Now, Voyager

Last fall, Voyager Japan reached an agreement with O'Reilly Media to publish a translated version of Book: A Futurist's Manifesto in Japan. Work began almost immediately, and the full book was released just last month.

Introducing the Japanese version, Voyager Japan president Masaaki Hagino wrote (and translated here for our benefit):

I read through the book once. I felt mixed emotions because the book was packed with the kind of stories we were suppose to tell. The authors write well too. I felt as we got left behind. Then I read the book again, this time a little more carefully. I noticed that many concepts in book are developed through a series of experiments and failure. These authors tried just like we did, were defeated, and then tried to do it all over again. I took a hard look at myself. The book reminded me that we learn from defeat and failure. This is how people have been trying to create a new digital publishing paradigm. The lively voices of authors and the momentum of their concepts prove it.

Hagino-san describes something that Hugh McGuire and I probably felt more than we planned when soliciting contributions, but it's very true of the book as a whole. Many of the chapters tell stories of conception, trial, limited success and ultimately reinvention. The honesty of those voices is something I came to take in stride, and it's good to be reminded of how valuable that honesty can be.

To support the launch, Voyager Japan has prepared at least one print piece that you are unlikely to see in the United States (image courtesy of Ron Martinez). There is also a video that features pictures of our 29 contributors and a video clip with Craig Mod. Before you click through, fair warning: Japanese skills recommended.

Edited March 29 to add: When titling this post, I had in mind a 1940s film. A few days after writing it, I came across the Walt Whitman poem, "Untold Want", that contained the original line:

The untold want by life and land ne'er granted,
Now, voyager, sail thou forth, to seek and find.

Given Hagino-san's assessment of the message underpinning our book, I thought it would be worth adding here.

Brian O'Leary

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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