Minor Press

Fashion magazines are by no means our favorite genre. In fact, they might seem like many readers to be the opposite in spirit from Koe Magazine. But we do respect their strength in an age of declining print magazines. And they also often feature great photography and design.

Script is one free magazine that recently caught our eye with its bright, glossy colors and slick design. We also liked the local touch. Shift actually has editions for three locations; Sapporo, Kansai and Fukuoka. We picked up our copy in the latter city.

The bulk of the magazine is devoted to the latest youth fashions. But instead of amateurish photographs all crammed on the page, the editors have gone with professional shoots and attractive layout. Other pages of the magazine are devoted to local trends in culture and lifestyle.

Script is roughly A4 on sturdy paper. The total page numbers vary from issue to issue, from 40ish to 60ish, but there is always enough to make it worth picking up.

ファッション雑誌は、私たちのお気に入りのジャンルではない。実際、Koe Magazineの持つスピリットと対局にあると読者は思っているかもしれない。しかしながら、紙媒体の雑誌が減少していく時世であっても、その衰えない強さをレスペクトせずにはいられない。素晴らしい写真やデザインの特集が組まれることだって度々ある。




The Famished Road
Borderless Reading

With Lord of the Rings a box-office smash and Murakami Haruki now a world literary celebrity, fantasy fiction (and “magical realism”) has become a mainstream genre. Forerunners in contemporary literature include Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri. The latter’s Booker Prize-winning “The Famished Road” is not just a classic of African literature, but world literature.

The novel follows the life of a young child in an African ghetto who has connections to the spirit world. There, his siblings want him to abandon the world he lives in and rejoin them. To convince him, they send spirits from their world into his. His love for his parents, however, keeps him from wanting to leave the ‘real’ world.

What does a child with vision in both worlds see? What do the people around him in this struggling part of African think of the spirit boy? Will he stay in this world so full of hardship?

Okri’s novel has been beautifully rendered into Japanese by Kaneharu Mizuhito





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