Koe Story

Koe Magazine launched in March, 2009 as a bimonthly, bilingual magazine showcasing art, music, photography and outdoor culture in Japan. It also featured interviews with luminaries in Japanese society and politics, as well as book and music reviews, poetry and essays. Supported by both advertising and subscriptions, the magazine grew quite a strong following, with some reporters in Japan calling it ground zero for news on emerging artists and trends.

Koe Magazine also gave birth to other publications when popular columns or ideas were spun off. The first was the Yokohama Seasider Magazine, a monthly bilingual guide to culture and life in this major city. Then came the Japan Beer Times, a quarterly bilingual magazine about craft beer, which has risen to national and even international prominence and close to 70,000 readers. Finally, an interview with John Gaunter, one of the world’s most respected sake experts, led to the publication of Sake Today, a beautiful, quarterly magazine about sake culture and history that is distributed worldwide to roughly two dozen countries.

Due to the runaway success of these other magazines, which required more time commitment and the hiring of many new employees, I decided to put Koe Magazine on hiatus after issue #26 in the summer of 2013. There were also personal reasons, too, which I wrote about here. Looking back now, it seems that this was the right decision.

We are now a much stabler organization with a second, very talented designer whose interests align very closely with Koe’s. This year we began discussing the revival of Koe Magazine, and hope to realize this early in 2016. There will be some changes, however, which we believe are positive. We hope to make the magazine thicker, almost like a coffee table book, but less frequent–perhaps once or twice a year. Koe will also be English-only, as this will allow more content and greater freedom of design (bilingual magazines are a unique challenge!). Please revisit us here or on Facebook for updates.

In the meantime, we will post occasional essays on this website. Additionally, all the back issues of Koe Magazine are very much still available through our store. Although only 40 pages in length, they are tightly packed with inspiration and stimulation. Please consider buying some! The Nakahara Chuya poetry book is also available from our store. Your purchases help support the revival of Koe Magazine and in turn the support of emerging artists.

Thank you!

Ry Beville

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