I' only been in Japan for about a year, but
as soon as I arrived it was obvious to me that there was a huge gap in the market for a
Tokyo-based, women's magazine. I think that foreign women living in Japan experience the
country in a very different way to men; experience a different kind of culture shock, and
struggle with different issues. It was important to me that there be a forum where this
kind of thing could be discussed and that is what I set out to do with Being A Broad
I got the idea for the magazine in March and started working on it seriously last May
or June. The response to the first issue has been incredible; I've had so many people
coming up to me and saying how much they enjoyed it, and it's great that men are reading
it too. All of the copies were picked up from the outlets, so I think that says something
about the size of the gap we are filling.
I originally came to Japan to try and make some money to pay off my student loan and to
get out of England for a while. I was a primary school teacher in the UK and I love
teaching, so coming to Japan seemed like a good way to continue with my profession and
earn some money while I was doing it. I work in a very good high school here; one that has
a different mandate to most Japanese schools in that they actively encourage individuality
while still maintaining an emphasis on group co-operation.
It seems that in Japan, if you want to do something you can; people are more motivated
here and there is always support for good ideas. Maybe it's a state of mind that comes
from being away from home, but it is certainly a very positive aspect of living in Tokyo.
I also like the fact that I feel safe if I'm out late on my own. It may be a false sense
of security, but the situation here is much better than it is in the UK.
I'm just starting to get settled in Tokyo, so I've got no plans to leave just yet.
Anyway, I want to see the magazine take off and become established. I'm not interested in
making any money from it, I just believe that if you can do something good while you're
here, you should do it.
Being A Broad can be found at pick-up points throughout Tokyo. To receive a copy by
post, send a self-addressed envelope to: Being A Broad, #12 Otsuka-so, 2-18-14 Hiratsuka,
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142.
Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org