Pillowtalk: Haruka Shibuya
It was the perfect day; a bright Tokyo afternoon spent wandering around the residential back streets of Shibuya with Haru, founder and editor of HIGH(er) magazine – a self-made publication that’s not afraid to burst the bubble of the everyday with disruptive politics on sex, bodies, and art. Inspired by and in collaboration with the creative people around her, Haru has created one of the coolest magazines you’ll find. More important than being cool, though, is that the magazine exists to band together and empower young people who have a vision for the future. It’s the strong sense of community surrounding HIGH(er) that lets Haru know she’s onto a good thing.
What pushed you to create HIGH(er) Magazine?
I started creating my magazine when I came back [from Germany] to study art in Tokyo. At that time, I met many interesting and inspiring people. I felt that we needed a platform to publish our work or express our thoughts without limitation. The motivation to create my magazine had changed with time but it's really important for me that we all have fun at working on this magazine.
What has been the best thing about it so far?
The best thing is always to see the development of the team. Sometimes it's difficult to recognize what you've achieved but when you see your people around you, you can see yourself through them.
How do you experience being a feminist in Tokyo – do you have a community of like minded people working with you?
There's not so many people who call themselves a 'feminist' in Japan. I needed some courage to define myself as a feminist but when I saw the speech of Chimamanda Ngozi’s speech on feminism, I was very sure that I am one. Japanese people often have some kind of negative image for this theme, but I'm pretty sure that our generation can slowly change the image of this word. I've gotten many reactions when I took on this theme for my magazine.
What are your plans for the magazine?
I never want to stop making them.
What do you like to eat after a stressful day?
Definitely an ice cream.
Can you describe your ideal day-off from work?
My ideal day is to wake up at 9:00 and make some pancakes to eat while reading my favorite magazines or books. In the afternoon I'll go to a movie and see my boyfriend for dinner.
What would you like to be known for?
For being a creator with free spirits.