March 2015 issue of Monocle is a special Japan issue

Cover Monocle 81Monocle, the magazine on global affairs, business, culture and design has published a special Japan issue. The March 2015 edition features contributions on a wealth of topics, such as politics, business women, design, craft, food, travel and art. And as usual, Monocle is richly illustrated with images of tasty dishes and hip shops, craft studios and restaurants.

In a fascinating article the Japanese diaspora is discussed, amongst others the so-called Jazilians or Japanese Brazilians. And a second article goes more in-depth to this matter and presents the Japanese ceramics ‘colony’ Cunha where typical Japanese noborigama kilns (lit. ‘step-climbing-kiln’) have been built in order to fire the ceramic objects in the best Japanese way possible. Seven of such wood-fired kilns have been established in the small town.

In terms of politics, I was happy to see a contribution by Jeff Kingston on prime minister Abe’s strategies, as I had the pleasure to collaborate with Kingston a few years ago on a publication about contemporary Japanese politics.

Monocle MascotsOne of my favorite sections in this March issue is the photo series dedicated to Japan’s lifesize mascots: extremely cute figures promoting corporate organizations, municipalities and other institutions . A big blue figure with a head shaped like Mount Fuji is Oyu-no-Fuji and he is the mascot for the bathhouse association of Edogawa in Tokyo.

In general Monocle often pays attention to ‘things Japanese’ in all of its issues, but now there is whole lot to check out in just one single issue. Recommended.

Monocle, issue 81, volume 9, March 2015, London: Winkontent Limited. ISSN 1753-2434. www.monocle.com