Rugged Ivy: Free & Easy’s February Issue

Yes, back in 2011 there was something called “rugged Ivy.” It still exists as a Platonic concept. Make use of it as you see fit. It’s actually the direction I’ve been headed since arriving in Newport. 

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A friend of mine works at the US office of Japanese men’s magazine Free & Easy, and recently alerted me to the February issue, whose theme is “rugged Ivy.”

For the hardcore Ivyphile, the best things about the issue are the small historical photos of Miyuki-zoku-type youths in the ’60s, as well as early shots of VAN founder Kensuke Ishizu. There’s also a where-are-they-now profile on the four men behind “Take Ivy.” As I can only remember about five kanji and hiragana doesn’t help if your vocabulary is limited, I didn’t get very far reading it.

Below are a few pages from the issue (it’s a bit oversized and didn’t quite fit in the scanner). I included a few nonsensical English phrases used throughout the magazine, which are always fun. “Handsome Up, Trad Boy!” would be a cool bumper sticker.

Unfortunately, Free & Easy is neither free nor easy to find. According to my friend, it’s available at Kinokuni-ya bookstores in New York and Los Angeles, at Unionmade in San Francisco, and can be ordered online from Context. I believe it’s also carried at J. Crew men’s stores.

For something easier to enjoy and completely free, try this. — CC

20 Comments on "Rugged Ivy: Free & Easy’s February Issue"

  1. Need any help with translation of any specific portion?

  2. Thanks for the offer. I’d say just whatever jumps out to you as interesting.

  3. I picked up the issue a few weeks ago when I was in NY and it’s great.

    Beware that J.Crew men’s store charge twice as much as Kinokuniya

  4. ScoobyDubious | February 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm |

    If you have a Kinokuniya Japanese bookstore in your city, you can pick it up there. Along with many other crazy Japanese mags.

  5. ScoobyDubious | February 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

    oh, guess you already said that….

  6. I already said that, Scooby, and I just did again (wink).

  7. ScoobyDubious | February 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm |

    Are you talking to yourself again CC? Faking that error was a nice touch, if I do say so myself. (insert winky sarcastic emoticon here)

  8. Vern Trotter | February 9, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

    Sorry, just cannot get my head around any Nips being Ivy.

  9. Vern, I approved that mind-bogglingly bigoted remark as an act of public shaming.

    I don’t know if you’re from another generation, but you ought to know that word is 100 percent derogatory. I think you should explain yourself, though it will probably be the last comment of yours I ever approve.

  10. Wow, my nephew is 3/4 Japanese and just started his second semester at Yale. Guess he’s caused some sort of rip in the fabric of the universe.

  11. Mr. Trotter’s vulgar locution “cannot get my head around”, disturbed me far more than the outdated WW II term he used for the Japanese.

  12. @Christian – I appreciated the tunes! They have a way of putting me in a lighter mood.

  13. I’ll take a look and see if I can’t work on something. Bigger scans would be helpful if you could, CC.

    …For the regulars who aren’t familiar with me, I am a legal resident of Japan and speak/read the language. I am currently working on my MA in Dallas. Long time reader, and IS is on my own blogroll, but I lurk mostly.

  14. Longtime former resident of Japan, with a Japanese wife. I teach Japanese, and have also made my living translating it.

    Am I the only one not offended by Mr. Trotter’s comment? Am I the only one who thought it funny?

    Why is that?

  15. @Henry. As an Asian male who lived in the US for twenty three years and having fought over being called by that very term you find funny, I can wholeheartedly disagree with your finding Trotter’s use of the term funny. It simply means marrying someone Japanes, having lived in Japan, and makinig money from speaking Japanese doesn’t make you Japanese or Asian.

  16. What is meant by ‘rugged Ivy?’

  17. Old School Tie | January 25, 2020 at 3:03 pm |

    Rugged Ivy is along the same lines as Broken Ivy…

  18. Anglophile Trad | January 25, 2020 at 10:50 pm |

    Whatever happened to Kionon and his blog?

  19. whiskeydent | April 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm |

    Though I see no breeches (or shotguns), a lot of this appears to have a British “country” clothing style. I think an American iteration would include the tan jeans discussed the other day. Otherwise, think Orvis.

    CC, what did Mr. Trotter do to get back in your good graces?

Comments are closed.