A print issue from web journal Néojaponisme — NJP#1: Shōwa Tokyo — 128 pages of new content about retro Tokyo past and present.
With the 2020 (er, 2021?) Summer Olympics around the corner and Tokyo in midst of over-tourism mayhem, the editors of Néojaponisme (W. David Marx, Ian Lynam, and Matt Treyvaud) and their favorite contributors wrote tens of thousands of words of new content to celebrate the older Tokyo of the Shōwa Era (1926-1989): what lives on (the Toden Arakawa Line), what is at risk of extinction (the kissaten), and what’s been lost forever (the dance hall Furorida).
The B5-size, 128-page issue contains essays, never-before translated short stories and reportage, poems, original drawings, lettering showcases, and graphic design.
In concrete terms:
An actionable travel guide to the most Shōwa-esque restaurants, bars, cafés, hotels, and pipe stores in Tokyo (most of which are still open as of this writing!
A detailed guide to walking the entire length of the last trolley in Tokyo, the Toden Arakawa Line
A detailed guide to sentō baths from official sentō ambassador, Stéphanie Crohin of Dokodemo Sento
Translations of essays about cruising the Route 246 highway in the 1960s, Ginza in the 1930s, and the birth of the Naporitan pasta dish during the 1964 Olympics
An essay on the 1930s Yokohama chabuya brothels that ushered in the jazz age, as well as a previously untranslated Tanizaki Jun’ichiro work on living next door to one
A guide to distinguishing the many late-1960s Japanese student radical groups — from Russia-aligned Communists to Trotskyites and Structural Marxist Reformists
The first-ever English glimpse into what Jacques Derrida and the two Japanese post-modern scholars, Asada Akira and Karatani Kojin, discussed at their Tokyo meeting in 1983
Sheila Burgel’s top ten 45s of the Shōwa era, and Daniel Morales’ top enka picks
Original illustrations from Ryan Cecil Smith and Luis Mendo
A showcase of distinctive Shōwa lettering
An essay on the sensōgara war-patterned kimono of the war time
Designed by Ian Lynam using a veritable fleet of new custom typeface designs and custom lettering based on Shōwa sources, NJP#1 is a masterpiece of intentionally wonky, incredibly period-specific design.
NJP#1 is printed on beautifully creamy archival paper and is housed in a UV softcover binding which is heat- and stress-resistant.
The journal ships with two B6-size sketchbooks featuring variations on the cover design.
It also ships with a set of three A3-size, two-color Risograph posters.
Pick up your copy of NJP #1 here: http://wordshape.com/njp-1/
I'm a graphic designer, design educator, design critic and design writer who has been based in Tokyo for 14 years.