Kissa by Kissa (2nd ed.)

A 1,000 km walk along the Nakasendō

Craig Mod

The Book

Kissa by Kissa: How to Walk Japan (Book One)'s first edition of 1,000 copies sold out in two days (!) in August, 2020. Due to strong interest and demand (and the fact that most of my friends and family didn't get a copy!), this is a second printing.

Note: Although this is a limited run, the second edition is not signed or explicitly editioned (with a numbered stamp). 


Kissa by Kissa 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 2nd edition physical object: 

  • limited to 1,200 copies
  • cloth-bound, flexible hardcover (0.7mm boards)
  • grey ink silk screened cover & spine
  • blind deboss on back
  • fine-art archival matte Japanese body papers (Araveal White, 110kg)
  • 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.

You can think of it like a film. At a leisurely pace, Kissa by Kissa takes about ninety minutes to read. It’s designed to reward multiple readings and be a book you return to over time. It is linear, but doesn't need to be read linearly.

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. 



Production

The second edition of the book is in production in Tokyo as of the launch of this campaign. 

From the box it ships in, to the thread the signatures are woven with, everything is made, assembled, and produced in Japan. This book was touched by — and helped employ — several dozen folks with sustainable and humane salaries, across a number of industries — from paper making, to box making, to printing and binding.

Here are some shots of the first edition in production:

 

 

Here are some shots of the first edition out in the wild, sent in by customers:

 

Here are some pictures of our test prints on uncut sheets checking photo exposure and edits and reproduction qualities on a selection of fine papers: 


  


Pre-sale Campaign & Goals

The pre-sale starts on Tuesday, October 20, and ends on Friday October 30. 

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 (hello!) 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 have a little party. 

At 300 sales I'll host a public Q&A livestream around the book. 

If we hit 500 sales before August 30, then I'll include a set of four postcard sized kissa prints with the book. They look fantastic in person:

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 $40 coupon (meaning they can buy it for $45). 

 


 

SP Membership

Kissa by Kissa is a SPECIAL PROJECTS Project. Existing Yearly Members received a coupon for $40 off the book. (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. 

If you purchase a Yearly Membership you'll immediately get an email with a $40 coupon to use on Kissa by Kissa

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. The book is currently in production. I've already shipped the first edition to 1,000 customers. This second edition will ship from Tokyo by November 16th.

I've lost precise count, but I think this is 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: 

Kissa by Kissa's second edition will ship by November 16th. 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. 

351 backers ($30,236.00)

7 days until pre-order campaign ends

Currently, we are:

Complete!
feeling toasty!
Complete!
Q&A livestream!
70% to postcards
29% to sold out

Kissa by Kissa 2nd edition (1,200 copies) is presently in production. A tiny celebration of pizza toast will happen at 100 sales. At 300 sales, I'll do a public Q&A livestream around the book. And a four-postcard set will be included for everyone if we hit 500 orders by October 30, 2020.

The book will ship by November 16th.

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A note on VAT and customs:
We offer the best rate available to us for tracked, worldwide shipping from Japan. That said, most European & Canadian buyers will have an additional import customs VAT / processing fee payment upon arrival of the book. Please keep this in mind. It averages about 15-30 Euros depending on the country. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

The Book

Kissa by Kissa: How to Walk Japan (Book One)'s first edition of 1,000 copies sold out in two days (!) in August, 2020. Due to strong interest and demand (and the fact that most of my friends and family didn't get a copy!), this is a second printing.

Note: Although this is a limited run, the second edition is not signed or explicitly editioned (with a numbered stamp). 


Kissa by Kissa 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 2nd edition physical object: 

  • limited to 1,200 copies
  • cloth-bound, flexible hardcover (0.7mm boards)
  • grey ink silk screened cover & spine
  • blind deboss on back
  • fine-art archival matte Japanese body papers (Araveal White, 110kg)
  • 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.

You can think of it like a film. At a leisurely pace, Kissa by Kissa takes about ninety minutes to read. It’s designed to reward multiple readings and be a book you return to over time. It is linear, but doesn't need to be read linearly.

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. 



Production

The second edition of the book is in production in Tokyo as of the launch of this campaign. 

From the box it ships in, to the thread the signatures are woven with, everything is made, assembled, and produced in Japan. This book was touched by — and helped employ — several dozen folks with sustainable and humane salaries, across a number of industries — from paper making, to box making, to printing and binding.

Here are some shots of the first edition in production:

 

 

Here are some shots of the first edition out in the wild, sent in by customers:

 

Here are some pictures of our test prints on uncut sheets checking photo exposure and edits and reproduction qualities on a selection of fine papers: 


  


Pre-sale Campaign & Goals

The pre-sale starts on Tuesday, October 20, and ends on Friday October 30. 

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 (hello!) 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 have a little party. 

At 300 sales I'll host a public Q&A livestream around the book. 

If we hit 500 sales before August 30, then I'll include a set of four postcard sized kissa prints with the book. They look fantastic in person:

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 $40 coupon (meaning they can buy it for $45). 

 


 

SP Membership

Kissa by Kissa is a SPECIAL PROJECTS Project. Existing Yearly Members received a coupon for $40 off the book. (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. 

If you purchase a Yearly Membership you'll immediately get an email with a $40 coupon to use on Kissa by Kissa

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. The book is currently in production. I've already shipped the first edition to 1,000 customers. This second edition will ship from Tokyo by November 16th.

I've lost precise count, but I think this is 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: 

Kissa by Kissa's second edition will ship by November 16th. 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.