Kissa by Kissa (1st ed.)

A 1,000 km walk along the Nakasendō

Craig Mod

Update — Sept 12: Production / binding finishing up yesterday. The glue is presently drying. I'll be signing books next week (Sept 16), then they're wrapped, then we start packing on Sept 24th (Japan has national holidays on 21, 22) and hope to begin shipping by September 28th, ahead of schedule. Will post an update once shipping starts. Thank you all for your patience. I posted some photos from production over on Ridgeline.  

Note — August 7th: It's 3am here and it looks like the books are about to sell out — WOW. Thank you all! This is bonkers. I did NOT think they'd go in just over 48 hours. I … clearly underestimated the demand for an expensive, esoteric book about walking in Japan and toast. The best way to stay on top of if we do a 2nd (unsigned, unstamped) edition in the future is to join my Ridgeline newsletter, which, anyway, is all about walking in Japan and, sometimes, toast: https://craigmod.com/ridgeline/

A HUGE thank you to everyone who shared and supported this campaign. I can't wait to get this book to you. Production and Shipping updates will be posted to Ridgeline


 

The Book: 1,000-Copy Limited Edition

Kissa by Kissa: How to Walk Japan (Book One) is a book about walking 1,000+km of the countryside of Japan along the ancient Nakasendō highway, the culture of toast (toast!), and mid-twentieth century Japanese cafés called kissaten

Details about the physical object: 

  • 1,000-copy limited edition
  • cloth-bound, flexible hardcover  
  • silk screened cover & spine
  • blind deboss on back
  • fine-art archival matte Japanese body papers
  • 170mm x 240mm (~B5 size)
  • 128 pages
  • 19 essays & short stories 
  • 40 photographs
  • printed and bound in Japan

The walk of this book begins in the city of Kamakura, just south of Tokyo. From there we head to Tokyo, and then from Tokyo all the way to Kyoto via the old Nakasendō highway, snaking through Saitama, over to Nagano, down through the bucolic Kiso Valley along the Kiso-ji road, into the plains of Gifu, alongside Lake Biwa, and to Kyoto. Along the way we meet farmers, gardeners, and a host of incredible and inspiring café owners. 

Kissa by Kissa is not a guide. It sits somewhere between travelogue, photo book, and bizarro ethnographic field study of old café — kissaten — culture.

Those kissaten — or kissa — served up toast. I ate that toast. So. Much. Toast. Much of it pizza toast. If you buy this book, you'll learn more than you ever dared to know about this variety of toast available all across Japan. It's a classic post-war food staple. Kissa by kissa, and slice by thick slice of beautiful, white toast, I took a heckuva affecting and long walk. This book is my sharing with you, of that walk, the people I met along the way, and the food I ate. 

To give you a sense of the distance covered, here's the spread in the book with the map of the walk: 




Kissa by Kissa's cover illustration was drawn by the great Luis Mendo. The illustration is silkscreened onto the cloth. 



The book is ready to go to print. All of June and July were spent working with our Tokyo printer, testing ink saturations on various paper types, cover cloths, and trim sizes. It looks and feels great. We can't wait to get this to you. 

Here are some pictures of our test prints on uncut sheets checking photo exposure and edits: 


 


 


Pre-sale Campaign & Goals

The pre-sale starts on Monday, August 3, and ends on Friday August 14. 

This pre-sale is being run as an off-Kickstarter campaign. The goals and tiers you see on this page have been generated using Craigstarter, a set of templates Craig Mod developed for running these kinds of campaigns on Shopify. Craigstarter is available as an open source projects, free to extend, use, expand as needed. 

As for this campaign: 

Once we hit 100 sales we'll start the presses. 

If we hit 250 sales before August 14, then I'll sign them all. 

And if we hit 500 sales before August 14, then I'll include a set of four postcard sized kissa prints with the book. 

The book is priced at $85 (+ shipping) during the pre-sale period. It will retail for $95 after the pre-sale is complete. Yearly Members of my SPECIAL PROJECTS membership program get a $50 coupon (meaning they can buy it for $35). More info on the membership program is outlined below. 

 



Limited Print

For the release of this book, I'm also offering a limited edition print: "Canadian Coffee House."

