Shintaro Yamaguchi works at a store called Fuzkue, a shop where one can read comfortably and peacefully. We got to know each other through an introduction by Takashi Akutsu, the proprietor. For one year, in 2019, Mr. Yamaguchi completely turned into an imaginary “someone” every day, wrote a fictional diary, and continued to distribute it as an email newsletter. He consulted me, saying he wanted to consolidate that fictional diary into a book.
When I looked at its content, I was overwhelmed at first by the amount of writing.
Each diary entry was short. However, when those entries were accumulated, a sense of their volume was inexplicable, and I was deeply moved that something amazing was being shown to me. When I see a person who continues doing something, making something without being told to do so by someone else, I can feel as if that person’s true intent is there, and I become envious. I wonder whether such a strong intent resides in that person. Is that why I want to turn Mr. Yamaguchi’s works into a book even if it means providing him with funds? I now want to do everything in my power to assist a person who requests my help with such a strong intent.
First, I was looking at the manuscript that Mr. Yamaguchi had sent me, wondering, well, what kind of design should I make?
Thereupon, I felt a chill in my heart. This fictional diary was not written by the same character every day. Protagonists took turns appearing each day. When I considered that a total of at least 100 people were packed into this book, I remembered a certain scene that I had seen previously while a train had gently swayed me.
Houses and apartment buildings were standing in a row. There was a countless number of windows. There were as many people’s lives as that number of windows. I felt that as many people as that were living there, tightly packed together. This fictional diary suddenly became connected to my feelings at that time.
I proceeded from there with a design together with Megumi Kajiwara from Silhouette Books, my production partner. We lined up 365 rectangles for the cover and asked Mr. Ikai from ALBATRO DESIGN for special letterpress printing, where the colors would randomly change for each volume. The books were finished. They were just like apartment buildings, combined with the things themselves being thick enough to stand on their own.
We would be happy if people who picked up these books could experience a condensed one-year of Mr. Yamaguchi’s.