I’m Josiah Lebowitz
and I’m a writer and video game designer.
You may have heard of my book, Interactive Storytelling for Video Games, my long running web comic Pebble Version, or my new indie studio, Pen and
Sword Games. But today, I’m here to talk
to you about Japan.
Back when I was in
high school, I realized that many of the games I played, the shows I watched,
the books I read, and even the martial arts I studied all came from Japan. That made me curious so I started studying
Japanese and learning more about Japan and the Japanese culture. But just learning about it wasn’t enough so I
ended up moving there for a while to teach English in Japanese public schools on two separate occasions.
My times in Japan
were amazing. Not only did I love the
work, but I got to spend my weekends touring the country, from modern high tech
cities to ancient temples nestled deep in the mountains. While there, I wrote some popular travelogues
based on my experiences.
To plan all my
weekend trips, I spent a lot of time reading the major Japan tour books. But, while they all have their good points,
they were missing something... I, and
probably most of you watching this, are fans of Japanese pop culture (or otaku). And we don’t need page after page of hotel
and restaurant reviews. We want to know
how visit the locations featured in our favorite anime and manga, see J-Pop
groups like AKB48 in concert, and, of course, find the best places to buy
games, CDs, and figurines. The regular tour
books just can’t help there, so I’ve decided to write one of my own, just for
While I’d eventually
like to write about the entire country of Japan, I decided to start with the
places that are at the top of every otaku’s list, namely Tokyo and its
surroundings. That means Akihabara,
Shibuya, Shinjuku, Kamakura, Nikko, Yokohama, and more!
But, to create the
ultimate guide, with the best and most up to date information, I need to go back
to Japan and do some research before I start writing. Not to mention printing costs and the like once the book is completed. And that’s where you come in. Backing this project won’t just ensure that
you get an awesome guidebook, it’ll give you a chance to help shape it. I’ve already got a long list of locations and
topics for the book but, I’ll be looking to you to help round it out. Is there a place featured in your favorite
anime that you’ve always wanted to see?
Maybe an event or festival you dream of attending? I’ll be talking to my backers all throughout
the planning, research, and writing stages of the book to ensure that nothing
is left out. And don't forget the other rewards like copies of the book and customized travel plans. And that's only the beginning. I've got a lot of other great rewards ready to add if the initial goal is met.
So what are you waiting
for? It’s time for all of us American
otaku to join together and create the book we’ve always wanted!