Koya Bound, the Website

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You’ll of course remember Koya Bound, the beautiful photography book that Craig Mod and Dan Rubin recently Kickstarted, covering one of the annual (or is it bi-annual) walks that Craig likes to do. Part of the Kickstarter promise was to launch the content of the book as its own website, and that site has now launched. It’s a beautiful thing, with an animated map slowly scrolling as you read about their journey and view the many photos.

Launching Koya Bound

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It’s been great following Craig‘s work on the Koya Bound book, from Kickstarter campaign, to getting the thing printed, to the massive task of signing and stamping all those books, to finally properly launching it this week at an event held at the Leica Salon in Ginza. A big otsukare to both Craig and Dan on a fantastic project.

Koya Bound on Kickstarter

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Last month I mentioned Craig Mod and Dan Rubin‘s upcoming photography book, Koya Bound, while pointing out a great interview with them that was published in The Japan Times — a talk about the walk that inspired the book. Today marked the launch of a Kickstarter project to get the book printed, and to also finance a few ancillary projects, including what sounds like a fantastic website companion that will act as the digital version of the book.

Craig was one of the early users of Kickstarter — for the book Art Space Tokyo, which I blogged about back in 2010 — and he even wrote a fantastic essay that same year with tips on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign (and no, I don’t hate Craig).

Hi and Goodbye

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Earlier this year, the fine folks behind the “moment sharing site” Hi (né Hitotoki) shared some big news: they would shut down the site on September 1, as part of a novel archiving project (here’s what Craig Mod had to say about the “Hitotoki Archives” project). We’re just a few days away from the site shutting down, which means you still have a chance to share a moment or two, that will be preserved on physical media.

I received a notice the other day to download all of my contributions to the site, which I’ve done. I was never a big contributor to the site, but it’s nice to see these shared moments again, and I’m thinking of incorporating them in my blog (as you know, I’m very much in an archival state of mind these days).

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Koya Bound

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The Japan Times has a great photo essay and interview up with Craig Mod and Dan Rubin, who earlier this year walked the Kumano Kodo route in Wakayama, and are about to launch a photo book based on the experience (Koya Bound, out in September).

Update (16/09/06): A Kickstarter campaign for Koya Bound was launched today, with plans for the book to ship in December.

Digging Through the Archives

At long last, my archives are back. Most of them at least.

Some of you may recall that back in early 2014, I had the great misfortune of the web host I was using pulling the rug from under me, which meant that my entire website — which dated back to 2002 — suddenly disappeared.

And I didn’t have proper backups.

Eventually I did find some SQL database backups from 2011, which meant that I could probably eventually try to reconstruct the site, and then do some digging through the Wayback Machine for the missing 3 years. But I was so disgusted with what had happened that I wasn’t looking to self-host something right away, and decided to just use Tumblr, which is what I had set up quickly to keep on writing.

Jump to now.

A friendly poke the other day from my old friend Craig Mod came my way. He mentioned that it was a shame that all those archives of me covering the art & design scene in Tokyo/Japan during the 2000s weren’t available online anymore, and I couldn’t agree more. It was the kick in the ass I needed to just go ahead and finally spend the time required to getting all of this back up and available for everyone. After a post on Facebook to enlist some aid on what to do with that old database, it was another old friend from my Tokyo days (Michael, an ex-AQ staffer who was a pro at wrangling WordPress) who helped me out — I ended up creating a locally-hosted WordPress blog on my laptop, managed to connect to that old database (after a few modifications), and now I’ve taken the step of self-hosting a blog again (using the quick-and-easy WordPress hosting by name.com, which is the company I use for my domain hosting).

So a first step has been done, and it’s what you now see here. As you can see in the sidebar to the right (at least for now, as I imagine I’ll eventually settle on another theme to use), you’ll find full archives of the site, from the very first post on September 4, 2002, going to August 2011, and then the posts from the new Tumblr-hosted site I had from March 2014.

(I actually started writing regularly on the web in 1998, in the form of weekly columns about my life in Tokyo, all coded in HTML, but that content may truly be gone for good.)

Unfortunately, none of the images from those posts made it over — although I may still have some I can manage to add, as I found an old folder with a good amount of them — and I still need to try and find those 3 years of missing posts (as I mentioned, fingers crossed that I’ll be able to find them through the Wayback Machine).

But at least for now, it sure feels good to have a lot of this stuff online again, and I’ve been having a blast going back and randomly reading old posts. It reveals a younger me who is so excited by what he’s experiencing, deliciously naive (in a fun way).

Digital diaries from the Japanese front.

Doing the Domain Dance

More than anything else, this is just a notice that if this site should suddenly disappear, don’t worry, it’s not a repetition of the great site death of 2014. 

I’ve used GoDaddy to register my domains for probably close to 10 years. The reason I went to them was because I came very close to losing my jeansnow.net domain around that time, because of some shady dealings by the registrar I was using at the time. After I was able to rescue it, I decided I would go with the biggest company out there, one that wouldn’t just suddenly disappear.

On top of all of the ethical reasons you may not want to stick with GoDaddy, the other thing is that their site is a pain to use, and the constant upselling of services you need to endure every time you want to do something on their site (like renew your domains) is an absolute pain.

So I’m moving.

I’ve decided to move the two domains I still have – jeansnow.net and pausetalk.org (I let the other ones I’ve had through the years expire) – to Name.com. It’s a service that I saw my friend Craig tweet great praise about – and if you’re going to trust anyone about web services, I can’t think of a better person.

I’m currently in the process of transferring the domains, and so things may go smoothly or not, who knows.

Update: Just as I posted this, I noticed that jeansnow.net did indeed become unavailable, while the transfer is in progress. I’m not sure how long it will take, but in the meantime you can find this site at its Tumblr URL.