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An interview with Yayoi

by Elke Zobl

July 2001


A supercool Riot Grrrl zine by Yayoi. I first read about her in an interview she did with Good Girl #2 (Canada) and I was so thrilled, I immediately emailed her and she sent me her lovely zine. I just love her cover of the summer 2000 "That Zine That Would Be Queen" issue! Check her web site (the zine and the web site are mostly in Japanese) and what she has to say in this interview!

Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
My name is Yayoi, I'm twenty six and live in Tokyo, Japan. I grew up in a town where suburbs of Tokyo. I'm going to move to Melbourne, Australia next year. Please let me know if you live there, and take me to 'hip' places.

What do you do besides your zine?
I started to play the guitar lately!

For how long have you been running your zine now? How many issues did you put out until now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?
I made some early issues with some girls for a while, but they are gone, I've been the only editor for about six years. I'm working on #11 now.

What made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the name?
I really liked reading zine before I start CTB!, but I've never thought of having my own zines. In 1995, a big major record label wanted some kids to do a fanzine for a German band called Throw That Beat! so me and three other girls started 'Catch That Beat!' But our taste was very different. They left and I kept doing CTB! on my own. I wanted to do something for girls, something political.

What topics are most often discussed in your zine?
Well, CTB! is kind of a personal zine so that I just do the interview with my favorite bands, and write my favorite/curious things.

What do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine?
I hope,,, to create a space where we talk out our beliefs, desires, and emotions. We don't have a scene for girls who love indie pop/rock/punk in Japan, so I admire that.

What does zine making (and reading) mean to you? What do you love about zine making? What is the most challenging aspect of making zines?
I have been making the new issue, I most of my time in front of my mac on weekend. It's stressful, but I love what I do. And I love reading/meeting womyn and girls who like CTB! zine, it always cheers me up.

What was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What have they come to mean to you?
I didn't know much about zines/bands before reading Beikoku Ongaku magazine. They had a page called OHISAMA HIROBA (Sunshine Playroom) which we could read a tons of reviews and address for bands, and indie record labels. I used to send letters to zine makers and labels.

Do you consider grrrl zines as an important part of a movement of sorts? Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political change?
I think zines are important.

What does the zine community mean to you?
zine community... i have friends who make zines, but I don't know the zine community. so I can't answer this question.

What advice would you give others who want to start a zine?
Anyway, Lets start up right now! It's never too late To start from the start.

What are some of the zines you admire?
Pocket, Sally Tomato, Two Pico.

Could you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in your country?
Unfortunately, we don't have such community.... Two Pico. is kind of grrrl zine, but I don't know whether Tomomi (zine publisher) defines it. I liked KIT POW, SNIP YOUNG STAR, but they stopped publish them a few years ago. I really hope that girls start making zines!!!

Do you define yourself as a feminist?
Yes, I totally do. I am a feminist!!!

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist)?
I've been thinking about my health recently.

Are you active in the feminist movement?
I do publish Catch that Beat!, I think it's my activism.

What do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of Third Wave Feminism and what does it mean to you?
It's very difficult to find books by young feminists in Japan, I hope this situation will change in the near future.

Which role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making zines and doing/reading zines?
I can't imagine my life without the internet now....It became more easy to do the interview, get pictures/articles from bands and contributors, and I often get information via the internet.

Do you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?
I will publish the new CTB! in Fall.


------------ Catch that Beat! ----------------