PingBooks Vol.1 “The Japanese Home”: Coming Soon!

PingMag is making a book!

When we started out, “online magazines” were few and far between. Blogs were just getting mainstream, there was no Twitter, no Facebook, and, it seems incredible now, but even YouTube had only been going two or three months.

But things have moved on since then.

We love reveling in the mayhem of online life — the instant content, the tweets, the likes, the messaging and so on.

But we also like to think things through a little more slowly.

So, as the internet gets faster and faster, alongside the PingMag website, we’ve decided we’re going to make books. If all goes well, we’ll make several a year, each

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on a separate subject.

Presenting… PingBooks!

The bilingual books (Japanese and English) will be a mix of food for thought, food for your eyes, and food for your “creative brain”. In-depth interviews with leading experts from all kinds of different backgrounds, and lots of fun and inspiring articles we’ve been writing for years, with plenty of pictures and photographs as always.

PingBooks Vol.1: “The Japanese Home”


For the first theme, we have chosen “The Japanese Home”.

Where do you live? Why do you live there? How do you live there?

From ancient times up until today, the homes we live in are a mirror of our everyday lives. Everybody knows that Japanese architecture is based on a unique set of ideas and traditions.

Maybe we can find some hints as to what people need in their everyday lives by taking a look at the places people live in Japan? With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the Japanese home from all kinds of different angles and points of view.


From outside Japan the overriding image of the Japanese home is probably either of a traditional house, with its tatami mats and sliding paper doors, or the “rabbit hutch” Japanese apartment of modern Tokyo.

In reality, of course, there are all kinds of different types of home in Japan, but in many ways our homes are unique in the world. And they are also a hotchpotch of contradictions.

These are just some of the questions we will be exploring…

  • Just how do we choose where we live? What do we expect from our homes?
  • How, for example, do you choose a new home based on a simple floor plan, and not a photograph?
  • How is it that our modern Japanese homes are perhaps the most technologically advanced in the world, and yet most are only built to last 20 or 30 years?
  • How come Japanese houses lose their value so quickly?
  • Are Japanese homes really small and cramped, or are they compact and functional?
  • Do you choose a home to suit yourself, or do you live with what’s available?
  • What exactly does the “ideal” Japanese home look like, anyway?
  • Why do traditional houses in west Japan have tatami mats, while those in the east have wooden floors?
  • Do you sleep on a futon, or a bed? Sit on the floor, or in a chair?
  • How come our toilets are the most hi-tech in the world, while our heating systems seem to be an inefficient afterthought?
  • If you rent, why can’t you put a hook in the wall, or change the color of the wallpaper?
  • Where do your priorities lie? Style? Functionality? Or comfort?
  • Can you really make houses on a factory line?
  • If Japan is the mecca for cute and pretty things, how come the market for decorative household goods is so much bigger in the west?
  • Where is the dividing line between public and private?
  • Who do we invite into our homes? Where and how do we entertain them?

There are so many questions surrounding our homes, it seems hard to know where to begin, but we’re going to dive in to the muddle and see if we can’t come up with a few answers.

Please Support Our First Book!

You can help make PingBooks Vol.1 a reality through our campaign on Indiegogo.

Special Thanks ($5)

Even just a little bit of help goes a long way. If you can give $5 towards our book project, we’ll give you eternal fame in a special thanks section on the PingMag website.

One Print Copy & Sticker ($18)

Ever wanted a PingMag sticker?! Now’s your chance to decorate your life with a unique piece of PingMag memorabilia, plus get a copy of the final book.

Party Invitation ($65)

We’ll be having an informal launch party here in Tokyo to celebrate. If you want a copy of our first book PLUS a chance to mingle with us and our peers, then claim this perk for an exclusive invite! (Sorry, airfare to Tokyo not included!)

Ten Books + Your Name in the Credits ($500)

Great for groups of friends, colleagues or school classes, you can get TEN copies of PingBooks Vol.1 AND your name listed for posterity in the credits.

Your Own Page ($5,000)

If you want a page in our book so you can tell the world about your company/project/school, this is your chance.

We’ll be posting updates on Indiegogo and on the PingMag website as we go along.

We’ve got lots to do!


Besides the support from our wonderful readers, the guys at ASYL will be helping us design and construct the book. It will also be printed on bamboo paper provided by Chuestsu Pulp (and helping to do something about the huge problem of unmanaged bamboo forests in Japan) and Yutaka Insatsu will be dealing with the printing. Photography will be supplied by YUKAI. We’ll be bringing you regular updates from them as well as the book takes shape.

And we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, too! You can post comments here or on Facebook, or email us if you prefer.

And more than anything, if you want to help, you can pre-order your copies by donating to the campaign.

So, off we go!

We are aiming to get our first PingBook out during May.

It’s a big adventure for us, and it’s going to be loads of work as well as loads of fun.

Thank you so much for all your support!

PingBooks Vol.1 “The Japanese Home” on Indiegogo