Video review: Shukyu magazine

by Steve Watson in November 2015
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There are people who talk about Japan as some kind of promised land for magazine making – they’ll hold up the likes of Popeye and Brutus as examples of visionary editorial and design without being able to read a word of what’s actually printed on the page.

I’ve always felt like that verges on patronising Orientalism, but last week a magazine arrived that made me rethink. Shukyu is a new football magazine made in Tokyo and I found myself totally absorbed in it despite the fact that I can hardly read any of it, and I’m a casual football fan at best.

The pictures pulled me into the simple but characterful pages, and I found myself making up the stories to fit the images. I’d love to read an English version of this magazine – the stories on vintage Japanese football publishing and the formation of Borussia Dortmund look particularly fascinating. But I can’t help feeling that the translation might take something away from the promise of stories I’ve concocted for myself. Maybe that’s the thing those print Japanophiles love so much?

Two-Minute Magazines #95: Shukyu from Steven Watson on Vimeo.

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