31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park



After spending thirty-one months in Japan building the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka and even more time in the US preparing for the trip, we felt an obligation to honor those who created the only theme park ever to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

We began the project in 2001 after returning to California, but the final version of the book was not finished until the early spring of 2005. Ever since publication, the book has garnered terrific reviews. We’ve heard from many readers that it has proved very valuable for travel, working, and learning about not only the country and the people, but also about the behind-the-scenes processes required to build a world-class theme park.

We hope that readers will laugh and cry and, in the end, feel that they have learned something.

The book was written to honor all our colleagues – Japanese, American, and others – who made the park happen, with a special dedication to Raouf Iskander, the colleague we lost during our time in Japan.

We hope you will enjoy the adventure!

Praise for Larry and Lorna

“I was utterly charmed by the experiences related from the viewpoint of the author husband and author wife. Not only were the glimpses of the Japanese culture intriguing and fascinating, but I was also awed by the descriptions of the different places visited by the authors. The insights into the actual building of a theme park in a foreign land kept me turning pages…”

“From the very first chapter, “31 Months in Japan : The Building of a Theme Park” by Larry K. and Lorna Collins, immerses the reader in a fascinating discovery of Japanese culture and the ingenious secrets that make the magic of a theme park real. This detailed and personal account of the trials and surprises involved in creating Universal Studios Japan is told in a warm familiar voice that many times had me musing that I would have reacted the same way as the narrators…”

”This book accurately captures the experience of the working expat in Japan – coping with culture clashes in the office as well as adjustment pains in a foreign land. Larry and Lorna Collins tell the story of their trip to build Universal Studios Japan – the preparation, the work, the life in Japan and then the return…”

”Larry and Lorna paint a very accurate and heart felt story of working in a foreign country and culture.
They show that through acceptance and not resistance, that all things are attainable. The intricacies of building a theme park, a small city from scratch , were fascinating . The example of Jurassic Mark and the newly trimmed “old growth” is the ultimate in grasping Japanese concepts. This short book is a must read for anyone contemplating working with a different culture.”

You can pick up your own copy of 31 Months in Japan here!
UK readers can find it here!

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About the Authors:

Larry K. and Lorna Collins, grew up together in Alhambra, California. They have been married for fifty years and have one daughter, Kimberly.

They were both employed in Osaka, Japan building the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Larry was a Project Engineer, responsible for the Jurassic Park, JAWS, and WaterWorld attractions. Lorna was the Document Control Supervisor in the Osaka field office. Their memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best nonfiction books of 2005. It is available in ebook, paperback, and hardbound formats.

Their first cozy mystery, Murder…They Wrote, was inspired by a writing conference in Hawaii. The sequel,Murder in Paradise, was a 2012 finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for mystery. Both are available in ebook and paperback. Watch for future sequels.

Their historical novel, The Memory Keeper, set in San Juan Capistrano, is available in paperback, audiobook, and ebook formats.

Lorna also co-writes romance anthologies with friends, Sherry Derr-Wille, Christie Shary, Cheryl Gardarian, and Luanna Rugh. Their titles are Snowflake Secrets (Dream Realm and Eric Hoffer Award finalist), Seasons of Love,Directions of Love (2011 EPIC eBook Award winner as best romance anthology), An Aspen Grove Christmas,The Art of Love, and …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe. Their anthologies are available in paperback and ebook. …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe is also available as an audiobook.

Lorna’s fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, launched the Mystic Oaks imprint for Oak Tree Books in 2012. It is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. She also edited Passion, Paradise, Murder an anthology set in Hawaii. All proceeds go to Read Aloud America, a literacy charity in Hawaii.

Visit their website at www.lornalarry.com.

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