Commons & Sense is a biannual Japanese magazine that has existed since the late 1990’s. Describing itself as a riposte to the overly ‘catalogue-like’ approach to fashion magazines that had long dominated the Japanese scene, its aim was to offer a quintessentially Japanese take on international fashion in keeping with the spirit of more experimental and edgy publications coming out of Paris or London, whilst being formulated from an entirely Japanese perspective.
More than a decade later, the title is now considered one of the prime examples of Japanese publishing creativity. With a strong focus on fashion – for which the Japanese consumer is internationally known to have an astonishing appetite- the title also covers numerous other creative disciplines such as architecture and design, lifestyle and a dash of celebrity and the more erudite areas of pop culture for which Japan is renowned.
At almost 400 pages per issue, Commons & Sense feels more like the leisurely approach of a book in which images can be fully elaborated and explored rather than crammed into the space dictated by the restrictions of slimmer publications. Focusing heavily on images, this means that this bilingual publication has a penchant for lengthy features that fully elaborate the tenet of the take on the subject matter. With Japan retaining a significant position on the international fashion circuit, Commons & Sense is essential reading for anyone who is interested in a well-rounded understanding of the contemporary zeitgeist.
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