The print is limited to an edition of 30, signed and numbered. It was produced in collaboration with Tokyo-based fine-art printer and photographer Hamish Campbell. It's printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth archival, acid- and lignin-free, fine-art paper. 

The physical dimensions of the unframed print are approximately 170mm x 240mm (the same size as the book, ~B5). 

The print can only be bought in conjunction with the book. The set retails for $355 USD regularly, $345 during the pre-sale campaign, and the Yearly Membership coupon for $50 can be used on this set, too, of course. 



Membership

Kissa by Kissa is a SPECIAL PROJECTS Project. Existing Yearly Members receive a coupon for $50 off the book or the book + print. (Check your email if you haven't gotten your coupon / feel free to mail me: craig@specialprojects.jp) 

Existing Monthly Members can upgrade to Yearly with a few clicks. 

Non-members have two options: you can become a Yearly Member over on the membership page (and immediately get a $50 coupon), or you can purchase a Yearly Membership along with your book or book and print with the $50 discount applied (the Yearly membership is normally $100). Just select the Book (Book + Print) + 1 Yr Membership tier. 

For those purchasing membership bundles here, I'll have to manually make your account, but they should be live within an hour or two of purchase. Aside from discounts, SPECIAL PROJECTS members get access to my archive of livestream making of videos (for this book and other web projects), Pop Up Walk documentary videos of walking in Japan, behind the scenes interviews with folks like Dan Frommer and Kevin Kelly, free PDFs of my other books (Koya Bound, Art Space Tokyo), access to my quarterly office hours, and other discounts on my SPECIAL PROJECTS Projects going forward. 



Risks and Challenges

You'll be billed immediately upon checkout. In the unlikely case we don't hit 100 pre-sales before August 14, I'll refund everyone their full payments. The book is complete, edited, proofed, re-proofed, triple-proofed, combed over with a microscope, test-printed, and ready to go to press. Dummy books have been checked, dialed in.

I've lost precise count, but I think this is at least the 12th book I've produced / co-authored / designed / published. My book Art Space Tokyo was one of the first crowdfunded books on the Kickstarter platform. I even wrote one of the first comprehensive guides to crowdfunding a book back in 2010: Kickstartup

You can check out my past two successful crowdfunding campaigns here: 

All tiers for Kissa by Kissa will ship in early October, 2020 (but our goal is to get them out by end of September; fingers crossed). Because of Covid-19 some unforeseeable complications may arise. This book is being printed, bound, and shipped from Japan. That said, these are weird days. Thanks in advance for your understanding. 


Contents

  • Foreword
  1. Pachinko Road
  2. A Food for Children
  3. Kissa & Shōwa
  4. Interloping
  5. Ozu’s Geometry
  6. Pizza Toast & Būgen
  7. Thompson
  8. Alps
  9. Kiso-ji
  10. Sofa Chairs
  11. Shutter Towns
  12. Beniya
  13. Coffee Tickets
  14. City of Toast
  15. Canadian Coffee House
  16. Nagoya
  17. Ran
  18. Blood
  19. Kumata
  • Map
  • Photo Index
  • Epilogue
  • Interview with Sean McDonald
  • Thanks
  • Copyright & Colophon

 



About Craig

Craig Mod is a writer and photographer who has been based in Japan for the majority of the past twenty years. His book Koya Bound (2016) is an award winning (AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers) book about the Kumano Kodo UNESCO pilgrimage path in Wakayama, Japan. Over the past seven years he's walked some 2,500km across the country and eaten several hundred slices of toast, pizza and plain alike. His writing has appeared in publications including Eater, Wired, The New Yorker, California Sunday Magazine, and others. His weekly newsletter on walking in Japan, Ridgeline, is read by over 6,000 people. 

1000 backers ($107,000.00)

Pre-sale campaign is done!

Currently, we are:

Complete!
going to press!
Complete!
signing the books!
Complete!
printing postcards!
Complete!
doing some pizza toast youtubing!
Complete!
sold out!

This book will go to press at 100 preorders, will be signed at 250, and a postcard set will be included for everyone if we hit 500 by August 14, 2020.

All tiers will ship by October, 2020.

