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A way you can help, one year after 3/11

11 Mar

In a few minutes it will be 2:46, the time that exactly a year ago the earthquake hit which led to the tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Much has happened to Japan since then, and much has not happened that we might have hoped for.

One thing remains true, however. The survivors still need our help. Not emergency relief, but with an understanding of their needs and the nation’s needs. They need help to recover. As a result, we at Quakebook feel that should you still wish to offer charitable donations, the Japan Red Cross, which specializes in disaster relief, is probably not the best place for your money now, one year later.

We encourage you to research charities that help survivors recover directly. There are many. Please find one that fits your beliefs. For us, there is one that we recommend, not because it is necessarily the best out there, but simply because some of us in the Quakebook team have volunteered with them and can personally vouch for their integrity and effectiveness. They are It’s Not Just Mud. Please visit their site and if you like what you see, donate some money. They will put it to good use helping restore people’s lives in Ishinomaki.

Now, I will spend the rest of the day with family in appreciation of all the things that make life worth living. I hope you do too.




Going Dutch for the anniversary

10 Mar

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Quakebook is now available in Dutch. Thanks to the hard work of Barbara and Yuko and many others involved in the project, you can download the book as a free PDF on the right of this blog and then we ask you to donate some cash to It’s Not Just Mud in lieu of payment, or as they say in the Netherlands:

Downloaden is gratis, maar donaties aan It’s Not Just Mud zijn meer dan welkom!
INJM is een vrijwilligersorganisatie die de overlevenden van de tsunami in Ishinomaki weer op de been probeert te helpen.

"And the nominees are…"

13 Feb

Well, Quakebook for one.  Seems a supporter from within the Quakebook Community has nominated our humble endeavor for a prestigious Prix Ars Electronica 2012 award, in the Digital Communities category. Exclamations of “Wow!” didn’t begin to cover the varied and delighted reactions among the Quakebook staff when we heard this news. We are all pretty excited, since the very last things on our minds when we put this charity project together were fame and glory.

But the recognition sure is nice.

Anyway, we’ve put in the required entry paperwork to have our nomination confirmed and the merits of the Quakebook project considered for this Ars Electronica honor. But it will be a little while before we know anything. The Ars Electronica jury meets to evaluate award nominees in late April, and winners won’t be notified until mid-May. The actual awards will be presented in Linz, Austria on the very last day of August. You can learn more about the awards and the Digital Communities category by clicking on the links above, and news about the awards and other Ars Electronica activities and events is available here.

Keep your fingers crossed for us, folks. And, as always, thanks for the support.

Japanese-English hardback Quakebook available worldwide

4 Nov

In response to the many people around the world who said they wanted to order the bilingual Quakebook, thanks to the Herculian efforts of Tim Burland, Tamio Okumura, Goken publishers and Lightning Source printers… I’m delighted to announce that the bilingual Japanese and English edition is now available in the United States on Amazon right here and Barnes and Noble right here for $19.99 or less.

And what’s more, you can order the book from any bookshop in the world, just quote the ISBN – 978-4-87615-422-7, though this might take a little while, you would be doing business with your local shop and would avoid any shipping fees.

Though there are print and distribution costs with the print-on-demand hardback, as always, no money goes to anyone at Quakebook from this. All profits go directly to the Japan Red Cross, no one at Quakebook touches a penny.

So now you know what to buy your folks this Christmas, right?

Our Man in Abiko once again hides his face in public

12 Oct

(graphic courtesy of Eurobiz Japan)

It has been a little while since #quakebook got some attention from the internet media stream. But we’re pleased to report that within the last twenty-four hours the book and Our Man in Abiko have been the subject of two very nice interviews from two, count ’em, two different online sources.

The first one, “Accidental Hero”, is a feature-style interview with Our Man by Aimee Weinsteen for Eurobiz Japan. Ms. Weinsteen, one of the editors of #quakebook, has done a fine job of prizing some details out of Our Man about the book and his life which you may not have read before. You can read the Eurobiz interview here.

