The Abiko Free Press started out as a vague wish to continue on the right path -- to take what we learned from Quakebook and apply it to a viable publishing business. But not just any old business, one with integrity. One that puts a value on honesty over bullshit. Frankly, we'd rather fail to make a buck than jettison what we truly value -- which is challenging accepted wisdom about Japan.
And so far, we have succeeded. Since March, we've published four books. And not just any old books, but every one of some significance:
- Reconstructing 3/11 -- still the best single short volume on the effect on Japan one year on of the earthquake, tsunami and meltdown available by any publisher in English or Japanese.
- Tokyo in the Underbrush -- the only book we know of that juxtaposes touching portraits of Tokyo's homeless with haunting poetry from the Bubble Years.
- Hana Walker's Half-Life 2:46 -- the first novel we know of in English or Japanese to tackle 3/11, and to do it with panache and a dose of humor.
- How to Write About Japan -- A satirical essay that is the first to place current writing about the disaster into the context of the traditional tropes of Japan writing.
But don't think for a minute that this is all an amateur game for a laugh with no consideration for business... A couple of developments over the last few days are worth mentioning -- we got out first submission for a non-fiction book, and we have filed to become a bone fide biz in the great state of California. That's in America. Oh yeah, we're not just in Abiko anymore.
And there's much more to come.