Words by THE EDITORS
Photo by CHARISIA ONG
On January 6, 2022, we had a snowstorm in Tokyo. The city transformed into something magical under a shimmering coat of ice. Heavy snowfall warnings made a reappearance after four years of absence.
Within a week, most of the snow had been returned to the natural cycle and it was as if the day had never happened, unless you were fortunate enough to spot the traces of snow landlocked in the occasional backyard or a lone snowman resiliently battling for its life amidst the winter sun.
The theme of this issue, REALITY, is particularly pertinent for the times that we are in, with COVID-19 having become commonplace and requiring unprecedented ways of living. Is it even possible to distinguish what is real anymore when reality seems so unfathomable at times? The transience of the snowstorm and its aftereffects are but a glimmer of reflection of this reality, where everything is changing, yet at the same time, everything seems to be just as it was.
One special feature that we did in this issue – a first for the Komaba Times – is a collaborative piece with the Polyphony editorial team from the Discovery Program for Global Learners at Okayama University. As two student-run English publications at Japanese universities, we sat down at a virtual roundtable to chat about the actual and how the work that we do has been shaped by that.
As the clock ticks away, our current reality inadvertently slips away into history where the palpability of its existence continues to fade. While time can refuse to wait, in a way, this issue is a collective endeavour to stop time in its tracks, take snapshots of the now to record them, both for posterity, and for ourselves, who in the continual unfolding of our selves will never again return to who we are today.
A huge shoutout to all our contributors who so generously entrusted their snippets of reality to this Issue, that we may all metaphorically revisit the falling of the snow, as many times as we wish, at any time of our choosing.
THE KOMABA TIMES ISSUE 11, APRIL 2022