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March 2015

Japan-o-rama: can cute and kooky kick-start team Nippon again? Does Japan want to be taken seriously or will it become the Italy of Asia (a bit too slow for real global success)? A Monocle Special Report

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Friends in high places

The Foreign Ministry of Japan employs thousands to help build beneficial international relationships. And with the nation recently beginning to emerge from its post-war pacifist stance, staying friends with the right people…

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Media briefing

Discovering the heart of Osaka's rare grooves, South Korean TV and a Middle Eastern print collective.

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Drawn-out conflict

As a thoughtful exhibition on images of war opens at Tate Modern in London, Monocle visits artist George Butler. His ink-and-watercolour scenes bring a new depth to reportage more often the preserve of combat photographers…

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Gender specifics

Japan’s culture is steeped in patriarchy but for business to thrive that needs to change. We meet four women who have overcome the hurdles to lead their field.

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Expo 81: Face of a nation

As their cutesy, cartoon profiles – and fanbases – continue to soar, Japan’s cuddly collection of corporate mascots has come to inhabit a central part of the nation’s identity. We meet these celebrated creations and the…

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All you can eat

Whether tucking in to deliciously fresh market produce in Perth, seeking out a chocolate shop in Tokyo or cosying up in Berlin’s best new coffee house, we’ve travelled the world in search of the best in fine food.

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Attention seekers

From organically growing their first ventures to exploring new horizons, crafty entrepreneurs know it’s the small touches that make their businesses stand out – whether they are making spectacles in London or tableware in…

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Inventory no. 81

From spicing up your lettercraft to adding class to your condiment cupboard plus timeless additions to your kitchen, wardrobe and workspace, here are this month’s most covetable commodities.

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Art house scene

When one Japanese couple’s search for a roomier home led to a love of traditional living, they embraced classic local architecture, too. But they also found that, even in a cultured college town, older buildings are disa…

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Ahead of times

Where better to celebrate the intricate art of timekeeping than in Switzerland, a country famed for its luxury products and quality craftsmanship. Monocle headed to Geneva for annual watch fair SIHH 2015.

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Perfect tenor

One of the world’s most famous cultural venues provides inspiration for Caruso’s Milanese flagship store. Blending finely tuned tailoring with a decorative visual score to rival La Scala, the menswear destination puts its…

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Cut a dash

This year’s edition of Pitti Uomo the world’s leading menswear fair, was a full- blooded return to form. Here are our sartorial highlights.

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License to kiln

Cunha in Brazil may be a world away from Japan but the latter’s ancient legacy of firing and glazing is living on in the Latin American city. Monocle meets the people keeping the ceramic tradition alive.

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Art of the ages

From the mountain town specialising in cedar bentwood to the community with its sights set on eyewear domination, Japan’s dedicated craft capitals are an enlightening model of manufacturing.

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The view from here

With its outward-looking location facing China and South Korea, a unique local focus and strong sense of civic pride among the city’s residents, Fukuoka’s distinctive media landscape is booming.

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Inking ahead

A national pride – or some might say obsession – with the handwritten has forged an industry exporting more than ever. With innovation showing no signs of letting up, we visited the sharpest tools in the pencil case.

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