31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park

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We spent thirty-one months in Japan building the Universal Studios. We also spent a long time in the US preparing for the trip. It became the first theme park to ever to be completed ahead of schedule, as well as under budget. As a result, we felt an obligation to honor those who created the theme park.

We first began the project in 2001 after returning to California. However, 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. It explores the country and people and also 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, finally feel that they have learned something.

The book was written to honor all our colleagues – Japanese, American, and others – who made the park happen. It includes 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. The glimpses of the Japanese culture intriguing and fascinating. I was also awed by the descriptions of the different places visited by the authors.”

“The very first chapter immerses the reader in a fascinating discovery of Japanese culture. It also explores the ingenious secrets that make the magic of a theme park real. A warm, familiar voice tells the story. In fact, many times it 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. It shows people 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. She explores 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, all things are attainable. The intricacies of building a theme park were fascinating to read. 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. Since then, they have been married for fifty years and have one daughter.

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 was a 2006 EPPIE finalist. It was also named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best nonfiction books of 2005. It is available in ebook and paperback, as well as 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.

They have also written a historical novel, The Memory Keeper, which is available in paperback, audiobook, and ebook formats.

Visit their website at www.lornalarry.com.

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