The Book of the Hakutaku is an illustrated bestiary of yokai—the spirits, monsters, and ghosts from traditional Japanese folklore. It is the third volume of my yokai encyclopedia. It has over 100 yokai, each one translated from Japanese folklore and illustrated by me.
My first and second volumes, The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons and The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits, were both funded on Kickstarter. Although this is technically a third volume, you don't need to have read or own my other books to enjoy this one. It works equally well as a stand alone yokai dictionary, or as an addition to your expanding yokai library!
One of the most interesting things about yokai is that there are so many of them. Even after three yokai encyclopedias, there are still hundreds of yokai left to cover!
Yokai have always been part of Japanese culture. Within each period of history new yokai were imagined, invented, and imported into Japanese folklore. Some were once worshiped as gods, but degenerated into amusing spirits as they were abandoned by later generations. Others were brought over from foreign countries and incorporated into the local folklore. Still others were invented by artists, writers, and storytellers to appeal to the strong demand for ghost stories, or as political commentary during periods of heavy censorship.
The Book of the Hakutaku will introduce readers to the wide variety of different types of yokai, including cross-cultural yokai. Over the centuries, countless foreign gods, myths, and spirits were absorbed, reinterpreted, and transformed into an inseparable part of Japan's own folklore. A large number of the yokai featured in this book have origins in China, India, and even further west.
What is the plan once the project is funded?
The finished book will have 100 entries, each with an accompanying illustration. 80 of these are already finished. All of the work already completed will be shared with Kickstarter backers so they can see all of the artwork and be part of the process.
Over the next few months, as I finish the final paintings, backers will receive regular updates (approximately one per week) on the process of creating the book, including sketches, line art, and final paintings, as well as the text of each yokai entry. You'll be able to watch the book get created, so you'll never feel too far from the project or be left wondering when you'll get your book.
In the spring, as the layout and editing is finalized, backers will be sent a survey asking about their preferences for stretch goals and add ons (personalized signatures, selections for art prints, etc.). I expect the book to ship to backers in June, although if there are delays or problems with the print samples there is a possibility of that being delayed a little bit.
How will the money be used?
The writing, illustrating, and layout of the book are all being done by me, which fortunately keeps costs low. The majority of the money raised will go into printing and shipping costs for the rewards. A large chunk of it will be used to pay for proofreading and editing of the final text. Finally, some of the stretch goals have large up-front costs and need to be produced in larger quantities to be economical. As I don't have a a large publishing company to back me up financially, I need your patronage for support to make this book possible.
Stretch Goals and Add-Ons
If you'd like to buy extra books or copies of my other books you can do so by increasing your pledge by the amounts below. You don't have to increase your shipping cost. Please note that you must be a paperback level backer or higher to buy extra paperbacks, and you must be a collector's edition level backer or higher to buy extra hardcovers.
- The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons (paperback): $40
- The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits (paperback): $45
- The Book of the Hakutaku (paperback): $40
- The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons (hardcover): $75
- The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits (hardcover): $80
- The Book of the Hakutaku (hardcover): $75
Stretch Goals and Add-Ons
- Art print (small): $15
- Art print (medium): $30
- Yokai postcard set: $20
- Yokai bookmarks: $5 or $10 (see below)
- Ebook versions of my first two books: $5
- Yokai t-shirts: $30
- Yokai hoodie: $50
- Yokai happi coat: $80
- Double postcards (postcard set now includes 20 postcards)
- Collector's edition slipcase: $35
Art prints come in two sizes: small (3.5" x 5.5" image in a 5" x 7" mat) and medium (7.25" x 9.25" in a 11" x 14" mat). All prints are mounted and matted on acid-free materials and printed with professional quality light-resistant inks on acid-free fine art watercolor paper. Because they are matted, they are ready to hang on your walls, but they also look great in simple wood or metal frames. All prints are signed beneath the mat. Hundreds of yokai images are available!
The Yokai postcard set contains a set of twenty beautiful glossy postcards featuring a selection of yokai from the book. The postcards in the image above are just examples. The final images to be included in the yokai postcard set will be selected via survey after the project is finished. The images with the most votes will get chosen for the postcards. These postcards are great for sending to friends and family, or you can even put them in postcard-sized frames to decorate your lair!
Yokai bookmarks will feature designs on the front and the back. They are the perfect companion for the collector's set, and a great way to mark your favorite yokai in the book! Bookmarks for The Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits, and The Book of the Hakutaku will be available. You can order one bookmark for $5, or the set of three for $10. The designs are not yet finalized, but they will be similar to the sample image above. They will come with a tassel and a matte finish.
Yokai t-shirts come in sizes S-XL. They are printed locally in Fukui, Japan. These designs will be printing using inkjet printers, which means that the cloth will be permanently dyed with the image. Washing the shirt will not cause the image to fade, and the colors are bright and vivid. There are two shirt design options: plain and baseball tee. The above images are samples. Because this is an inkjet print process instead of silkscreen, many different designs are possible without increasing the cost. There will be a few different yokai shirt designs to choose from.
The yokai hoodie comes in sizes S-XL. It is printed locally at the same company as the t-shirts above on a high-quality hoodie with dyes that will not fade or chip away in the wash. As with the t-shirts, there will be a few different designs to choose from.
The yokai happi is a traditional Japanese festival jacket. It is single-sized, large and baggy and goes over your regular clothes. It is printed at the same company as the hoodie and the t-shirts. Perfect for festivals and conventions where you can show off your yokai pride! The above design isn't final, but the end design will look something very similar to this.
The collector's edition slipcases are high quality slipcases specially designed for each of the different hardcovers. They matches the slipcases made during the previous Kickstarter. Please note that the images above are just mockups based on the slipcase from The Hour of Meeting Evil Spirits.
More add-ons and stretch goals coming soon!
Risks and challenges
This is my third book and my third Kickstarter. I learned a lot over the previous two Kickstarters and I believe I can anticipate all of the challenges presented with such an ambitious project. Reactions to my other books were overwhelmingly positive, so I feel confident that I can deliver a satisfying product to my backers.
The biggest risk to this project is unforeseen delays. With so many paintings involved and only one person doing the work, something like catching the flu can set the project back a week. Other possible delays could come from the editing process or the printing/production process. Although I hope those will be done as quickly as possible, any delays would be to make sure that the book is as perfect as it can be. That said, I am much closer to completing this book than I was when I launched the previous two Kickstarters, and I believe I have given myself enough buffer room to finish the project on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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