While the state of the American magazine seems to get murkier with each passing month, we can say with absolute certainty that the publishing world is alive and well in Japan. It was just a handful of month’s ago that we did our first dive into the world of Japanese menswear magazines and even in that short time several new titles have sprung up to join the stalwarts that made us turn towards Japan to begin with. Some of them teeter on the edge of ridiculousness (particularly “The Barber Book,” which is dedicated solely the style of barbers) but the majority of them are still worth perusing, even if you can’t read a lick of Japanese. Regardless of your respective style there’s undoubtedly a magazine tailored specifically for you, so here’s our round-up of ten Japanese menswear magazines on newsstands now, to help you select the right reading (or should we say, looking) material for this month.
Theme: â€œ2014 Autumn New Item Expressâ€
Most interesting feature: A twelve page spread on Bozeman, Montana which boldly claims that it’s going to be the next big outdoor hotspot.
Strangest product placement: A custom camo sleeve for disposable coffee cups
Photo shoot aesthetic: Orderly lay downs of products from scores of outdoor brands that are virtually unknown here in America.
Key brands: Kletterwerks, Mystery Ranch, and Goruck
Length: 170 pages
Theme: â€œNew American Brands.â€ Although in actuality only half the brands featured are really from America.
Most interesting feature: Pencil drawings of â€œfamousâ€ movie characters, with the unexpected inclusions of 25th Hour, New Jack City, and Last Days
Strangest product placement: Tesla electric car charger
Photo shoot aesthetic: Bored looking, rail thin white models wearing fashion forward Japanese labels against Brutalist backdrops.
Key brands: Umit Benan, Sacai, and Cav empt
Length: 176 pages
Theme: â€œStyle Sample 155â€ The 155 denotes the number of different “street” people that they shot for this issue.
Most interesting feature: An in-depth look at the Nepenthes stores in Japan and New York.
Strangest product placement: A tie-dye basketball uniform from AKTR, a brand we’ve actually never heard of.
Photo shoot aesthetic: Head on shots of random â€œstylishâ€ people standing in the middle of the street. Bonus points if they’re holding a skateboard.
Key brands: Hurley, Speedo, and Nixon. Seriously.
Length: 154 pages
Theme: â€œSneaker Catalogâ€
Most interesting feature: It’s a three-way tie between a basic tote bag round up that’s organized by color, a â€œhow-toâ€ guide on what pants to pair with certain canvas sneakers, and a feature on the world’s greatest roller coasters.
Strangest product placement: Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Photo shoot aesthetic: Legs. Lots and lots of legs.
Key brands: Converse, Vans, and New Balance
Length: 234 pages
Theme: Men’s Ex is one of the few magazines that’s entirely in Japanese, even the titles, so we have no idea what the cover story is called this month. We can say that in typical Men’s Ex form it features a middle aged businessman type and a lot of really expensive looking suits.
Most interesting feature: An eight page look at underwear.
Strangest product placement: Mushrooms.
Photo shoot aesthetic: Silver haired white guys with sweaters tied around their shoulders smirking about nothing.
Key brands: Burberry, Slowear, and Ring Jacket
Length: 186 pages
Theme: â€œHot Summer Days with Car and Bikeâ€
Most interesting feature: A glossy insert dedicated entirely to a Hawaiian vacation
Strangest product placement: White gold ankle bracelets
Photo shoot aesthetic: Screen-grabs from an imaginary James Bond that stars Jude Law and was directed by Guy Ritchie
Key brands: Audi, Maserati, and Ducati
Length: 246 pages
Theme: â€œ80 Treasures of Yataro Masuura”
Most interesting feature: Almost the entire publication is dedicated to â€œ80 Treasures,â€ and it’s downright beautiful
Strangest product placement: KLM liquor bottles, a US postage stamp, a Russell baseball mitt, and a telescope
Photo shoot aesthetic: Bright photos of bespectacled Japanese men loitering around woodsy houses.
Key brands: Not many brands, just eighty vintage curiosities in the cover story.
Length: 142 pages
Theme: â€œPopeye Sandwich Clubâ€
Most interesting feature: Almost this whole issue is about sandwiches, and it doesn’t get much more interesting than that.
Strangest product placement: A â€œwhimsical sandwichâ€ whatever that is
Photo shoot aesthetic: Enough meticulously arranged food photos to make Kinfolk seem obsolete
Key brands: Bacon, lettuce, and tomato
Theme: â€œBeyond Snapâ€ showcasing the photos of various street style photographers
Most interesting feature: â€œIndigo Blue,â€ a page dedicated entirely to the color blue.
Strangest product placement: Happy Socks underwear
Photo shoot aesthetic: Depends on the photographer, but mostly close shots of so-called â€œstreet style icons.â€
Key brands: Vainl Archive, Puma, and Overall Master Cloth
Length: 129 pages
Free & Easy
Theme: â€œJeans Revolutionâ€
Most interesting feature: Well, with a theme like that we expected some sort of indigo swatch feature to bleed off onto your hands, but we’ll settle for the cartoonish drawings of â€œNext-Generation Denim.â€
Strangest product placement: A VAN Jacket (who even knew they were still around?!) lunchbag
Photo shoot aesthetic: Straight on photographs of twenty and thirty-something white guys wearing denim of various washes and various levels of â€œserious face.â€
Key brands: LVC, Tellason, and PRPS
Length: 226 pages