I’m very pleased to introduce the Japanese edition of Shoegazing, added to the original Swedish version launched in 2012 and the international English version introduced in 2015. The entire international edition has been machine translated into Japanese, and all new content going forward and the 60 most important articles are proofread by a Japanese translator.
Since my first visit to Japan in 2015, I fell in love with the country, the people, the food, the culture – and the shoemaking done here. I’ve been back at least once a year ever since (with a hiatus during the pandemic), and visited lots of different shoemakers, shoe factories and shoe stores both in the Greater Tokyo Area and in Kobe and Osaka. I’ve also gotten to know a lot of shoe interested Japanese people, who love shoes just as much as I do. There’s plenty of great sources for these people, for example the men’s shoes magazine Last and other in-depth menswear magazines like Men’s Ex, blogs like Daisuke Yamashita’s and others, plenty of Youtube channels, and so on.
Still I always have received a lot of praise for the work I do with Shoegazing, which I of course have appreciated a lot, and there’s quite few who have expressed wishes of having the blog in Japanese. The mix of everything from news articles to in-depth content on quality shoes found here isn’t really done online in Japan, as I understand it. And few in Japan know English well, when using the built in Google Translate tool in the browser or here on the blog it get’s understandable, but not really an enjoyable reading experience. You can’t search or browse around in a good way either, if you don’t know English.
Now, already having the blog in two separate languages, English and Swedish, incur a lot more work than having just one. So I have surely hesitated on adding a third site. I barely speak any Japanese at all, which obviously doesn’t make it easier. This means I have to solve translations in a good way, which could be very expensive. The solution I have ended up with now is that I use a plugin in WordPress which translates the English articles to Japanese using DeepL. This cost a bit but not too much per article, but to have the whole English site with 550 articles (that’s with 150 from the English site sorted away, due to being very time-specific) done, including fixing menu, links, the shoe library and so on, was quite an investment.
Now, even if DeepL in general does a better job than Google Translate, it’s still obvious that it’s a machine translation. Therefore I pay a translator to proofread all new articles going forward, and 60 old articles, including some of the most popular large guides etc. as well as most that cover Japanese makers and brands have been proofread. That said, I know that there’s a lot of for example shoe terminology that still might be wrong, so Japanese reading the new site, do have some understanding for the language not being 100%, but please do give me feedback if language is too off. If all goes well, and I start getting an income from this site as well, hopefully some time in the future it can be fully professionally translated, we’ll see.
As with the English and Swedish sites, some content that are mainly of local interest might differ between the sites, but in general I will post the same articles on all three sites, only with a bit delay sometimes for the Japanese one due to the need for it to be proofread before published. The new site is found on jp.shoegazing.com. You may follow the Shoegazing Facebook page found here to be updated on new articles, and you can sign up for the monthly newsletter summarising things.
I have a couple of advertisers now at start, and companies who are interested to have a banner on the site are welcome to contact me on email@example.com. There’s a special introduction price now for the whole of 2023, when the site is new. But as always, it’s the readers that will make the Japanese edition of Shoegazing a success, and I would sincerely appreciate all help you can give by spreading the word about it. Share in your social media, in social media groups, forums, etc, and I’d be very grateful. Looking forward to this new journey, my main objective will continue to be to spread the gospel about the Japanese craft internationally, but I also hope that the domestic site will take me closer to Japan (next trip is planned in November) and the Japanese shoe industry.