start Somewhere zine, which sorta inspired me to get writing again (which led to the rebirth of this here blog).
“Japan by Car” is a series of illustrations — and soon to be a book — by Japan-based illustrator James Gilleard.
I mentioned that I was reading this book back in December, and although I was quite enjoying it, it got put aside for a while — as often happens when I read books, because of my shitty attention span. I picked it up again this past Sunday, and cruised through the final 100 or so pages, which I enjoyed immensely. This is a terrific mystery novel, and the trick was quite well done — I was far from guessing the ending. Yukito Ayatsuji is my wife’s favorite mystery author, and not only is this his first novel, but it also marked the birth of a return to classic whodunnits in Japanese mystery novel writing. The book also has a great intro that helps explain all of this, as well as an afterword that gives some context. It’s a great translation, and I’ve just started another book by the same publisher (The Moai Island Puzzle).
99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.