Another #quakebook editor, Joanne Greenway, was instrumental in getting this interview with Our Man published by the Embassy of Japan in the U.K. Again, this interview piece contains some #quakebook-related tidbits with which you might not be familiar.

So click on through and give these two pieces a read. And thanks to our two colleagues who helped get #quakebook just a bit more attention.

Hardback Quakebook available worldwide with free shipping

30 Sep

Yep. Just like the title says, thanks to the efforts of #Quakebook Agent Provocateur Tim Burland, The Book Depository in London is stocking the hardback of the English language version of 2:46 Aftershocks – Stories from the Japan Earthquake.

The beauty of it is, they will send the book free to anywhere in the world. At under $13 a copy, I think we have a winner.

Sign up and order your copy right here.


#Quakebook money handed to Japan Red Cross

8 Sep

Some numbers I think you folks will be interested in:

The good folks at Amazon have sent a cheque for $39,848.10 to the Japan Red Cross on August 9th for sales from the Kindle edition.

The good folks at Goken have donated ¥707,180 the Japan Red Cross from sales so far of the bilingual edition.

Still to come are figures from the English paperback on sale at Amazon and the English hardback available from any bookstore in the world. Not bad. And the revenue continues to flow.

To all the good folks who have bought a copy, or told others about Quakebook, you are making a difference – thank you.

Picture from here.

#Quakebook: The full story

7 Sep

If anyone wants to know the story of #quakebook, you could do worse than buying English Journal’s October issue at Japanese newstands now. But if you want the full, unedited free and frank version, go here and click on the audio. You have to follow links at the end of each bit, but it’s fairly painless and tells the whole story. If you want all the words in one place, Our Man took the liberty of cutting and pasting them on his blog here for posterity.

Many thanks to Owen Schaefer who did an excellent job of letting Our Man talk and moving him on before he lost track of what he was saying. Our Man meant to plug Barry Eisler and Jake Adelstein, but forgot. And many others. Sorry. Next time.

#Quakebook now available at any bookshop in the world

5 Aug

Just got confirmation this morning that 2:46 -Stories from the Japan Earthquake – Quakebook to you and me – is available to order from any bookstore in the world. Not only Amazon. Not only selected bookstores in Japan – everywhere.

The edition is a hardback, English language. Print on Demand from Lightening Source (you demand it, they print it – no expensive print runs and it can stay on sale forever). Recommended retail price is $14.99 or 9.99 pounds, or similar in other currencies, less any discount retailers might want to give.

All you have to do is go to your favourite bookshop and ask for the book and they can order it. You want to support your local bookshop don’t you? Tell them to order the book – and quote the book ID number ISBN 978-0-9568836-2-9.

As ever, all proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross. Quakebook Inc. makes nothing from this (there is no Quakebook Inc. by the way).

If you can’t get to a bookstore, order here from Barnes & Noble, or Amazon Japan here. Should be available from Amazon worldwide too shortly, but hey, don’t wait…


Make a difference: Download Fatblueman's "Black Water"

1 Aug

Don’t you want to make a difference? Maybe it’s just me, but I have a sneaking suspicion it may just be the human condition. From media moguls buying elections to mothers sitting down with their daughters to do their homework, we want to make a difference.

At any rate, I think Quakebook appeals to the better side of us to shape a world that cares about those less fortunate than ourselves. And more than that, get off our backsides and do something to make that difference, no matter how small.

Well, here’s your chance, Quakebook fellow travellers.

It gives me immense pleasure to tell you that JJ of Fatblueman – the musician whose songs inspired me to come up with the idea of Quakebook – has released his excellent tune Black Water to download for $0.99. You can buy it from iTunes here or CD Baby right here (if you can, buy it from CD Baby, their administration fees are only 9% as opposed to Apple’s 30%). JJ is donating all proceeds to HOPE a charity he has worked with personally that is helping tsunami survivors in Tohoku, Japan, and destitute people around the world.

Please buy a copy. It will make a difference to people who need help.

Picture of a Fender in rubble of Ishinomaki from here.