Just wanted to give you an update on the huge Indiegogo Fundraiser I'm doing trying to raise money to fly to Japan. I've mentioned it before but wanted to update everyone in a separate post since I've gotten some questions about it. Before I start I wanted to update you on the fact that we have 3 new perks on the website that hopefully catch your interest and any news ones I'll always update on both the Indiegogo site and on the initial post. I'll expand on them if there's interest and will do what I can to get more of them.
Progress as of January 16, 2015
As for those early adopters who donated before any of the extra perks went up, first of all THANK YOU and secondly I'll do what I can to make it up to you! Just hope we can get to the goal! I sincerely appreciate your support as I now sit at 26% as of this blog entry. Thank you so much! I'm also excited to see the variety of countries involved in the fundraiser! Australia, USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden and Belgium!
Shinya Kishimoto 岸本 真弥 on his course in Shizuoka ©Shinya Kishimoto
I've been getting some questions about the amount. I've mentioned it before but I'll go through it in more detail. Q: Can't you get to Japan cheaper? A: Probably, but it's not guaranteed. I priced it on a "worst case scenerio" for many reasons. Personally, I've been financially burned before doing things on the fly and on the cheap and have had to dip into our own savings to fix the windfall. I can't do that anymore (it will bankrupt us). This is also the reason why it's "fixed" funding. For example, look at the number now. I'm at just over $2000. What if that was the only amount I raised? I (singly) can get to Japan and do nothing else. I'd have to find a way to get everywhere begging... I can't.. do that. Others have done it before, but I personally can't just show up somewhere and expect to be catered to. As far as I'm concerned, if I can't raise the money then no one wants to read the book anyway.
Tomohiro Kawaguchi 川口 朋広 in Sasuke Park 2014 ©Sasuke Park at Toyosu
This would be my first trip to Japan and quite honestly I want to be able to roam freely without having to beg people for help. Nothing looks worse than arriving to a country to do a personal project only to leech on others for things. It's like having that "friend" who shows up to a group hang out at a restaurant and leaves before the check arrives.. It's one thing to be treated, but another to EXPECT people to do it. It just.. looks bad. I wouldn't be comfortable doing it. If it happens that I get treated then great! But, I want to be able to know I can support myself in the event it doesn't happen. Q: Isn't the Yen really low now? A: While the Yen is low now, we don't know what will happen in the next few months as the proposed time period for the trip would be in the late spring/early summer. A lot can change. Also (and more importantly) I wouldn't even be able to book until I get a firm taping date, and as those who have seen in the past, those are floating dates and have moved around.
Yuusuke Morimoto 森本 裕介 from Team Japan during USA vs. World (Screencapture from the NBC show)
Q: Do you really need the JRail Pass? A: My hope was to be able to travel around to the prospective training areas before and after the tournament tapes. This will give me more time to actually sit down and talk to individual people while not restricted to the parking lot of Sasuke. Traveling in Japan is not cheap. Hell.. like everyone knows.. even getting out of the Narita airport to get into central Tokyo costs $200 via taxi! Not everyone lives near public trans so I have to be creative and give myself as many options as possible in regards to how to get around town. Most of the competitors don't even have cars if they live in the city. Also.. again, it's going with the assumption that I would be on my own and not relying on someone else to get me around the area. Remember that everyone would be at work, school and going about their daily lives. They are not on vacation when I would be there and whatever time off they would take it would be for the tournament itself. I don't want to assume everyone will drop their daily lives to help me. Q: Can't you stay in a hostel or one of those capsule hotels to save money? A: Let's face it, I'm not small and neither is my husband. Given we'll be there for a week, I'd like to get a good night's rest and have access to my own bathroom that I can fit in (western style preferred.. I don't even know how to.. omg no.. LOL). I need to survive going around places for a week and if I am not comfortable when I do sleep, I'll just be a walking zombie.. or worse.. sick. I can't be productive in that state and the entire trip would be a waste of everyone's money.
Tatsuya Tada gets his calendar! ©Tatsuya Tada
Q: I'm sure you can find ways to save money, what happens then with all that money? A: The rest of it would go towards the publishing of the book. That would mean it would be one less fundraising campaign I'd have to do in the future. All of the money as it is is being reinvested in this project with the ultimate goal to write the best, most comprehensive history book on Sasuke I can possibly muster. A book of it's kind has never been written and I want to give myself every opportunity to be able to get as much content as possible. Please help if you can. I'd really appreciate it.
If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me. I'm trying to be as transparent and open with the process so you have the right to know what's going on with your money should I be able to raise enough for this trip. As always, thank you so much for the support.