SHUKYU, a magazine and creative agency that makes Japanese football accessible to everyone, even non-football viewers.

Even though we have been living in Japan for almost 10 years, the only contact we have is with Japanese football. Reads animation Captain Tsubasa

Even last year, I had the opportunity to watch the J-League match between Urawa Red Diamonds and Kyoto Sanga at the stadium, so I was able to experience the joy of watching non-anime football matches. Appreciate and enjoy the passionate acclaim with good manners, cleanliness, comfort and deliciousness of food in a varied playground such as a food court in a shopping mall. Whenever you find different types of products, clothing and cheering equipment. It makes you think, is this stadium the Disneyland of football?

To be honest, I don't know much about watching football. But just looking around is a lot of fun.

If we want to tell you about the magic of Japanese football, which is not only a sport but also a way of life, then we must invite you to do so. Takashi Ogami Founder Shokyo It is the name of the magazine and creative agency that talks about great football

He said that the joy of football is not just watching and playing.

SHUKYU means soccer in Japanese, but it refers to a soccer magazine and creative agency founded in Tokyo in 2015. The magazine focuses on different aspects of soccer culture such as players, clubs, fans, fashion, architecture, food, etc. The topic of each issue changes from time to time depending on the interests of editor Takashi himself, examples of his previous works include female issues, technology and identity and the story of J.LEAGUE design.

“I had seen magazines covering football culture and brands producing fashionable football products in England about 10 years ago, but at that time there weren't many people doing it in Japan. “So I wanted to try it myself,” Takashi began. Tell the story.

The work of agencies is focused on taking football to explore new possibilities outside the sport, and it can be said that they do almost everything, including websites, publications, promotional videos, uniforms and original products. Various collaborative products, pop-up events and who has worked with many famous brands and artists such as adidas, Paris Saint-Germain, J.LEAGUE Club, Noritake, plus he created content with Olympic Channel during Tokyo 2020 as well.

“If you already like watching football. You might be interested in learning information and knowing your favorite team to some extent. But by making books and products I intend to use the power of design and creativity to help interest more people, without having to be a fan of the team or love football.” There are people who don't like to read. So I also make fashion products. Because they are easy to access, like T-shirts, I think a lot of people feel embarrassed to wear club T-shirts to watch football when they go out of the stadium. Some people feel embarrassed to wear them on the train I want to make things that people can use in their daily lives.

After carrying out books, merchandise, and opening pop-ups inside and outside the country for a long time, last year Shokyo He collaborated with 3 friends who are also interested in football to open a 4BFC store that contains SHUKYU products, vintage football products and more because they want a place to build a community space that includes people who are interested in football in different aspects, including people. Read also

“Normally, when selling books, we don't meet readers directly. There's not much feedback online. We don't know what kind of person he is. It's not known who the person who did this is. But if he comes to buy here we will get to know each other. ”

As we mentioned at the beginning, the world of Japanese football has many interesting dimensions, such as the food, the devotion of the fans, the cute mascots, and the stadium itself is full of stories. Many places have great views. The design of the building is as beautiful as it is a tourist attraction, and most importantly, many of the teams at J.LEAGUE take relationship building activities with locals so seriously that football is not just a matter for people who love sports. In addition, there are collaborations with famous cartoons such as one piece And Pokemon Win the hearts of otaku as football fans again.

“I started doing it Shokyo Because I believe it can present the football story from many angles. When organizing events, most of them were from fashion brands that were mostly interested in people in big cities. People in other provinces may not like it as much. But if it comes to football every country has its own team. Japan also has a variety of teams, both large and small cities. This means that there are already a lot of people interested in football. Moreover, the people interested in football are very diverse. Both age and gender When compared to foreign countries, Japanese soccer fans have a relatively large percentage of women. So I feel like football has a lot of interesting angles. Of course we play football. Mainly cheers for football. But there are many other fun angles we can enjoy as well.

