The modern men’s magazine is a shell of its former self. While Esquire has beefed up its editorial staff and GQ’s GQ Style imprint changed the game by tapping into trends and perspectives that might be a bit “off-the-beaten-path” when compared to its namesake, both publications are thinner than years ago, the latter going down to 11 issues per year and svelte enough to slide under a door. Add to that the shuttering of Details a few years ago and the surprise folding of L’Uomo Vogue, and its clear that men’s fashion fans around the world have little reason for celebration.

That is, unless they turn East. In Japan, men’s magazines aren’t just thriving, they’re works of art. As the American magazine industry dies, Japan’s is thriving thanks to a reverence for tradition and a fanatical obsession with product and details. Since the heyday of Men’s Club, they’ve served as style bibles for men on the cutting edge, showcasing styles and trends before they hit our shores. Many of these magazines don’t have a major online footprint either, because of the painstaking accuracy the editors and publishers devote to each print edition. These magazines are more accessible in the United States than ever before (thanks Kinokuniya!) and are worth a browse if you’re uninspired by other current offerings. While not exhaustive (Shoes Master, Prodism and Ollie are excellent honorable mentions that intersect with plenty of the titles listed below), here are some of our favorites.

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Tags: books, japan