Joh's Picture Book Project


Joh's Picture Book Project 142nd Naoki Prize winner Joh Sasaki and Joh's Picture Book Project team presents the "Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario" contest (Japanese title: Denshi hon no shinario).

Find Joh Sasaki's popular children's picture books on the iTunes App Store!

Joh Sasaki is at the heart of the second phase of his popular Joh's Picture Book project. This time around Joh is returning to his roots and promoting an authentic Made in Hokkaido children's e-picture book for young readers all over Japan and abroad. In Winter of 2010, the Joh's Picture Book Project team released "The Circus Fire", the first book in the series and currently available on Apple's iTunes App Store for iPad/iPhone with a (4+) rating.

Joh Sasaki himself will be administering the Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario contest for both professional and aspiring children book writers. The themes and elements are completely free and up to the author. The picture book scenario should be fun, imaginative, or even sentimental in nature while geared towards children, yet remaining quirky enough for adults to also enjoy. The only thing Joh has requested is for the contestants to be currently living in Hokkaido.

All picture book scenarios will be subject to the review committee's critical eye with the 1st place prize's final approval by Joh Sasaki himself. Afterwards, the winning contestant will have the honors of working side-by-side with Joh to further illustrate, produce, and publish a brand new children's e-picture book. Then this coming Autumn the lucky contestant's scenario will be electronically bound and staged for a big iTunes App Store debut.

Regarding the author's copyrights (contestant)

The author submitting his/her picture book scenario to the Joh's Picture Book Project contest will retain all rights to the submitted manuscript. Joh's Picture Book Project will retain all subsequent rights for media distribution (publishing, software application, DVD, video, etc) for a period of 3 years after the initial release date. The author will receive stipulated royalties in the event of a published and released product.

Contest and Picture Book Publishing Schedule

July 20, 2011: Deadline for e-picture book storyline contest submission
End of July: Contest winner declaration
August 〜 September: Picture book illustration and musical arrangement
September 〜 October: iPhone Application Development
November: Apple iTunes App Store release

[Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario Contest Winner Declared!]


Storyline Title "Spring is Here" (『はるがくる』)

Message from the Contest Winner
Yoshimi Terasaki (Sapporo) 28 years old

"I first heard about this children's picture book contest from a friend and after a motivating chat, I thought I'd put myself up to the challenge. I had no previous experience writing a children's storybook, and to be honest really only wrote essays for homework assignments during my formative years...(laughs). And with that unimpressive level of my own writing abilities, I really had no idea my text would be selected for first prize in this contest. It was like a moonlit dream brought to life."
"For my scenario, I started off with a bit of word play. I then found myself combining a series of words that had the same sounds yet hold different meanings. And at some point a family suddenly appeared into my developing storyline. In the end it took me three days to write it. I envisioned my picture book would need to cohesively fit well as an iPod book, so I did my best to keep my story interesting and full of life. Thinking back on my own childhood, I have many fond memories of my parents reading picture books with me. In fact, I wrote my scenario with this in mind and would love to see parents reading my story to their children, or to hear an eager child proudly read aloud line by line. I really hope the finished product turns out nice."
"I'm also really looking forward to how the accompanying illustrations and music will all tie in together. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation for this wonderful opportunity."


Project director Joh Sasaki's comments on "Spring is Here"

"I personally reviewed every one of the 132 stories submitted to our Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario contest entry. The one which stood outstanding among all other entries was Yoshimi Terasaki's 'Spring is Here'. It is a cheerful story about a young boy in an family expecting a second child. 'Spring is Here' is packed with whimsical rhymes and charming word play that will surely keep any young reader's attention from cover to cover. This is a story both children and adults will endlessly enjoy."
"Although this Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario contest was not limited to only fairytales, as stated above, we were a little disappointed that the majority of entries were more or less fairytales geared specifcally towards the youngest of readers. The e-picture book is a new form of media capable of that which only one's imagination can limit. So, I was really hoping to see more scenarios that would trigger the reader's imagination in a newly enriching manner and go beyond that of a traditional picture book."

