Here are the details for the crowdfunding project as it is running currently here:

The book:
The picture book is about a kappa (river faerie) named Gappa that lives under a bridge on the banks of a river in a town in Kumamoto (based on Mifune where I live). She likes swimming, fishing, and making music. One day, a terrible earthquake hits and Gappa is forced to abandon her home. She leaves on an adventure where she finds friendship, inner strength, and a purpose. She is faced with scary situations, but each time she remembers something that her Granny Babappa told her long ago and it helps her overcome her fear. During her adventure, she meets Guma, a big brown bear (actually a mountain faerie) who lives in the mountains and they spread Granny Babappa’s wisdom to the kids who need it most.
The main idea of the story is to give kids something to help them overcome their fear when a disaster hits. Through repeated readings, kids will learn not to panic, will find their own inner-strength just as Gappa and Guma do, and may even find a way to help others in need.

The t-shirt:
The t-shirt will feature the Gappa and Guma and the words GAMADAS! which is Kumamoto dialect for “doing more than your best” or “hanging in there when things get tough”.

The team:
I, Patrick Ijima-Washburn am the illustrator and writer of Gappa’s and Guma’s story and I have a team of planners, designers, printers, evangelists, PR people, sponsors that are working to see this project through.

The mission:
I believe in the power of story and the power of books and that is why I chose a storybook to get this message across: that you don’t have to be scared and you don’t have to feel powerless. We all have strength, we just have to remember where to find it. We can all help and support others, we just have to find our own way to do so.
I tell my daughter the story of three little birds whose home has been destroyed in a storm and they fly out into the rainy night in panic. Luckily, they each remember the words of their mom and this advice gets them to calm down, dry their eyes, and take a fresh look at their situation. This story gave me the basic idea for this book as my 3yo daughter continues to use Mama Birds advice when she is upset or scared.

The schedule:
The crowdfunding campaign runs until July 10th after which the books and t-shirts will be printed. We will begin delivering items as soon as they are ready, but we expect this will begin at the end of July. Overseas shipping may take an extra 2-3 weeks.

The funds:
The funds will go towards the creation, design, printing, and distribution of t-shirts AND, depending on how much money is raised, will go towards printing extra copies of the book that will be donated to libraries and kid’s centers all over Japan.
This is a BEST EFFORT project which means that if you donate, you WILL receive what you ordered. However, the more donations we receive, the more books we will be able to donate.

To support:
There are 4 ways to support the project.
1. Donate 3000 yen and receive a picture book.
2. Donate 3000 yen and receive a t-shirt
3. Donate 6000 yen and receive a picture book & a t-shirt
4. Become a golden donor for 100,000 yen and receive a picture book, a t-shirt, AND a hand-drawn illustration of Gappa and Guma (Only 8 left)
The support page is in Japanese, thus if you wish to support the project and get a book or t-shirt follow these instructions:

a) Within Japan:
Send an email to with your Name, Address, Donation type (Book 3000 yen, T-shirt 3000 yen, Book & T-shirt 6000 yen, Golden Donor Package 100,000 yen), and if you’re ordering a t-shirt state your size (Kids height(cm) 120(47”), 130(51”), 140(55”), 150(59”) or Adults SS, S, M, L, LL).
I will send you my bank account info for a wire transfer.
All prices include shipping within Japan.
OR send 3,154 yen (for 1 or 2 above), 6,266 yen (for 3 above), or 103,776 yen (for 4 above) via paypal to (paypal fees included)

b) Outside of Japan
Send your Name, Address, Donation type (Book 3,476 yen, T-shirt 3,476 yen, Book & T-shirt 6,597 yen, Golden Donor Package 104,412 yen), and if you’re ordering a t-shirt state your size (Kids height(cm) 120(47”), 130(51”), 140(55”), 150(59”) or Adults SS, S, M, L, LL) along with the payment listed via paypal to (paypal fees included)

There are 20 days left as of today 6/21/2016. Any and all support is appreciated. Please like, share and when sharing, please add your own comments and thoughts as these will mean the most to those who you are connected to.

Thanks for your help.

Kumamoto Disaster Picture Book Project

A crowdfunded picture book and t-shirt project dedicated to the survivors of the Kumamoto Earthquake Disaster. The book will be given to libraries across Japan.

  • Charity
  • Creative Design
  • Illustration
  • Children's Book
  • Book Layout
  • Writing