First, I would like to announce my first book release event (of many in planning and to come!)
The highly-anticipated & beloved pioneer English cell phone novel comes to print! Join me at my special first ever book launch event at the atmospheric Windup Bird Cafe on Feb 15 at 5:30PM – 8:30PM, 382 College St (Bathurst x College), Toronto, Ontario, Canada
– Delicious dinner cuisine by Japanese chef, Yumiko Kobayashi
– Insightful and inspiring presentations by the author and guest speakers
– Fun interactive contest and prize opportunities
– Special and innovative experience with the cell phone novel community
– Multimedia, video, music, book signings and pictures
Invite and share with friends! Please make sure to RSVP by contacting Takatsu or book seats directly with firstname.lastname@example.org (Just clicking Join on the FB event doesn’t automatically register a seat!) No entrance fee!
After six years of memories and history-in-the-making, originally serialized and made popular online in 2008, “Secondhand Memories”, had brought the Japanese cell phone novel literary and youth pop cultural phenomenon to the English-speaking world. The young adult coming-of-age story that had sparked a movement and inspired communities, will be officially released on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, 2015 as ebook and a massive 6″ x 9″ 558-page paperback print book with stunning anime cover illustrations, interior formatting and graphic design, due to popular demand!
Book launch, presentations and more local events to come. For example, there may be one upcoming at York University, and I hope to be participating in a variety of anime conventions around the country, such as Anime North, Anime Expo and more. If you’re interested in being a part of the team and helping out with planning, marketing, promotions, collaborative initiatives, multimedia/cross-media projects and more, or if you know of anyone who is interested, do let me know.
Here is the global release date (Feb 14) home event: https://www.facebook.com/events/817575471611662/
Truly thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my journey, whether it was my music, my cell phone novel work and my current literary writing – I would not be able to continue to do what I love without you. Welcome to the journey, for new friends.
Recently not only has it been tremendously busy, but facing the transience of life has led me to both fix my eyes ever more diligently and with more determination heavenward, on the higher plane of existence and resonance and wavelength. Such that the phrase “in this world but not of this world” is precisely descriptive of my state of being. I left an email message to my professor regarding my visionary literature course titled “How To Ask For An Extension For An Essay“. The title is meant to be humour though its contents are not. It reflects my current thoughts and way of living in a sense.
Indeed, two people who have left a resonance in my heart has transcended the world. Both, people may believe to have suffered. Though both I know have gained victory in their own way. One has been a testimony of such wisdom, courage, faith and strength, it is impossible to ignore the ripples that carries across our generation. I feel I pale in comparison to a soul like that, despite her young age, I admire and aspire to be like her. I must wonder how I will respond in the face of suffering. The other, leaves deep reaching aching roots, and completes a chapter of something, in some way, and may yet also leave many doors for others to enter. Though the transience of life is so unmistakable, the dash between the birth and death years is what we are here for – and for a purpose.
In a sense, the heartfelt tragedy of Secondhand Memories is quite appropriate during this time. It paints the picture of human struggle against physical weakness, and the weakness of the heart, and the hope and strength to stand in the midst of inexplicable grief or spiritual weight. When I tried to look at it from an objective view, casting aside my current level of writing and thought or place in life, it still has tremendous power. In fact, from the visionary angle, I began to detect the Dantesque and the Beatrician vision in Secondhand Memories. If you know those concepts, you may know what I’m talking about, in particular if you think about how much of the book Aoi is actually “present”. I think it was the budding of something much greater than me, through me.
Despite the times of apparent darkness or tragedy, and my own desire to transcend this broken world, we live in flow, in a current, as a part of this majestic vision, a part of an enormous cosmos, far beyond our understanding. While I feel like I am drawing further away from earth and its seemingly insignificant mutterings, while I feel less connection with the ordinary and a greater vibration with the vastness and the great mysteries beyond our capability, at the same time, in the light of the things happening around, I’ve realized the smaller minute connections once again drawing closer and closer, puzzle pieces clicking together by some unseen hand, strings and web-like streams of light. I’ve been blessed by the people who have gone ahead of us but also of the people right here alongside me.
I truly thank you, you know who you are. When things are coalescing into physical substance and attempting construction of a concrete tangible future, you, my friends, have begun to gather and support me. Some of you are willing to offer your time to help me where I am weak and where I am incapable or out of time. Some of you are such accomplished and special individuals in your own right but we see the possibility ahead, the possibility of coming together to make complete new visions and ideas.
Truly, during this time, I have realized what it means to have friends or acquaintances, what networking and community and connections means, and how I can do nothing without others. I may create content and burn with passion, but each of us fit together in different ways. Some of us have vessels and opportunities that await to be filled or with more than enough room to lift me up. Some of us create in other ways and together, we burn even brighter. Some shine benevolence and good will to spur us who may despair at times, onward. Thank you.
