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In this comedic food and travel adventure, two friends spend a week eating everything Tokyo has to offer.
In this comedic food and travel adventure, two friends spend a week eating everything Tokyo has to offer.
312 backers pledged $10,564 to help bring this project to life.

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Not One Shrine: Two food writers devour Tokyo (ebook)

$10,564

312

UPDATE: We have doubled the art and are doing a paperback edition! An off Kickstarter backing has "officially" put the project over 10k, so Becky is getting to work on writing the bonus chapter to add on to the already finished manuscript. Only one stretch goal remaining: At $12K, we record an audiobook that all backers will receive regardless of reward level.

An all-new illustrated ebook from Seattle food writers Matthew Amster-Burton (Hungry Monkey, Pretty Good Number One, Child Octopus) and Becky Selengut (Good Fish, Shroom), Not One Shrine is the perfect bite-sized Tokyo food adventure.

Still relatively untraveled by Westerners, Tokyo (and its 80,000 restaurants) should be on every food lover’s “eat here before you die” list. Don't worry—ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Matthew and Becky did some Olympic-worthy eating, purely to share this experience with you. Because they're only two people with seven days on their hands and the unfortunate physical limitations on the human stomach, they agreed that they could get a lot more eating done if they didn’t visit even one shrine.

We didn't go in
We didn't go in

They left their spouses and families at home and set out on an epic food adventure that found them ogling robots, eating just-dispatched eel, drinking whiskey chilled with hand-carved ice balls, consuming fish sperm on purpose, and getting kicked out of public baths.

Read a sample chapter right now.

We are raising money to pay for the following:

1. Cover design

2. Illustrations and manga art from Seattle artist Denise Sakaki

3. Kickstarter reward fulfillment

4. Professional editing and proofreading

State and local sales tax is already included in all pledges made by those whose payment or shipping address is in Washington State.

Stretch goals

Stretch goal 1: Double the art! ($7000) If this puppy gets up to $7000, we’ll pay artist Denise Sakaki (creator of Robot Becky and Robot Matthew) to do twice as many illustrations for the book—eight instead of four. We’ll leave it up to her which chapters to illustrate. Maybe the one where Matthew discovers the entrance to Hell? Or the one with the live eel incident? No, it’s gotta be fish sperm, right? UNLOCKED

Stretch goal 2: We’re going paperback! ($8000) Let’s print this sucker! If we hit $8000, we’ll produce a paperback edition of the book, which will include all the illustrations. We’ll also send the paperback to everyone who pledged $100 or more, and add a new $50 reward level where you’ll get the paperback plus everything at the $25 level. The additional money raised will go toward book design and paperback startup costs. UNLOCKED

Please consider stretching yourself, a la yoga, and upping your current pledge to the $100 level, accomplishing 3 things in 1: greater flexibility, better chance of reaching this stretch goal, and nothing more you need to do in order to receive a physical version of our book in your hot, generous hands if we meet the 8k goal.

Stretch goal 3: Extra chapter! ($10,000) Becky and her wife April got to go back to Tokyo on a follow-up trip, and this time they left Matthew at home. How did this little bird handle getting pushed out of the nest? Deficient in language skills and cultural knowledge, Becky has suck it up and pretend she knows something about Japan. Featuring judgmental commentary by Matthew, even though he wasn’t there! UNLOCKED

Stretch goal 4: Audiobook! ($12,000) All backers will receive this regardless of reward level. Take us with you everywhere your ears go!

About the Authors

Matthew Amster Burton is a podcaster (Look Inside This Book Club, Spilled Milk) and author of three books. His favorite thing to eat in Japan is probably ramen. No, yakitori. No, wait, maybe really good tofu. Dammit.

Becky Selengut is a podcaster (Look Inside This Book Club), private chef, cooking teacher and the author of two books. She’s been in the food business ever since that high school job where she sold mediocre crab cakes at a little fish market at the end of her street -- unless of course, you count that summer job bagging groceries at the A and P in suburban New Jersey.

Famous noodles from Fuunji
Famous noodles from Fuunji

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the book? 

It’s about 100 pages; long enough to develop the story arc of Matthew and Becky’s building hunger, overconsumption, and descent into food regret but short enough that you are left wanting one more bite.

Will the book contain recipes? 

No. We realized that cooking in your own kitchen can in no way come close to what you will experience actually eating in Tokyo, due to Vacation Head*. And, well, we want you to go to Tokyo.

Vacation Head: the condition, common among food-obsessed travelers, where food tastes incomparably incredible when eaten on trips where you don’t have work, chores, or any familiar routines. Those suffering from Vacation Head are often heard saying “oh myyyy gaaaawd, that was the best ______ I’ve ever eaten!!!!!”

