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$2,090 pledged of $8,000 goal
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By Christopher Salyers
$2,090 pledged of $8,000 goal
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About this project

"Face Food is dripping with the enthusiasm and awe of an outsider who can't quite imagine his own mother going to the same arduous lengths." – GRAFIK

"Seeing Spiderman's face sculpted out of sushi rice and nori or Super Mario made from fish cakes reminded me that even if you're not sculpting taro Pokemons there is an art to being a mom." – FADER


This is what we're going to make! A mock-up of the end product.

In 2006, I spent 4 weeks in Japan, writing and researching my first bento book, Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes. Two years later I followed it up with Face Food Recipes, a more extensive how-to guide on the subject, with profiles of the Japanese mothers (and fathers) who have mastered this unique art. I was catapulted into the world of character bentos and their creation. All of a sudden I was making them myself. I'm still shocked to even be saying that… these things are hard to do! 

The first two books – filled with amazing character bento designs.

Here is one example: Link from The Legend of Zelda. 

And of course... your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. He's edible!

Wired magazine had me make a video how-to for a robo-bento, and NHK TV Tokyo flew out and filmed me in my tiny tiny apartment, making bentos and asking my best friends to do the same. It was all a ton of fun, and something I was happy to share with the world.

Now, in 2011, I'm gearing up to return – and this time I'm asking for help. The new, larger, paperback edition is going to be called The Face Food Bento Book, and unlike the other two titles it's going to have more of a travelogue feel to it; that's right – more words and more photos! In order to make this trip even doable with my publisher I've given up royalties and am paying for a lot of the travel and research out of pocket. But there's hope! If I can return the favor through various gifts and artistic endeavors, these pledges can pave the way for what's set to be the coolest bento book yet – one that's available on both the iPad and in print form!


I also want to give back to the wonderful people that made these books possible. In the role of journalist, I’ve interviewed and photographed people in Japan – wonderful, caring folks – who received little more than a copy of the book in return. This time, I’d like to be able to show my appreciation by giving back to everyone.


That’s where Kickstarter comes in!

For each pledge amount you’ll receive something valuable in return, which I’ve tiered to the dollar amount. Consider it my humble thanks to you for helping make this book even possible.

A KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE EPUB AND PDF BOOK

With a small pledge of $25, not only will you receive a copy of the original Face Food Recipes, but you’ll also get a brand new ePub and PDF book (viewable on Mac/PC or color e-readers that support the formats) of out-takes and travel photos tentatively titled Monsters in Tokyo. This book will not be available anywhere but here, and each edition will have your name in it as a pledge supporter!


ORIGINAL BENTO ITEMS, BROUGHT BACK FROM JAPAN

A guilty pleasure of mine is scouring Tokyo for unique bento boxes and bento box accessories. I'm building up quite a collection, and now you can, too! Pledges of $100 or more will receive copies of the first two books, the new book (when published), but I'll also send you some really cool bento stuff! A bento box shaped like a giant lego block or a Dragon Ball, or "wacky" accessories like nori face stampers, "sauce" pens, or hardboiled egg holders. Each set will be random but definitely cool.


TRAVEL PHOTO PRINTS + GRACIAS

Pledges of $250 or more get copies of the original books and the cool bento items, but they also receive a set of 6 photographs shot just for them in and around Japan. The format will be different for each person, and some a mixed bag: Holga, Fisheye, Digital Prints, Polaroids, etc. I promise they'll all be cool and all suitable for framing. :) Oh, and I'll also personally thank you in the new book!

LIMITED EDITION, HAND-BOUND ARTSY COPY

Anyone who donates $850 or more will receive not only everything listed above that pledge amount, but also a hand-bound, hardcover edition of The Face Food Bento Book. I'm making these myself (with a little help from some bookbinding and letterpress friends) so each will be unique, one-of-a-kind collectables containing illustrations and artworks by yours truly. Only ten copies made in total. These will be ready near the date of the book's publication, which is April 2012.


HAVE YOUR VERY OWN BENTO IN THE BOOK!

Anyone pledging $1000 will get something very, very unique: a character bento will be made by me to resemble YOU (or a subject of their choosing – PG-13 and under, please). This will be photographed and included in The Face Food Bento Book, credited how you would like it credited. See the sample below from our party at Giant Robot, NYC. There are only 5 spots for this.

Sample of a personal bento – this could be you!


ON FUNDING

Note: your credit card won't be charged for the amount you specify unless Kickstarter gets all $8,000 or more in funding by the end date. If you have problems with the payment system here, please email me (info@christopherdsalyers.com) and we'll figure out an alternative payment method.

THE FINAL BOOK

The new book is set to publish in April 2012. So, if your pledge amount results in a copy of the new book (hand-bound hardcover or paperback), you'll receive it around that release date. All other backer rewards will be sent out as soon as humanly possible.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ePub and PDF (viewable on Mac/PC or color e-readers that support the format) of the Kickstarter-exclusive photo book, Monsters in Tokyo, with your name in it as a pledge supporter, and one copy of the original hardcover book, Face Food Recipes.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    PDF, ePUB (iPad only), and paperback edition of the new book plus copies of both hardcover books, Face Food and Face Food Recipes, each personally signed by the author.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above plus a selection of cute and rare bento box items bought by the author in Tokyo (selection will vary, but each set will include at least one bento box and some cute character bento-making accessories).

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above plus your name in the new book as a patron and a set of 6 original travel photo prints (each set is different) from the author taken during his time in Japan, and each FRAMED in a unique, one-of-a-kind frame. Instant wall art! (Please specify if you want all of your photographs to be of character bentos. Some have used these prints as kitchen decorations.)

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    All of the above plus a limited-edition, hand-bound hardcover edition of the new book, signed by the author. This includes one-of-a-kind pieces of artwork - drawn, painted, and photographed by the author.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above plus a special character bento made of you (or a subject of your choice) by the author which will be photographed and included in the book. See the description to the left for a sample image. This is your chance to see your face as food!

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Funding period

- (50 days)