A few things that happened recently.
Made two visits down to Wind Up Bird Cafe, reunion with a few good friends, planning the book launch and handing off a few of my books, and another, an inspiring night full of in depth discussion with my professor of Japanese Literature and Murakami translator, Ted Goossen and exquisite and fine-tuned cuisine by Yumiko Kobayashi based off of the novel, Wind Up Bird Chronicle in a community of Murakami-readers. On a side note, I discovered an incredible bookstore just beside the restaurant full of old secondhand books that is curated and spans an impressive range of all the classics and intellectuals, all the landmarks of literature and modern thought, literary fiction and onwards. Whatever I thought of in there, I found it. I could only buy so much at a time since books tend to get heavy, so this time it had to be Borges, DeLillo, Carver and Murakami, to start off with my cornerstones. My home library is growing more expansive and impressive by the day, in my humble opinion. I am loving it. I will have to stock up again on my next trip.
Another night, I visited Wattpad HQ after what was many months and had the honour of offering a copy up to the Wattpad Tree, where I had dreamed of being for a long time. I hope Espresso Love will follow in the future as well. For dinner, I met up with Berry, fellow Torontonian Manager-san of the upcoming J-pop girls band 4TE from the US, introduced by a new cell phone novelist of our community, who is talented and accomplished musician in his own right. Not only did we have such profound, and inspiring conversations about the visions and passions we share in common, but on a more practical and very exciting note, together we aim to create/re-create the piano song Aoi had written for Seiji, infused in the sentimental music box of the novel, as well as coax it into a beautiful piano J-pop ballad sung by the girls. This will mark the first of many collaborations and possibilities to come, such as a full OST album with various artists. On the other hand, new exciting ideas such as Japanese voiceover work for an animated PV, or full Japanese audio drama adaptation/podcast by voice actresses/actors for Secondhand Memories.
Now other things on my mind are manga, anime and visual novel adaptations if possible some day. But these are long term projects! If there is anyone who does any of the following, let me know: anime/Vocaloid-PV-style animation, anime/manga illustration, visual novel/game programming/development, Japanese voiceovers, music composition, recording engineering, etc.
Akihabara Expo (December in Anaheim, California) has invited me to be a part of their massive inaugural event. Alodia and other many big names will be there. So be sure to check out the convention and get hyped for it.
In other news, Secondhand Memories Goodreads Giveaway has begun and there are already many entries! Be sure to get in on this and share the event with friends! (Though I’d suggest purchasing a copy if you are sure you want one, as the odds are not too easy!) On release date, Feb 14, it will also be available for order on Amazon and various places.
Check out these exclusive Secondhand Memories products! Designs on, that’s right, smartphone cases, t-shirts, wall clocks, pillows, bags, coffee mugs, laptop skins and more. Click here for more.
PS: With all the buzz for Secondhand Memories, I’d also like to ask you not to forget my most recent novel, reflecting my current writing and thoughts, which has been making quite the impact on lives around the world! http://espressolove.tk
[Dystopia, Philosophy, Magical-Realism, Literary]
In Tokyo, Japan, where identity, thoughts, memories and emotions decay, a strange clairvoyant and a literature student embark on a paranoiac escape against Kafkaesque system, oppression, mindless agents, civil unrest and reality itself, in a mind-blowing soul-searching journey for love, for what had been long lost and what it means to be human. Yet all that remains is a peculiar coffee shop order.
The literary novel delves into the human condition, subjective perception, our socio-political system, capitalist mechanism and consumer culture, incorporating philosophy, surrealist dreamscapes, circular symbolism and shifting parallel realities, with profound discussions of coffee, art, literature and music.
“System is Everything.”
The debut prose work from the award-winning pioneer of the English cell phone novel.
“Struck me to the very core of my being…”
“Very interesting concept of reality… Thought provoking..”
“Like a seven course meal full of spice and illumination… One does not listen to a classical piece to get to its ending. No. It is the ride, the moment by moment…a genuine Masamune among stories.”
“Offers acute, almost painful observations of the minutiae of life, if life took place in a Murakami snow-globe.” – IndieReader Insiders
“It’s not a regular thing to find a piece of work that oozes sophistication and embodies literature and art.”
“An interesting ‘vapoury’ style that seems to hover off world at times…shows assurance and poise…haunting and strange (which is good); intelligence present on page…sense of terror in the core… You’re on to something different, striking.”
– B.W. Powe, York University Professor of English and author of “A Climate Charged”, “Outage”, “The Unsaid Passing”, “Marshall McLuhan and Northrop Frye: Apocalypse and Alchemy”