What’s the story behind Kyoto Journal?
Founded in 1986 by editor and designer John Einarsen, Kyoto Journal has been documenting and celebrating Japanese and Asian culture for more than 30 years.
This publication is filled to the brim with thought provoking insights and diverse content; it’s most recent issue, number 93, delves into the vibrant culinary cultures of Asia, all the while discovering what food really means to us.
What's even more impressive; since its founding, the magazine has been entirely produced by volunteers.
Describing its approach as being “curious about society, beliefs, traditions and new developments — how people live, and live well — through the lens of Asian experience”, Kyoto Journal is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in Japanese and Asian cultures.
The magazine’s first issue was publisher in 1987, however, the publication switched to digital in 2011. With unwavering determination, the journal’s staff worked to bring back the full experience, and it returned to print in 2017 with KJ89. The issue has a special section on “craft ecologies”, focusing on the artisan community in Japan and the complex and interdependent relationships between them. We’re proud to stock issues 89 – 93, and the many more to come!
Upon the publications return to print as a biannual magazine, Ken Rodgers, Managing Editor, wrote a piece for the Writers in Kyoto blog, that we feel perfectly encapsulates the special ingredient in every magazine. It’s the premise of Magazine Heaven and the experience we want to pass on to people worldwide. Read on to hear what Ken had to say about the return of KJ back in 2017:
“The digital experience is seldom memorable, however novel its design; it lacks presence, too easily dissipates into the background blur of electronic media that occupies the user’s ever-decreasing attention span. On the other hand, a physical magazine (or book) prompts you to find relatively undistracted time for it. Opening physical pages, breathing in the distinctive aroma of ink and paper, you refocus, entering a different mental space that’s more conducive to engagement with fresh ideas, to perceiving lateral connections and subtle resonances.”
If you are not yet familiar with the magazine, then we’d thoroughly recommend taking a look at this stunning publication.