Interns Molly Harbarger & Nikki Lee

I wanted to study abroad in Japan. I knew that. But, I also knew I had to spend time contributing to my journalism major. So, my professor told me about a great magazine he used to read and volunteered to send along an email on my behalf. From there, it was easy to find something to do to help KJ out. I transcribed recorded interviews, one of them turning into a bylined story that I sometimes still reference in cover letters. I also enjoyed editing the magazine for the practice, and for the opportunity to read the stories in a rougher form and listen in on the thought process behind its art and design.

But, more than the work, interning with KJ was a great experience because of the people I met. John Einarsen brought me along to a Buddhist temple to talk about social justice, Tibet and, strangely enough, designer Ed Hardy. KJ hosted a night of food, song, poetry and discussion, where I met longtime ex-pats and the fascinating people and culture that kept them there.
—Molly Harbarger

Intern Haruka Shinno

Doing an internship at Kyoto Journal not only developed my intellectual curiosity, but also helped me improve my writing skills. It was definitely worth the time and effort. It was a pleasure to have worked with you.
—Haruka Shinno

My role as an intern varied quite a lot. I did research, collaborated with other volunteers to build information databases, participated in brainstorming for new projects and PR, interviewed a local apprentice artisan, provided feedback on a crowdfunding campaign, and helped to prepare for an upcoming photography exhibition. Kyoto Journal does not have a designated office space, so work was done and meetings were held in coffee shops, public spaces and at Impact Hub Kyoto, a co-working space to which Kyoto Journal has a membership. I enjoyed this transient and collaborative approach to working, which also allowed me to see parts of Kyoto that I would not have otherwise encountered.
—Elise Lawrence (see the rest of her report here)

Become a Contributor

If you would like to contribute writing or visual material to KJ, please read our Submission Guidelines. We are especially interested in receiving material for our “Asian Encounters” section, whether in text, podcast or even short video.

Support KJ

KJ is a registered non-profit organization and has survived as a volunteer-based, non-profit publication for 31 years. All editors and other staff work on an entirely unpaid basis.

Donations are, needless to say, especially important to us now, to enable us to keep on achieving our short-term and longer-term goals. Please consider helping out. Even small amounts can make a big difference.

We believe that KJ offers an invaluable alternative to the now dominant corporate media’s 24/7 infotainment model. We provide a means for talented creative individuals to reach an audience of their peers, for new writers to be mentored, for collaborative energy to be cultivated, for widely diverse interests and concerns to come together, for cultural values to be upheld or questioned, and for ideas and memes to further evolve.

Working effectively together for the fullest “bigger-picture” benefit is at the heart of our endeavors. All donations will go directly to necessary expenses; any surplus will be held over for special KJ projects and events.

Please help KJ keep on making a difference.



Everyone who works on KJ is an unpaid volunteer.

At this moment in time we are especially looking for interns who are interested in helping out with layout design and interpreting/translating (especially English>Japanese), but we welcome applications from those with other skills — KJ is growing and there is much happening. Curating content for the web and blog, digitizing archive printed content, putting together newsletters and posting are examples of ongoing tasks for which we appreciate help.

KJ works out of Social Kitchen, a multi-functional space near Doshisha University that includes a small co-working office, event floor and pop-up café. Since we are volunteer, naturally internships do not involve in-person supervision all-day every day, though we do stay in close contact. Because of this, we especially welcome interns who are self-motivated and can take responsibility for specific projects, according to their own interests and time availability. Previous experience is helpful but not a prerequisite. Editorial staff will advise and give feedback, so interning is a good opportunity to gain experience in a real-world but out-of-the-ordinary publishing setting.

Send your CV or portfolio with a cover letter/e-mail to