Powered by Craigstarter

Select your Tier

Book Only (Sold Out)

$95.00 $95.00

Get a copy of Kissa by Kissa

0 of 870 remaining

Selected

Book + Limited Print (Sold Out)

$345.00 $355.00

Get a copy of Kissa by Kissa + the limited edition "Canadian Coffee House" print

0 of 20 remaining

Selected

Book + 1 Yr Membership (Sold Out)

$135.00 $145.00

The above "Book Only" tier + a one-year membership to the SPECIAL PROJECTS membership program

0 of 100 remaining

Selected

Book + Print + 1 Yr Membership (Sold Out)

$395.00 $405.00

The above "Book + Limited Print" tier + a one-year membership to the SPECIAL PROJECTS membership program

0 of 10 remaining

Selected

Update — Sept 12: Production / binding finishing up yesterday. The glue is presently drying. I'll be signing books next week (Sept 16), then they're wrapped, then we start packing on Sept 24th (Japan has national holidays on 21, 22) and hope to begin shipping by September 28th, ahead of schedule. Will post an update once shipping starts. Thank you all for your patience. I posted some photos from production over on Ridgeline.  

Note — August 7th: It's 3am here and it looks like the books are about to sell out — WOW. Thank you all! This is bonkers. I did NOT think they'd go in just over 48 hours. I … clearly underestimated the demand for an expensive, esoteric book about walking in Japan and toast. The best way to stay on top of if we do a 2nd (unsigned, unstamped) edition in the future is to join my Ridgeline newsletter, which, anyway, is all about walking in Japan and, sometimes, toast: https://craigmod.com/ridgeline/

A HUGE thank you to everyone who shared and supported this campaign. I can't wait to get this book to you. Production and Shipping updates will be posted to Ridgeline


 

The Book: 1,000-Copy Limited Edition

Kissa by Kissa: How to Walk Japan (Book One) is a book about walking 1,000+km of the countryside of Japan along the ancient Nakasendō highway, the culture of toast (toast!), and mid-twentieth century Japanese cafés called kissaten

Details about the physical object: 

  • 1,000-copy limited edition
  • cloth-bound, flexible hardcover  
  • silk screened cover & spine
  • blind deboss on back
  • fine-art archival matte Japanese body papers
  • 170mm x 240mm (~B5 size)
  • 128 pages
  • 19 essays & short stories 
  • 40 photographs
  • printed and bound in Japan

The walk of this book begins in the city of Kamakura, just south of Tokyo. From there we head to Tokyo, and then from Tokyo all the way to Kyoto via the old Nakasendō highway, snaking through Saitama, over to Nagano, down through the bucolic Kiso Valley along the Kiso-ji road, into the plains of Gifu, alongside Lake Biwa, and to Kyoto. Along the way we meet farmers, gardeners, and a host of incredible and inspiring café owners. 

Kissa by Kissa is not a guide. It sits somewhere between travelogue, photo book, and bizarro ethnographic field study of old café — kissaten — culture.

Those kissaten — or kissa — served up toast. I ate that toast. So. Much. Toast. Much of it pizza toast. If you buy this book, you'll learn more than you ever dared to know about this variety of toast available all across Japan. It's a classic post-war food staple. Kissa by kissa, and slice by thick slice of beautiful, white toast, I took a heckuva affecting and long walk. This book is my sharing with you, of that walk, the people I met along the way, and the food I ate. 

To give you a sense of the distance covered, here's the spread in the book with the map of the walk: 




Kissa by Kissa's cover illustration was drawn by the great Luis Mendo. The illustration is silkscreened onto the cloth. 



The book is ready to go to print. All of June and July were spent working with our Tokyo printer, testing ink saturations on various paper types, cover cloths, and trim sizes. It looks and feels great. We can't wait to get this to you. 

Here are some pictures of our test prints on uncut sheets checking photo exposure and edits: 


 


 


Pre-sale Campaign & Goals

The pre-sale starts on Monday, August 3, and ends on Friday August 14. 

This pre-sale is being run as an off-Kickstarter campaign. The goals and tiers you see on this page have been generated using Craigstarter, a set of templates Craig Mod developed for running these kinds of campaigns on Shopify. Craigstarter is available as an open source projects, free to extend, use, expand as needed. 

As for this campaign: 

Once we hit 100 sales we'll start the presses. 

