In Japanese

Its the last day of donations! Please do your best to spread the word! Instructions on how to donate are also available in Japanese So tell this link to your Japanese friends.

プロジェクトのindiegogoのチャレティーは最後日ですよ!日本語で説明があります!どうぞ。 日本人と友達に教えてください。お願いします!

Last Chance

I’ve formatted half of the book now. The traditional section is actually very long. The movie section is quite short, Most movies are by the two animation greats of Japan. Do you know who they are? If you don’t you should definitely buy our book, and if you do, you should buy our book to check!

There’s only 3 days left on our Indiegogo campaign! We’ve raised less than a quarter of the meager target!

So I don’t know what else to say except PLEASE share this link like crazy:

If not for me, who has, by the way, worked so hard for this project I might seriously have depression if it completely fails, then do it for the students who desperately need help but don’t even realise it, and all the disaster victims who need new homes.

Please! Just two seconds of your life can change so many others for the better.

20121129-102734.jpg if you don’t help, this cat will hate you forever, and probably die horribly cursing and screaming your name…

Have a nice day!

Like Butter

Hello again!

It’s been a busy week. So busy I took time off yesterday for a minor illness and still did lots of promotion for our IndieGoGo fundraiser. In fact, I scored us a guest blog feature on a publishing blog. It’s called The Masquerade Crew, and while they focus mainly on fiction they cover all sorts of publishing efforts. The Organiser was generous enough to advertise my latest novel a lot on Twitter, so I asked about this project too. You can read the article here.

While I continue to find other ways to advertise our fundraiser, I am a bit worried that we have received no donations in the past week. I think the proverb ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’ really applies here! I understand other people are not as passionate about this subject as us, but I am genuinely surprised that there has been no small contributions of $1 or so. I mean, what’s $1 dollar really? You’ve probably lost more money down the back of your sofa, and it could really help change people’s lives here.

I just don’t want everyone here to be disappointed.

So, I’m going to make a short video now about the earthquake and the damage done to our school. I’ll post it here and on the IndieGoGo page when it is ready.


This is it! Or rather, tomorrow is it. Tomorrow the IndieGoGo page will go go live! In 24 hours you’ll be able to start donating to our project, and we sincerely hope that you will. All the teachers and students here at Mukaiyama are counting on you to help them and those people still struggling to rebuild their lives after last year’s earthquake.

Full information can be found on this site (hint: try the links above) but to donate, and watch the awesome video, you need to go to our IndieGoGo page at

Please, please please tweet this link, Facebook it, tumblr it, anything, just spread the word, especially if you know someone interested in Japan, helping charities or teaching. This project really can make a big difference, but only if more people know about it.

So tweet away, my friends. What would you have me do in return? I’ll do it! I promise.


Hey there, normal people. I’m a movie star now. Haven’t you heard? We made this great film telling people all about our project and its just so fantastic that people have propelled its stars into outer space. Literally. They strapped us to a rocket and now as we float through space our heads are popping…

But enough of the bizarre imagery. There is some truth there, and that is that we have made a video. It even tells people about the project, but I doubt it will propel anyone to fame. It’s online, on YouTube, you may even be able to find it, but I’m not advertising it yet because I want my select audience of beta testers to have their premiere so they can inform me if there is any problem first.

I don’t think there are any major problems. In fact, I think it turned out really well. Some parts surprised even me. However, it was a little rushed as I only had just over a week to film and edit it, ready for the Indiegogo project page’s launch on Friday. So it is a little rough, but I really tried hard to make it much better quality than my usual YouTube efforts and the students put in a great performance too, after a little persuasion.

So this is it! We are only 3 days away from starting the funding drive! Now is the time to start telling people about our project and the all important soon to be open page at

So what are you waiting for? Go! Tweet! Facebook! Tumbley tumblr…!


Morning fellas and ladies,

We had a fun weekend with the culture festival, and two days off school to rest and recover….



… But now it’s back to work!

Almost all of the first drafts have been handed in now…. I think. I still have to check some.. So there is another big pile of marking on my desk. It’s a common sight. Some of those will be second drafts but I don’t know which until I get that feeling of deja vu and check my class lists. Ah, iPads are so useful too. I use an app called Teacherkit. It’s great for keeping track of students. It’s free too.

Anyway, must get on. I’ll maybe update again, after the marking.




It’s Friday at last! I’ve been filming some clips for the project’s introduction video. It’s been fun going around the building and recording video of where the earthquake did damage.

Soon I will be making a FAQ section for this blog too. So if you have any questions now, would be a good time to contact me.

The big announcement is that currently, this project is going under scrutiny of my company. If they approve of it, this will be the last obstacle to overcome. Understandably, they are concerned about any complications that might arise if certain students’ parents don’t want their children exposed on the Internet in any way. This is a common reaction, but unnecessary.

So let me take this opportunity to make it absolutely clear that I have no intention of publishing any image of my students, and I will not even use their names in the book unless they give me permission. So please do not worry.

However, any thing can happen, especially in Japan, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed until we get the all clear.

Perhaps I should have done this sooner in the process, but I didn’t anticipate them being so concerned.


How is everyone? It’s nice to see the site has had some visits since I made the original post. I hope to see it gather many mo visitors and regulars. Mind you, I haven’t started advertising it yet.

Recently, I’ve been planning ahead for the main advertising drive. Anyone who has visited our Facebook page will know that, at present, there is only a rubbish stand in placeholder icon and a banner from an old photograph of students work that is vaguely related to the project.


Don’t worry! That’s just there until my illustrator, Marisa Livingston, finishes the final image! Judging by her past work, it should be pretty awesome! I’ve worked with her several times now. She designed my book cover for my debut novel, for one thing and look how awesome that is!


So, soon we’ll have a decent looking Facebook page and the Kickstarter page will look gorgeous too.

Designing the icon

I want as much of this project to be decided by, if not made by, the students themselves. However, it’s too early in the process for them to be informed and this needs to be done to gain followers, so I played with a few ideas myself.

I knew I wanted to have at least one iconic high school student in it, and have it directly relate to either pop culture or a damaged Japan.

I’ve also recently been influenced by Danny Choo’s ‘Moekana‘ images too. Danny Choo is an British-Japanese ambassador of Japanese culture and he does some great work to promote all things Japanese, especially anime and his own character, Mirai Suenaga. He also makes a TV show called ‘Culture Japan’. So go and look around his site. He’s got some great posts there.

Anyway, after rejecting a few ideas like a high school student wearing an anime mask, the school mascot dressed up like an idol, I decided to go with a more traditional ‘ganbare!’ image: students cheering on with their mascot. ‘Ganbare’ is a phrase in Japanese that has many meanings, but it could be translated in this situation as ‘don’t give up!’, ‘keep trying’ or ‘fight on’. It shows students taking action which is the underlying purpose of this project.

I hope the icon image will appear on the final book cover but I also want to see a multitude of pop culture characters fighting for attention too. Hopefully, most of them will be drawn by students.

So what do you think? Any more ideas for the icon or book cover? I’m open to suggestions.

Blog Stats

  • 1,109 hits

Fundraising ends!

The EndDecember 1st, 2012
Our big fund raiser is coming to an end... Here's when. Thank you for all the support! We all really appreciate it.

Machuusensei on Twitter

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.