As far as football fans are concerned, we strongly agree with you. From what I got from conducting random interviews with football fans in the stadium. He found that the people who came to watch were really diverse, as in addition to football fans, who made up the majority of the population, there were also local people associated with the club. A couple where a young man brings his girlfriend to introduce them to their favorite team. And a group of elementary school kids who came together because they dreamed of becoming soccer players. The reasons for the desire to cheer up are different. Some expressed their admiration for the strength of the team. Some believe that this is the pride of the city. Some people rave because it is a connection that has been run in families as parents and grandparents have brought their children and grandchildren to watch it since they were children. Some people may not be very concerned about this. But this is a fun, relaxing and delicious form of entertainment.

“Another interesting thing. That is if it comes to football Tokyo is not the center. Like London or other big cities, they have big clubs, Tokyo also has teams but they are not very popular. The city may be more famous for its fashion.

“Even though it is not a famous prefecture, if the football team is famous people travel to see them, for example Kashima Antlers FC in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kashima city is not big but the club is big. Long history This is one of the amazing things about football. And most importantly That's because people don't just care about the J-League, they care about the general teams as well.

As for the joy of watching Japanese football that brings different people together on the field, Takashi said that in the case of the J-League, it comes down to each team. The levels are not much different. I don't know who will win. You have to go and see for yourself.

Before you start doing it Shokyo Takashi is active in organizing events around Harajuku. It has nothing to do with football or magazines, but Takashi started to love football at the age of 10, the year J.LEAGUE was founded. Before that, baseball was a popular sport that always captured people's hearts. But J.LEAGUE's popularity has made many young people turn to playing and watching football. But this connection often begins to fade with age, as Takashi wanted Shokyo It works to create a new relationship between people and football.

“In Japanese schools, there will be football clubs up until high school, but when enough people finish high school they stop playing. Because they might get busy with their studies and turn their attention to other things. This is probably a group of people who have played football for a while.” They have long loved to play and watch football. Therefore, I want this group of people and people who like to watch football in general to also learn about other interesting aspects of football. Although we do not play much anymore, we have not completely disappeared from “Each other. It's a shame.”

But while online media is becoming more powerful every day, even a 10-minute clip might be considered too long by people in this day and age. Takashi still dares to choose to communicate by creating magazines such as Handicrafts. Although they employ freelance writers and photographers, in addition to an editor, they also conduct the interviews themselves. I mostly write myself, so I only publish one or two magazine issues a year.

“I love magazines. Maybe because I grew up reading books and I thought for a long time that I wanted to do that, and more importantly there are many things that can't be done without paper. So I want to make the next book as much as I can.”

The young editor also explained that he views the advantages, disadvantages and duties of online media and print media differently. For example, information such as online competition results may be used. But the stories to be told in the magazine must have content that can be read at all times. Always fresh

“When making a magazine I always try to keep this in mind. The content on the site may not be read one year later, even though it was very good content at the time. This means people may not come back and click to read again or They can come back and read this website. But if a magazine is out there somewhere, in 10 years, if it doesn't burn down, you can still read it. Or it might last for 100 years. When I thought about this quality of a book, I set out to create content that people would want Keep it for a long time, otherwise it won't be worth the investment in turning it into a book.”

In addition to building relationships within the country, it also aims to make friends abroad. Shokyo Each issue contains an English translation attached to the magazine, and international delivery is available for the convenience of foreigners. Which has worked very well as there are up to 30% foreign fans in both Europe and Asia. Although the magazine's content is entirely specific to the group it has gained enough of a readership to be sold in several international bookstores, select department stores, pop-ups at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and galleries in London. Paris has opened the next step. Shokyo It is to introduce more people to the newly opened store. And create more pop-ups abroad.

“Now I can travel normally. I want to go out and meet people who love football in different communities so we can do fun things together because of communities like this. In England or in Europe there might be a lot already. But in Asia there's not a lot. I think we can do With many things.

“Now foreigners are starting to take an interest in the J-League. When I go to stalls abroad, I feel like I am representing Japan and sharing stories. If possible, I want people to visit Japan and stop to watch football as if it were a normal thing.”

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