Raised in the tumult of Japan’s industrial powerhouse, the 11 men and women profiled in A Different Kind of Luxury have all made the transition to sustainable, fulfilling lives. Based on Andy Couturier's popular articles in The Japan Times, this lushly designed volume has a wealth of stories about real people who have created an abundance of time for contemplation, connecting with the natural world, and contributing to their communities. In their success is a lesson for us all: live a life that matters. Read an excerpt of the book here or here. Read a review of the book here, here, or here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A brand new edition is coming. We need your support.

Great news! A Different Kind of Luxury, out of print for more than a year, has been accepted for publication with North Atlantic Books, in a brand new, fully updated edition.

To do justice to the people and their stories, I believe it is right to speak to each of the people profiled, before I write about them. But I cannot afford this journey without your help. In exchange you can become part of the adventure of my return journey. I will send you stories and photos as travel, letting you experience the reality of their lives today in rural Japan. Scroll down for specific thank you gifts.

TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION PLEASE CLICK https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=UU6LCETY2MC6L

The new edition will have updates on the lives of the people profiled, especially since the Fukushima disaster, as well as new photos and a substantive afterword by myself about how we in the West can live differently-- more sustainably, and more happily-- by learning from them.

I would also be happy to TAKE a MESSAGE from you to one of the people in the book, expressing how their stories have affected your life.

• If you can donate $97, you'll receive all my photos and new writing delivered to your email inbox while I'm traveling in Japan. Also I will send a beautiful full-color, large-format (11 x 14) printed photo to your home address that is suitable for framing. You can donate easily with this link:

• If you can donate $197, I will send you the email updates, two printed large format color photos (11x 14) plus I will send you the full set of the 22 Original Japan Times Articles that were the basis of the book (many of these people were not featured in the book, but all of them amazing) printed in large format and sent to your home. These articles have been unavailable for fifteen years. Donation Link:

• If you can donate $497 or above, I'll send you all of the above—the printed photos, the articles, the updates plus a special gift – either a Japanese antique or a piece of original artwork or pottery hand selected by myself for you. Also I will thank you personally by name in the acknowledgments page of the new edition. In addition, I will send you a personally autographed copy of the new book when it comes out next year, dedicated to you or whomever you choose.Donation Link:

• If you are able to fund the entire journey (apx. $3500) besides my eternal gratitude and all of the above, I will send you two personally hand-selected pieces of Gufudo & Atsuko Watanabe's exquisite pottery. (Chapters 3 and 8) These are truly one-of-a-kind pieces, and will no longer be available in the future. (Gufudo has passed away.) I will also offer to come to your town or city and give a reading at your home either for you and your close ones personally, or at the bookstore of your choice.

I have been given a hard deadline of November 1 for the delivery of the fully updated and revised manuscript, so I have to make my plans quickly. I'll have to buy my air tickets soon for a journey in late September.

If you are able to donate, to let me know as soon as possible, and kindly make your donation by or before September 15.

I hope you'll seriously consider supporting this heartfelt project, as I simply will not be able to do this without community support.

We're hosting a virtual event on facebook.  Please visit it, make comments, and invite your friends.  https://www.facebook.com/events/119495475169470/?active_tab=posts

Fondly yours,
Andy Couturier


  1. Hi Andy,

    Is this new edition still forthcoming? I've really enjoyed your first one.



    1. Hello Jonathan, Yes! I'm still working on the last edits and it will be in production next year. The publication date is August 1. Please check the facebook page for updates until then https://www.facebook.com/TheAbundanceOfLess . There will also be a new blog with the new title. And, may I ask you, are you the person who commented to my friend Naoko in Ukiah at the Japanese Restaurant Oco Time that you read the book TEN times? I was very very moved to hear that story, and I would like to hear from you directly. Please feel free to email me directly at andy@theopening.org
      Thanks! Andy