In the two months in which I interned at Fukuoka Now, I had many opportunities to explore the city and report on various events around Fukuoka. I’ve long been interested in media, and in fact I take several media related courses at Hong Kong Baptist University. I found my internship post at Fukuoka Now via Meiji Internships and became an editorial intern in July and August of 2018.
Fukuoka Now Ltd. is a publishing company best known for their printed monthly free magazine, Fukuoka Now, which is distributed at hundreds of locations around Fukuoka. The target readership is overseas tourists. The editorial contents and ads are mostly trilingual: English, Chinese and Korean. They also have a popular website and SNS presence (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). If you’re interested in learning more about Fukuoka City, check these out!
The internship allowed me to cultivate skills in editing, proofreading, publishing, reporting and interviewing. I was constantly called on to utilize my language abilities in tasks such as summarizing and translating local news and event information from Japanese sources into English (and sometimes Chinese). I did this everyday and most contents were posted almost daily on the Fukuoka Now website (news and events). What was amazing is that I got to see the full cycle of a printed magazine, from planning contents, researching, reporting, editing, layout corrections and then how to repurpose those contents for their online media. I was encouraged to give my opinions and ideas regarding contents and design. I was also involved in several projects, including writing up tourists guides for specific events, such as the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Kazariyama Guide 2018, Fukuoka Summer Festival Guide 2018 and Hojoya Festival Guide 2018.
Working on features afforded me opportunities for creativity and expression. One of my best experiences at Fukuoka Now was making the Fukuoka Vintage and Antique Shop Guide. This assignment focused on my personal interest in retro goods. I am thankful as the editorial team allowed me to plan the project based on my own interest and gave me full support. It was a delight for me to visit many of the vintage shops in Fukuoka and explore the stories behind them. The process was valuable and enjoyable, as researching and choosing which shops to go to, preparing questions, getting the staff’s approval, talking to interviewees and writing up the report in Japanese, English and Chinese made the job challenging yet rewarding. I got the chance to cultivate my interviewing skills and was given a lesson on how to develop interesting and helpful content.
Attending the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival was another awesome experience. I watched the Oiyama narashi practice from a very special seat in front of Seido Street at Kushida Shrine, and was overwhelmed by the dynamic way they carried the enormous floats. More than that, I participated in other reports that took place in restaurants and exhibitions. Through taking part in the tasting event of the newly opened Menchanko-tei Tenjin, visiting a monpe exhibition and miniature pencil art exhibition, I got to meet interesting people and explore the culture of Fukuoka.
Working as an intern at Fukuoka Now was a profoundly eye-opening and fun experience. I enjoyed my time and would like to recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in getting media experience in Japan.
Text by Doris Chan, August 2018