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- PEN (190) gets traditional with a look at the design that surrounds the Japanese tea ceremony, including coverage of the material used, and of course a survey of tearooms. It’s also nice to see that the designer profile for the issue is Yoshino Fukuma of Ten-Sen. I first met her last year at the inaugural 100% Design Tokyo, and then later at her space at Co-Lab.
- The latest issue of BRUTUS (608) is all about “Cool Japan,” or rather the aspects of Japanese culture that have become popular in other countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think I would really consider a lot of what gets covered as cool, but it still makes for an interesting feature, as it gives the editors an opportunity to see their world through foreign eyes. The issue does have the best insert ever, featuring a new comic by Katsuhiro Otomo (who also did the cover), as well as an interview with him, and glimpses inside his studio. I also got a kick out of seeing the boys of Less Rain, Carsten and Lars, enjoying some chilled beers in a 2-page advertorial.
- The new TOKION JAPAN (56) is out, featuring KitsunÃ© on the cover. I really liked the “Tokyo Iconic Nights” piece, where they map out a night on the town for various categories of people — from “Gorgeous & Luxury” to “Sweet & Cultured.”
- MAC POWER (205) offers a “Trend Forecast 2007,” surveying 100 top creators on what they see as the major themes for the coming year. There’s also a one-page profile covering Assistant.
- This month’s STUDIO VOICE (373) takes us on a “Photobook Odyssey 1976-2007,” which means a beautiful survey of striking photobooks. This issue also marks the start of Patrick Macias‘ new column for the magazine, “Paranoid States of America,” in which he examines (in his own words), “the witchy world of conspiracy theorists, paranormal hoodoo, and post-millennial backwash.”
- I also leafed through a magazine called SOMETHING, which I’d never seen before but is already on its 12th issue (it was prominently featured on racks as if it was a new magazine). It deals with culture/artists/designers, with this issue covering “Nagoya Pep Creators!!!”