Poulpy knows that you appreciate Japanese culture as much as we do. Perhaps some are learning the language of Mishima. In that case, the new Koko magazine may well grab your attention. This cultural magazine offers bilingual articles to learn Japanese while learning more about yourself thanks to documents that draw parallels between France and Japan. Mr Japanization brings his pen there every month. Discovery.

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The promise is enticing: every three months, Koko takes its readers on a discovery of a specific theme on Japan peeled over a hundred pages, in French and Japanese! In the first issue published last June, readers were immersed in urban art from France to Japan. The second issue was devoted to the richness of Japanese gastronomy. The next issue of Koko will be devoted to Humor, a complex notion that reflects some of the major cultural differences between Japan and the West. An exciting subject in which we took part.

Because not only is Koko interested in Japanese culture, but the magazine wishes to distinguish itself by establishing a bridge between Japanese and French cultures, providing a panorama of their cultural specificities. From the opening of Japan to the West in the 19th century, the French showed themselves fascinated by the Land of the Rising Sun, a fascination that the inhabitants of the Archipelago returned to them. Since then, cultural exchanges and admiration between the two countries have never ceased. And the magazine Koko wants to be part of this continuity: through its crossed interviews between Japanese and French, Koko hopes to arouse artistic and cultural encounters, so many sources of reciprocal emulation. The magazine also features illustrations by artists corresponding to the theme of the issue as well as superb photographs. Finally, each issue of Koko is thought of more as an artistic object more than just a magazine.

Because Koko magazine wishes to address all age groups, it includes a detachable booklet also devoted to Japan, “P’tit Koko”, intended for readers aged 5 to 10. They will find an illustrated story on the theme of the month. A fun way for parents of share their passion for Japan with their children who will learn about Japanese and French cultures while having fun. Especially since in the continuity of the booklet, the website of Koko will offer additional content to prolong the pleasure with artist files, bilingual vocabulary, early learning games, tutorials … ‘to the next issue!

But who do we find behind Koko and his manta ray logo? Let’s lift the veil: these are six women who make up the Koko team. Six women of Japanese or French nationality, with varied backgrounds: teacher, translator, doctor in Art History, cultural mediator, but who all have in common a passion for Japan and France. Their diverse personal experiences that feed Koko’s innovative DNA. And as for the manta ray, it was chosen as a mascot after Koko co-founder Eventhia found herself trapped by the tide on Taketomi Island. While waiting to be able to escape, she will come across two large manta rays in which she will find a protective symbol. It is therefore natural that this animal will accompany the reader of Koko.

Another essential point of Koko: all articles are translated into Japanese to help learners of this beautiful but oh so difficult language, especially in writing. This is also why furigana are added to some articles for easier reading and that a bilingual lexicon will be available on Koko’s site to perfect his learning.

So that the Koko adventure continues, the next issue is available for pre-order via Kisskissbankbank for only 15 euros with two original bookmarks. It is even possible to order the first issues there. The team is counting on the dedication of the Japonophile community to achieve serenity as their launch unfortunately fell in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. The Mr Japanization team will once again write an original article in the next issue.

To find the latest news from the journal, visit its website, facebook page or accounts twitter & instagram.

S. Barret

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