If we hit 250 sales before August 14, then I'll sign them all. 

And if we hit 500 sales before August 14, then I'll include a set of four postcard sized kissa prints with the book. 

The book is priced at $85 (+ shipping) during the pre-sale period. It will retail for $95 after the pre-sale is complete. Yearly Members of my SPECIAL PROJECTS membership program get a $50 coupon (meaning they can buy it for $35). More info on the membership program is outlined below. 

 



Limited Print

For the release of this book, I'm also offering a limited edition print: "Canadian Coffee House."

The print is limited to an edition of 30, signed and numbered. It was produced in collaboration with Tokyo-based fine-art printer and photographer Hamish Campbell. It's printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth archival, acid- and lignin-free, fine-art paper. 

The physical dimensions of the unframed print are approximately 170mm x 240mm (the same size as the book, ~B5). 

The print can only be bought in conjunction with the book. The set retails for $355 USD regularly, $345 during the pre-sale campaign, and the Yearly Membership coupon for $50 can be used on this set, too, of course. 



Membership

Kissa by Kissa is a SPECIAL PROJECTS Project. Existing Yearly Members receive a coupon for $50 off the book or the book + print. (Check your email if you haven't gotten your coupon / feel free to mail me: craig@specialprojects.jp) 

Existing Monthly Members can upgrade to Yearly with a few clicks. 

Non-members have two options: you can become a Yearly Member over on the membership page (and immediately get a $50 coupon), or you can purchase a Yearly Membership along with your book or book and print with the $50 discount applied (the Yearly membership is normally $100). Just select the Book (Book + Print) + 1 Yr Membership tier. 

For those purchasing membership bundles here, I'll have to manually make your account, but they should be live within an hour or two of purchase. Aside from discounts, SPECIAL PROJECTS members get access to my archive of livestream making of videos (for this book and other web projects), Pop Up Walk documentary videos of walking in Japan, behind the scenes interviews with folks like Dan Frommer and Kevin Kelly, free PDFs of my other books (Koya Bound, Art Space Tokyo), access to my quarterly office hours, and other discounts on my SPECIAL PROJECTS Projects going forward. 



Risks and Challenges

You'll be billed immediately upon checkout. In the unlikely case we don't hit 100 pre-sales before August 14, I'll refund everyone their full payments. The book is complete, edited, proofed, re-proofed, triple-proofed, combed over with a microscope, test-printed, and ready to go to press. Dummy books have been checked, dialed in.

I've lost precise count, but I think this is at least the 12th book I've produced / co-authored / designed / published. My book Art Space Tokyo was one of the first crowdfunded books on the Kickstarter platform. I even wrote one of the first comprehensive guides to crowdfunding a book back in 2010: Kickstartup

You can check out my past two successful crowdfunding campaigns here: 

All tiers for Kissa by Kissa will ship in early October, 2020 (but our goal is to get them out by end of September; fingers crossed). Because of Covid-19 some unforeseeable complications may arise. This book is being printed, bound, and shipped from Japan. That said, these are weird days. Thanks in advance for your understanding. 


Contents

  • Foreword
  1. Pachinko Road
  2. A Food for Children
  3. Kissa & Shōwa
  4. Interloping
  5. Ozu’s Geometry
  6. Pizza Toast & Būgen
  7. Thompson
  8. Alps
  9. Kiso-ji
  10. Sofa Chairs
  11. Shutter Towns
  12. Beniya
  13. Coffee Tickets
  14. City of Toast
  15. Canadian Coffee House
  16. Nagoya
  17. Ran
  18. Blood
  19. Kumata
  • Map
  • Photo Index
  • Epilogue
  • Interview with Sean McDonald
  • Thanks
  • Copyright & Colophon

 



About Craig

Craig Mod is a writer and photographer who has been based in Japan for the majority of the past twenty years. His book Koya Bound (2016) is an award winning (AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers) book about the Kumano Kodo UNESCO pilgrimage path in Wakayama, Japan. Over the past seven years he's walked some 2,500km across the country and eaten several hundred slices of toast, pizza and plain alike. His writing has appeared in publications including Eater, Wired, The New Yorker, California Sunday Magazine, and others. His weekly newsletter on walking in Japan, Ridgeline, is read by over 6,000 people.