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You are in: Staff: Writers: Nick May

Nick May

Nick May is the Publisher and Editor of Fukuoka City Guide and Go-Fubar.Mag. He came to Japan 12 years ago in pursuit of a woman and has simply never got around to leaving.

He is 38 which, he claims, means his future is firmly behind him and licenses at least moderate irresponsibility.

Back in a cheerfully squandered youth May read philosophy at Southampton university. He emerged with a first and headed off to University College London to do an M.Phil and - rather more to the point - indulge his penchant for opera and classical music. Two years later, exams passed but thesis unsubmitted, he decided it was time finally to stop putting off the awful day and actually get a job.

Banking seemed at least assonantically close to a lifelong pre-occupation and, besides, it was convenient for the opera, so he toddled off to work for one of the UK big 4 banks in the City. He refers to this (always in the past tense) as his "job phase".

He left the bank 3 years later to follow a beautiful woman to her home in Japan (lovesick puppy that he was...). Marriages and divorces followed.

He owns and runs Cogito Ltd, a small company ("Yuugen gaisha") here in sunny Fukuoka.

Go-fubar.Mag is the second magazine he has published, 9 years ago he started "The Gaijin Gleaner", the remnants of which can still be found on the web. This was 24 pages, A4 size with a print run of 2000 copies (not bad given the number of English speakers here). It was aimed squarely at foreigners and made none of the compromises required for a magazine with a Japanese readership. It averaged 13 or 14 contributors.

The Gleaner had been started almost by accident and after two and a half years May closed it.

Go-Fubar.Mag is aimed at a Japanese and foreign readership (translatability and acceptability to a Japanese readership are the first requirements of articles) and is quite unlike the Gleaner in tone.

May is currently studying the O-tsuzumi (Noh drumming). He enjoys good food, good wine, good music and extensive and intensive investigation of Japan's various cultures and subcultures, both formal and informal. He describes himself as addicted to the "psycho-sado-pathology of everyday life" here in Japan, whatever THAT's supposed to mean. He has no plans to leave and expects it to take at least 3 years to set up Go-fubar.mag fully.

Prejudices? A florid garden of them, nurtured with love and just a hint of paternal pride. Number one on the list appears to be anyone who regards "education" as a discipline of sufficiently intellectual worth to study to degree level. "Why! one might just as well study the philosophy of sociology!" - says May, somewhat cryptically.

Proudest achievement? The fact that his practical guide to Japanese ritual suicide is number one search result in google. (Just search on "seppuku").

Apparently that was a particularly messy divorce....


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