In 1997, and while still teaching by day, Caroline Pover recognised a need for foreign women in Japan to have a space in which to share their experiences, commiserate, celebrate, encourage, laugh, and cry together, and launched the Being A Broad magazine for foreign women in Japan, followed by the accompanying website, newsletter, and network. After 13 issues, she folded the magazine and embarked upon her first book.
She interviewed 200 foreign women about their experiences in Japan, and established Alexandra Press (named after her mother) under which to publish. Being A Broad in Japan: Everything a Western woman needs to survive and thrive was released in 2001 and quickly became a number-one bestseller. Excerpts from the book can be read here.
In 2004, Caroline became the publisher of Weekender, Tokyo’s oldest English-language magazine, and produced bi-weekly issues for four years before selling the re-vamped publication and moving on to other projects. While publishing Weekender, Caroline began incorporating women’s pages into the magazine. The success of this column was so great that the desicion to relaunch the BAB magazine was made. The first new issue was published in December 2006, and we celebrated the release of our 50th issue in November 2009.
As well as the book and the magazine, the BAB Girls’ Night Out events have provided hundreds of foreign women a monthly outlet for chatting about life in Japan, our clothing swaps have helped foreign women find clothes that fit–both our bodies and personalities–and the Career Seminar Series lends a hand to anyone hoping to further their career or even begin a whole new one. The online newsletters and forums have also helped foreign women connect and stay in touch, no matter their location in Japan or back at home.
Recently, Being A Broad has made a commitment to serving women outside of Tokyo, and has welcomed several BAB Reps to the team. These specially-selected women have shown a commitment to supporting their community and act as distribution points for the magazine within their communities, as well as local event hosts.