Written and published in Japan, Mono is a pop culture document par excellence. Evidently aimed at men, it focuses on a variety of subjects, although predominantly features food, vehicles, fashion and technology with a slight emphasis – least in the issues I have seen – towards military history and its accoutrements.
Articles have included the history of Japanese technology between the 1970s and 1990s, World War II bomber jacket designs, hand luggage and camping gear reviews and history of smugglers cars, whilst recurring features include convenience store food reviews and watch and shoe release updates.
Luggage Reviews. Photo by author.
Convenience Store Food Reviews. Photo by author.
Motorcycle Reviews. Photo by author.
Analysis of bootlegger smuggling. Photo by author.
Their authors tend to analyse the less covered segments of these common areas too. For example, in their USA Issue, they travel to the Mexico / USA border and speak with border patrol guards and check out dive bars in Juarez. When they look at shoes, it’s what’s on the feet of tech nerds or the best 1980s jogging shoe. If it’s watches, they ignore the Swiss and instead turn their attention 1970s Tokyo time pieces or Timex and low grade military watches.
USA Issue. Photo by author.
Tech Company CEO Footwear Analysis. Photo by author.
1980s – 1990s Jogging Shoe Analysis. Photo by author.
Japanese Watches of the 1970s. Photo by author.
Sadly, as my Japanese is poor, the virtue or lack thereof of the writing is impossible to analyse, but it is incredibly photo heavy and its attention to detail is on par with a variety of Japanese periodicals which seem to focus on the minutiae of their topics with an autism like focus.
Various Articles. Photos by author.
Through their own shop, advertised in the back pages, they also sell many items such as authentic Vietnam issued Zippos, C-rations, military styled patches, pens, watches and various other items.
Example Items Available Through Their Mail Order Shop. Photo by author.
Freely available in many bookstores and libraries in Japan, it’s worth picking up and always entertaining.
Written and posted by Horatio Cornblower. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
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