A Reunion

Hello, Old Friends. Oh, how I have missed our time together. When I lived in Tottori, part of my weekend jump start was dropping by my favorite book stores, Imai Shoten and Tsutaya in Yoshinari on my way home from work. It took a while for me to find magazines that I loved to lounge around my apartment readying, but eventually, I managed to master the art of standing while reading (a habit I need to still break here in the US). After I moved back to the US in 2009, I broke my heart simply looking at the markups on the now “imported” magazines at Kinokuniya and BookOFF in NYC. Thankfully, that will soon change!This last month, I had the pleasure of traveling to Japan several time for work, and while on my layovers, I was able to bring back three women’s magazines. I even bought them at the airport (without any additional markups), and enjoyed flicking through them on my way back home.

  1. CREA (クレア): When I lived in Japan, I was in my mid-20s, and according to the reviews, CREA is geared for women in their 30s. I’m determined to unlock cover girl Shiho‘s secrets to looking fabulous at 35 (and after two children).
  2. AneCan (姉キャン): The only magazine of the three I regularly read while in Japan. I loved the contrast of cute and cool styles for “Women Over 25”, many of which I tried adapting during my time in Japan. When I was in Tottori, cover girl Yuri was on the younger sister version, CanCam. It appears she’s finally graduated to the big leagues.
  3. Oggi (オッジ): I’ve glanced at Oggi over the years, and I am disappointed that I hadn’t picked it up sooner. South Korean cover girl Youn-a is graduating her Japan modeling career to focus on films in her home country.
  4. anan (アンアン): I discovered this one my first year in Japan, and it is by far one of my favorites. It would best be described as the Japanese version of Cosmo (although there is now a Japan Cosmo, too). Their issues are usually themed which always leads to great surprises.

Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be leaving my slew of beloved American magazines (Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Marie Claire, SELF, Shape & Fitness), behind. Honestly, I am looking forward to eventually getting an iPad, so I can take all those beloved gems along with me, so I don’t have to hoard stacks of magazines in my apartment (or worry about them disappearing in the mail). I was disappointed that I couldn’t find the latest issue anan of  before I left the airport (below isn’t the current issue, but one of my favorite cover guys, musician Masaharu Fukuyama).

What I Love About Japanese Women’s Magazines:

  • Adaptable Fashion: Although designer brands are often highlighted, the fashion styles presented are easily reproduced regardless of budget. Trends are explained (often with a way to go a month with certain mix-and-matchable pieces) as well as readers are allowed to submit their looks for publication.
  • Healthy Recipes: Recipes are often presented in single or two person servings, making it practical for compact, single living. I have missed my Japanese boxed lunch (obento) recipes!
  • Detailed Workouts: Step-by-step approaches provided along with photos. Readers aren’t required to access a computer to download or view the workouts (a bonus for those without immediate access to a computer). Additionally, many workouts don’t require access to a gym and can be completed with items around the house.
  • Shopping Locations:Though the primary focus are Tokyo industries, key data such as location, telephone number, and business hours are often included in reviews.
  • How-Tos: Detailed diagrams, suggested products, and good advice for those truly wanting to learn new ways (or shortcuts) for doing things, especially those related to self-care.
  • Horoscopes: Yes, I know that some US magazines, do have them, but the detail and themed ones really stand out.

I have yet to figure out how the online content of these magazines could be placed into my blog roll reader (or if they have online exclusive content like US glossies). I’ll be able to resume building my style book, but learning to read and release (resell) will be the hardest part. Thankfully, there is a BookOFF near by where I am moving to in Honolulu. I simply need to figure out if I’d get a better exchange on reselling them at BookOFF in the US or back in Japan while on my layovers.

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