"These are the other scenarios that left me with a long-lasting impression:"
"Yume miru shigunaru" by Masako Fujiki
"There were many personifying animal/object tales submitted to our contest, but 'Yume miru shigunaru' especially provided a superb scenario where a traffic light was brilliantly brought to life."
"Ouchi takara sagashi" by Kazuko Nakamura
"A story told curiously from the perspective of a crawling baby. This story really makes you want to see it in illustrated picture form."
"Kusuri bako" by Yuko Furukawa
"This new concept for a picture book sets its heroine as single career woman taking on daily challenges. While this story was obviously geared towards children, it was also easy for me to visualize the scenes as enjoyable by adults."
"Soba ni iruyo" by Eleanor S.
"A story surrounding a waxing moon. Page by page this poem-structured scenario was brilliantly composed to a level that I could definitely see it developed into a popular e-picture book."
"Pairotto no yohan san to kumo no tsuyu ta" by Kumiko Seiju
"A unique story about a personified raincloud with a wide world view. This scenario really packed a punch."

"After reviewing all of the submitted scenarios, I could not help but think and ponder on the exciting times in which we all currently live. Authors today are able to harness new Internet-based technologies and with very little cost up front develop new ideas into an accessible format ready for instant global distribution. Whether it be text, pictures, or music, it is completely up to the e-picture book individual publisher to determine his/her own success tomorrow. I cannot help but be a little jealous for future generations who may take these new opportunities for granted."

[Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario Contest Conditions]

Contest winner has been declared. (Entry submission has ended)

Contestant Profile

All contestants must be currently living in Hokkaido

Scenario Entry

Please only submit the storyline text for your e-picture book contest entry. Any extra illustrations or attachments beyond the text will be ignored by our submission committee. Your text must be completely original and previously unpublished.

Scenario Format

  1. - The text should be no more than 400 Japanese characters and composed on standard white paper. Please provide the name of your e-picture book scenario manuscript and your full name (pen name also acceptable) on the first page. Please insert page numbers for all other pages. On the last page, please provide your full name, age, occupation, address, zip code, phone number, email address, and a brief self introduction.
  2. - Scenarios may be hand-written or typed in a standard word processor.
  3. - Lastly, we are planning for a 15-20 page e-picture book final release. Therefore, please arrange your scenario text enty into 15-20 structured blocks. One structred block should contain no more than 200 Japanese characters.

Contest Entry Deadline

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Contest First Prize

The first place winner will additionally receive a 100,000 yen purse from the Joh's Picture Book Project contest committee.

Distribution Fee

We plan on selling the completed e-picture book as a commercial application (price TBD). 20% of sales will go directly to the scenario author. The remaining proceeds will be pooled together and donated to the Red Cross in support of the victims and those who suffered during the devastating Tohoku Earthquake.

Contest Winner Presentation

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Direct Scenarios to
Joh's Picture Book Project (Hokkaido Picture Book Scenario Contest)

Hokkaido Arbeit Johosha Inc.
Minami 2 Nishi 6 Building
Chuou-Ku Minami 2 Jo Nishi 6 Chome 13-1
Sapporo, Hokkaido


The selected scenario will be compiled with an illustration and musical accompaniment selected by Joh Sasaki, to be published and distributed as an e-picture book to the iTunes App Store.

Other Conditions:

  1. - Contract terms and conditions tying the selected scenario author and iTunes App Store sales will be decided at the contract signing.
  2. - All contestant personal information will be carefully guarded and only utilized for the scope of this project. (Please direct your questions regarding our contestant information privacy policy to Hokkaido Arbeit Johosha Inc)
  3. - All scenario submissions are final and will not be returned after completion. Please consider that we will not respond to any inquiries regarding the contest selection process.

[Introducing Joh's Picture Book Project (Joh Sasaki)]

Joh's Picture Book Project products are in part published by a Hokkaido-based publishing house, and program development support is provided by Special thanks to:

  • Creative direction: C's Corporation
  • Application developer: SPiRAL Co., Ltd.
  • Publisher: Hokkaido Arbeit Johosha Co., Ltd.

[Please contact our support team with any questions regarding the contest.]

Minami2 Nishi6 Building
Minami 2 Jo nishi, 6 Chome 13−1
Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Tel: 011-223-3337
Email: (direct to Mr. Kanazawa)