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Japan travels pt 2: Mount Zine haul!

Mount Zine is quietly tucked away in the residential area of Tokyo, so conspicuous that I actually passed by it at first! But if you're lucky enough to spot it you'll find a carefully curated selection of zines on a multitude of subjects -- from fashion to food to animals.

It's reputation in the zine community precedes it. Even the walls are coated in zines, and they have an extensive zine library in addition to the zines that are for sale! And not only are they the dreamiest zine store I've ever come across, they are also a creative hub. The community that they have creates is totally amazing and I am so fortunate to have met several ridiculously talented creators through them.  

I spend a good hour just looking through everything, laboring over what I should purchase. I spent every penny of the 6000 yen that was in my wallet and still wanted more. Every zine there was beautifully put together, but these are the ones that came home with me. 

I saw Unruly Girls and immediately knew I had to buy it. This particular volume's theme was the seven deadly sins. Each spread offered a look inspired by one of the deadly sins. I thought that the concept was really interesting -- I would have never thought to connect a style magazine with sin yet it's an unlikely but perfect comparison, and I appreciate how strongly they adhered to the advertised theme. It was one of the bigger zines (in size) that I bought and the printing looks very professional -- all the images are crisp and the paper is even glossy.

 I was initially attracted to the fashion photography (the models are gorgeous and all of the looks are so well put together and entirely unique. Definitely using it for outfit inspiration in the future), but I stayed for the dynamic layouts. The design in this volume is super cute and creative. As much as I love more mainstream Japanese fashion magazines, I gladly welcomed the fresh voice and unique content of Unruly Girls. You can follow them on instagram @unruly0707

The next zine I picked up solely because it has Brigitte Bardot on the cover. Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of French new wave cinema -- so basically it was love at first site. Cinephile (as the name implies) is a zine for film enthusiasts with an ultra feminine aesthetic (which was fully on display in this issue, as it is titled "Fille Issue." Although my Japanese isn't yet good enough for me to actually read any of the articles, I'm still absolutely enamored with the collage-y layouts and the gorgeous selection of films presented here. This issue features God Help the Girl, Pretty in Pink, and so many other beautiful movies. 

The creator, Moet, is also super talented and has an adorable instagram feed, @moet.s

This zine was so adorably put together-- the attention to detail was absolutely amazing.I love the cover design -- the little bow is actually real! It's so visually stunning inside too -- they use papers varying in size and material so it's super fun to flip through and you can definitely tell that a lot of work went into not only the photography/art but also the design and production. The style is sort of girly/vaporwave-y

I couldn't find a general instagram for the zine but the creators' handles are listed in the back: @suama_pic, @p.sakky323, @bar_tani, @toshikitsuchi, @000_stk

This zine, Six Senses, is about the senses and how they relate to love and sensuality. I love the style of the illustrations (how they mix traditional Japanese techniques with a modern flair) and the pastel color palette. The paper is similar to wax paper which adds to the ethereal quality. The illustrations evoked a very visceral response from me -- with very few words and simple graphics the creator, Nisiho, taps into the primal yet elegant feelings and actions that make us human. The topic itself relates to the physical, but the content intellectualizes and philosophizes this simplicity, both living up to and substantiating the title of the zine. The layouts remind me of a children's book and the playful contextualization of more adult themes fits well with the ideology.

I will definitely be on the lookout for future zines by Nisiho -- her instagram is @naok_09

This zine, Coffee Painting, was far too charming to pass up, even though I don't drink coffee, and yes, the original paintings were done in actual coffee. The zine is essentially a series of postcards fastened with a small binder clip -- so if you wanted to you could take apart and display the cards individually! The paintings are portraits of celebrities and movie scenes-- the muted brown color palette adds an interesting layer to the already remarkable work. The concept/materials are so interesting and unify the rather diverse subject matter contained in the zine.

The creator, Rena (@rena_tsutsui on insta), is entirely self taught, and also works as a designer for Gelato Pique.

This zine features abstract portrait photography. The photos themselves were avant garde and intriguing but what really made me want to buy this zine was the structure and how it was put together. The front and back cover were hardcover, but it had no spine. Instead, the pages were accordion folded and printed on both sides.

It made the zine so much more stimulating and interesting to look through, and it really emphasized the individual images. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the creator's social media handles but the name is Tenmi Hanagi.

Lastly, I purchased this zine I would like to take a peek into her dreams by Chimugukuru. The drawings in this are incredibly stylish and remind me a bit of fashion sketches but with so much more depth. I believe that it is themed around dreams-- and the illustrations are absolutely dreamy. Her colorful haired, rosy cheeked maidens appear contemplative and thoughtful, in delightfully mundane positions. They seem apathetic to the apparent interest of the audience described in the title, open yet expressionless and shrouded in rose motifs. 

You can follow the creator on Instagram, @mikiokinawa


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