Ishigaki boiler room, where workers still the kokuto black sugar
(photo by J Muzacz)
I'm so proud of my friend J Muzcaz, who is currently working on his second book in Japan. His first, Japan 365, was the culmination of a drawing-a-day project he worked on as he travelled throughout the country. In it, he captured the history, pop culture, sports, food, spirituality, humanity and beauty of Japan through detailed, ball-point pen drawings... best of all? He did it to raise money for Japan after the tsunami of 2011.
Now, after biking all throughout Japan for BEE Japan, he's been working alongside sugarcane farmers in Okinawa and finishing his second book, "Life is Sweet," which captures the life of these hard worker in words and pictures.
With only 10 DAYS LEFT of his Indiegogo campaign, he only needs $2,000 more dollars to reach his $5,000 goal and publish this book in August! Donate now and reserve your copy of the first edition of this beautiful book-- and he'll even send you some Kokuto black rock sugar from Ishigaki Island! (The consumption of this sugar, along with seaweed, tofu, and pork is believed to give Okinawans the greatest longevity in all of Japan!)
Words from J:
Life Is Sweet will be the first ever picture book in English about the Ishigaki Island sugarcane harvest. That means the book will be a great asset in preserving the traditional and current histories being written as farmers plow their fields and the big factory or small local presses process their cane. My shared experience will provide a deeper understanding of the various aspects of the region-specific work that rough and weathered farmers must do each year to satisfy the national sweet tooth. I worked the fields myself blistered, bug-bitten, sunburnt, busted and bruised in order to accurately offer this special in-depth look at an annual way of life for many - a means to survive on beautiful, yet typhoon-ridden, windswept island gems like Ishigaki.