Exactly nine years ago since the last issue of Being A Broad magazine, who would have thought there would be a re-launch?! For the past nine years, I have been consistently asked to bring back the magazine by countless people: men and women, foreign and Japanese. In January this year, I finally decide that it was time to bring it back, and invited Emily Downey, who has been managing the Being A Broad online network since August 2004, to be my co-publisher.
So what has happened during the past nine years? Well, the online network grew and grew after the magazine stopped, and I found myself still inundated with requests for information about living in Japan as a foreign woman. I interviewed around 250 foreign women who were part of the BAB network, and self-published my book Being A Broad in Japan: everything a Western woman needs to survive and thrive in 2001. It quickly became a number one best-seller and I had many opportunities to meet hundreds of foreign women throughout Japan, through various speaking engagements. I revived the now 36-year-old magazine formerly known as Tokyo Weekender in October 2004, and thought that by adding two special women’s pages to the publication, Being A Broad could once again have a presence in print media.
Those two pages turned out not to be enough — for readers and advertisers alike! And with amazing support from companies that value their foreign women customers, we are proud to reprint some of our original articles as well as introduce some new ones, in this first reissue!
As well as being fortunate enough to meet foreign women throughout Japan, I have also been fortunate enough to work with some very special foreign women who have become employees of my company during the past few years. One such employee is Arina, our cover model this issue. I hope for our covers to feature ordinary foreign women in Japan who are achieving an extraordinary thing — not just surviving but thriving too! And yes, in a country where nine years on it is still difficult for a foreign woman to feel valued and respected in her place of work; still difficult for foreign women to establish close friendships with Japanese women; and still difficult to find clothes and shoes that fit — thriving is an extraordinary achievement indeed! In the two years that I have known Arina, she has worked with focus and passion towards achieving her personal and professional dreams, and I admire her greatly for that.
Being A Broad has always been about helping foreign women achieve the most from their lives in Japan. I hope that by looking at that smile on Arina’s face; by reading about topics that are relevant, thought-provoking and entertaining; and hopefully by contributing yourself; this magazine will inspire you to get the most of out your life in Japan. I know that, nine years ago, it inspired me to get the most out of mine.