Monday, June 29, 2009

Popular Magazines in Japan

Step into any bookstore in Japan and you will surely see a dizzying array of colorful magazines filling the racks. The girl’s and women’s magazines would be especially eye-catching. Since Japan is famous as a trend-setting nation where fashion trends are transmitted globally, the abundance and quality of fashion magazines in the country is outstanding. Today, I will recommend several popular women's magazines that strongly influence the market.

Seventeen – Seventeen is a popular teen magazine, specifically targeting junior high school or high school students. Given this student-based target audience, magazines like Seventeen offer tips on how to fashionably tweak school uniform outfits, or how to enjoy a fun, low-cost date with your partner.

nonno– This is another popular magazine, this time targeting women in their university years. The nonno style combines and nimbly balances cuteness and casualness, thus catching the attention of many young women. In between its stylish fashion spreads, the magazine also gives advice in love and school life, so it can be widely enjoyed by many readers. Every now and then, free supplements (such as small accessory pouches, card cases, etc) are enclosed so they add to the fun of the magazines too! Nonno’s main rivals are magazines such as Mina and Sweet, which target the same audience and are recommended as well.

CanCam – This magazine targets university students and young OL's (the common nickname for “Office Ladies,” basically meaning women who work in supporting roles at offices). This magazine is so successful that many of the magazine’s exclusive models are now charismatic celebrities who have become brands in themselves. The magazine also features many brand-name items within their carefully planned fashion themes. Each monthly issue is very thick in size, making it worth every yen. CanCam’s sister magazine, ANEcan, is also well-worth a read! This sister publication targets women in their late 20s who still want to remain young-looking and fashionable even if they have moved up to higher ranks at the office.

These three magazines may be the three staple publications for young women in Japan, but they don’t even begin to represent the variety and amount of women fashion magazines in the country. Magazines dedicated to Harajuku-style fashion, Japanese Gal fashion, Gothic-lolita, housewives styles etc. can be found in book stores and convenient stores too. With such variety to choose from, you will surely find the magazine that fits your personal fashion style.

Although most of these magazines do not come with English versions, plus they might cost slightly more than Western publications, flipping through one would allow you to see and understand the latest trends in Japan. These magazines would also make great souvenirs for your fashion-savvy friends as well!

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