Things Become Other Things (TBOT) is as much a work of art as it is a great read. Meticulously designed, it is a gem to hold. And a crass reminder of why I loathe ebooks. Not that every book needs to look like TBOT. (Though I wish they did.)
This is Craig at his finest, combining all his skills to create a beautiful artefact. Mod also combines many of my interests: photography, culture, writing, and Japan.
Here is what TBOT is about, according to Craig:
Things Become Other Things (TBOT) is a book chronicling a decade of walking central Japan's Kii Peninsula and its Kumano Kodō paths. I've walked thousands of kilometers and talked with hundreds of people. This is a book about farmers and fishermen and kissa owners and adopted inn proprietors, about okonomiyaki ladies, whispering priests, and foul-mouthed little kids. It's about the loss of industry — lumber, fishing — and what it does to a place. It's about depopulation and aging populations. It's a reflection on why I emigrated to Japan some 23 years ago. And it's a remembrance of the life of one lost friend.
Mostly, it's a book celebrating grace, and documents my searching for archetypes in landscapes and people — archetypes for how grace can and should infuse everything, even things coming to an end. Even things becoming other things.
This is Craig's second book documenting Japan. (Though, to be fair, I was more cultured-shocked by the parts about Craig's youth in the States than the walks through Japan. )
If you are a Japanophile who likes nice things, this is for you.