Will the book contain photos? 

No. Since we're planning to commission more original artwork, we decided to drop our hack photos. But we'll post them for free online.

Will the book contain illustrations? 

Yes, it will! The talented Denise Sakaki will be doing custom manga-like avatars of Becky and Matthew, along with other drawings.

Can I read it on my Kindle? My iPad? My bionic implant?

Yes, yes, and probably. We'll send you the ebook in EPUB, Kindle, and PDF formats. At least one of those will work on whatever you've got. The ebook is DRM-free, so you can put it on any device with no worries about passwords, copy protection, or other crap.

What will all backers receive, regardless of amount contributed?

Besides our undying gratitude, all backers will receive their name in the acknowledgements of the book and their e-copy one week before it goes on sale.

Will there be a paper book?

Yes! Everyone who pledges $50 or above gets it.

Do you guys still talk to each other? 

Totally! Especially if you consider rude gestures from across the street “talking.”

Is this a fun, wholesome read for the entire family?

No.

Robo-douches Matthew and Becky
Robo-douches Matthew and Becky

Risks and challenges

Currently, we have completed the manuscript and the next step is to get it professionally edited.

The editor may find more problems with the manuscript than we anticipate. This would require us to spend more time revising, and the manuscript would then go through another round of editing. The result would be a better book—but later and more expensive to produce.

We're working with an illustrator who has already sketched out numerous illustrations for the book and will also be designing the cover. We are depending on both the editor and designer to do their jobs well and on time. We're confident that they will, but any collaboration can go awry. If editing and design take longer than anticipated or we need to restart the process at any point, the publication date will be delayed.

If the book is delayed for any reason, we promise to keep backers informed. We'll let you know what's going on with the book, what we're doing to fix any problems, and when you can expect to receive your copies and other rewards. Matthew has published several e-books (and funded a successful Kickstarter campaign) and has previous experience overcoming issues that may come up.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Copy of Not One Shrine (ebook) with your name in the acknowledgments.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Copy of Not One Shrine (ebook) with your name in the acknowledgments, plus a print copy of the limited-edition one-page comic, signed by the authors and artist.

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    50 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Copy of Not One Shrine (ebook) with your name in the acknowledgments, plus a print copy of the limited-edition one-page comic, signed by the authors and artist, plus e-copies of Matthew's books Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Copy of the paperback edition of Not One Shrine with your name in the acknowledgments. All backers at the $50 level and up will get a copy of the paperback.

    Plus: Copy of Not One Shrine (ebook) with your name in the acknowledgments, plus a print copy of the limited-edition one-page comic, signed by the authors and artist, plus e-copies of Matthew's books Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Copy of Not One Shrine (ebook) with your name in the acknowledgments, plus a special limited-edition one-page Not One Shrine comic mounted on archival paper, ready for framing, signed by the authors and artist, plus e-copies of Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus.

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    Limited 21 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    GIMME THEM BOOKS PACKAGE

    Copy of Not One Shrine with your name in the acknowledgments, e-copies of Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus, signed copies of Hungry Monkey, Good Fish and Shroom (hand-delivered to your door by Matthew and Becky if you’re in Seattle); shout-out on our podcast, Look Inside This Book Club; a special limited-edition one-page Not One Shrine comic mounted on archival paper, ready for framing, signed by the authors and artist.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    JAPANESE AFTERNOON PACKAGE

    SEATTLE AREA ONLY!

    Becky and Matthew meet you for lunch at U:DON (lunch on us), then take you on a curated walking tour of Uwajimaya where we send you home with 6 of our favorite things (on us).

    Plus: Copy of Not One Shrine with your name in the acknowledgments, e-copies of Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus, signed copies of Hungry Monkey, Good Fish, and Shroom, a special limited-edition one-page Not One Shrine comic mounted on archival paper, ready for framing, signed by the authors and artist.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    OMAKASE PACKAGE

    Custom-designed multi-course Japanese dinner for four (with optional cooking demonstrations) cooked by Chef Becky. All dishes hand washed by Matthew. Dinner will occur at a mutually agreeable date at Becky's house on Capitol Hill, in Seattle (transportation not included). No expiration date—plan your next trip to Seattle to experience this one of a kind meal.

    Plus: Copy of Not One Shrine with your name in the acknowledgments, e-copies of Pretty Good Number One and Child Octopus, signed copies of Hungry Monkey, Good Fish, and Shroom, and a special limited-edition one-page Not One Shrine comic mounted on archival paper, ready for framing, signed by the authors and artist.

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Funding period

- (21 days)