text by Baihe Sun
photo by Baihe Sun

DIY Issue : Interview with Erina Nakagawa & Makoto Kikuchi from Making – Love Club

NeoL_MLC|Photography : Baihe Sun

NeoL_MLC2 |Photography : Baihe Sun

政治や社会問題に関する議論を行なうMaking-Love Club。彼らは数ヶ月に一度のイベントとマガジンを通してオーディエンスや読者にメッセージを伝えている。6月に行われたイベントにて、創設者であり編集長の中川えりなと副編集長である菊池まことに活動について話を聞いた。

Making-Love Club is an association based in Tokyo focused on the discussion of political and social issues nowadays. They share their message every few months through paper and meetings with their readers and audience. The latest event took place in June. We had the honor to have the editor in chief Erina with Makoto here sharing their thoughts and opinions.


Makoto 「MLCを立ち上げる前に、他のインディペンデント雑誌で主任編集を務めており、当時、本当に自分のやりたいことをできているのか、といったフラストレーションがありました。もちろん、この歳でたくさんのチャンスを頂けたことにも感謝してました。えりなから、彼女が政治やタブー視されている話題を自由に討論できるプラットフォームを、若い日本人のために作りたいと聞いて、それはとても必要なことだと感じ、また自分の編集とライターのキャリアでのヒントになるかもしれないと思いました。準備を始めたのは2016年の秋です。当時はアメリカの選挙の話題で持ちきりでした。日本人は自分たち政治については話し合わないのに、他所の政治の討論はできるみたいです。それ以来、どうしてこういう状況になったのかを考え始めました」

-Under what circumstances is the event and the magazine founded?

Makoto:Before I have involved in MLC, I used to be an editor in chief of another independent maga-zine. Those days, I had some sort of frustration about what I really want to do although I was truly grateful that I had been given so many opportunities despite of my age. When I heard from Erina that she’s willing to organize a kind of events that can be a platform for young Jap-anese people to discuss about politics or anything that has been perceived as taboos, I simp-ly thought that what she was trying to do is necessary and also there might be a hint for me to continue my career as an editor/writer. We started to plan the project from 2016 autumn. It may be needles to say but it was the time that everyone was talking about US presidential election. Though Japanese people rarely talk about ‘our’ politics, it seemed that Japanese people are able to discuss politics when it comes to ‘others’. Since then, I began to start to wonder why this situation has been created.


Makoto 「最初は日本の若いクリエーターのために立ち上げました。日本においてクリエイティヴな世界は『クール』『魅力的』だとメディアに捉えられがちですが、西側諸国に比べると明らかに倫理と政治の議論が欠けています。人生の早い段階からこの世界に参加しているものとして、自分の政治的な観点に照らし合わせた時、自分が作っているものは偽善的なものではないかと感じることがあります。最近のターゲット層は多少変わってきていて、もっと広い層に声を届けようとしています。一番最近のイベントは『個人として』をテーマにしました。まず、同性愛嫌悪を含んだ『男性・女性としてこうあるべきだ』を止める意識ももちろんありますが、活動家やフェミニストの中でも、こう言った『あるべきだ』を掲げる人がいるので、そういった人たちにもじゃあ、『I(私)』個人として社会に期待することは何かを発信して欲しいという思いを込めました」

-For whom is the event and the magazine founded for?

Makoto:I think MLC was initially founded for young creatives in Japan. Meanwhile creative scene in Japan has been perceived as ‘cool’ or ‘attractive’ by media, it is very clear that there is a lack of ethics and politics compare to the west. As a person who has involved in the scene from early stage of life, I have had a kind of recognition that what I have done might have been hyp-ocritical when I think about my political view. Recently our target has slightly changed I guess. Our voice started to reach out to wider range of people. The theme of our latest event was “Being an Individual”. It obviously includes the aim to stop homophobic idea that is commonly start from the statement such as, “As men/women, we should behave~”. But also there is a underlying viewpoint that many of activists/feminists tend to do the same thing. We wanted to advocate those kind of people to start to describe what ‘I’ expect to the society.

NeoL_MLC3|Photography : Baihe Sun

NeoL_MLC4|Photography : Baihe Sun



-Why naming it “Making-Love Club” (as it is a bold move in Japan)

Erina:There is no specific reason actually. I just didn’t want a name related to politics.



-Who was involved in making the decision?

Erina : We have a groupchat and that is basically how we decide things. We collect ideas from the young generation who have a profound interest in political and social issues.



-What was the biggest reason you choose each other as member?

Makoto: Since the founder of MLC is Erina, I honestly can’t clearly say why I ‘chose’ her. But the reason I decided to join her project is that she definitely has something that I really don’t have.



-What did you guys think great about each other?

Makoto : I thought Erina has charisma, and I still believe that she has.

NeoL_MLC5 |Photography : Baihe Sun

NeoL_MLC6 |Photography : Baihe Sun



-Why holding events and usually what kind of people is drown to it (the audience)?

Erina : I personally believe that the consciousness of “Jesus is wherever people are gathered” is shared. Besides that, it is crucial for human beings to share time with each other at the same place.



-As political issues are complicated to comprehend, what kind of role does the maga-zine play here? Does it give out opinions to lead to assumptions or is it only raising the attention to the questions and issues themselves?

Makoto : We are always focusing on raising awareness of those kind of issues through the magazine. There are a number of issues that we concern ourselves with. However, it is the interest of all our writers that we do not answer questions of a complex nature as if we hold a superiority complex in terms of knowledge and morality. “Being skeptical” is a key concept of our project. Strongly opinionated people tend to stop questioning themselves as if they were in the right. Although having confidence in our own opinions is important, it is our duty as journalists and inquiring minds to keep being skeptical and questioning ourselves.

ーーMaking-Love Clubのマガジンはデザインや写真なども素晴らしいですが、コンテンツとの関係性についてはどう考えていますか。


-How is the design/photo work related to the content?

Makoto :We are always inspired by Japanese media in the early ‘90s, before social media ruled the world.

NeoL_MLC7 |Photography : Baihe Sun

NeoL_MLC8 |Photography : Baihe Sun



-What is the purpose and goal of the event and the magazine?

Erina : We wanted a platform where everyone can speak their own mind. You could call it a place for democratic politic. We talk about things which are not easy to be understood. It is not entirely correct to think that the world is divided into black and white. We should cover the gray part as well.




-Why does political concerns need to be spread especially to teenagers?

Makoto : Our targets are not necessary teenagers. Our readers/audiences range from 13-4 to 50. How-ever I still believe that young people should be opinionated more. Our modern life is not that easy as it seems. Of course developing of technology has allowed us to own loads of infor-mation. But I think we need to be aware that the data that we see through the Internet or so-cial media is very limited. People need to have critical skills.

Erina : We will make the world!

ーーMaking-Love clubが伝えたいことや知識などを若者たちが身に付けるにはどうしたら良いのでしょうか?


-What is the best way for them to approach the access to these knowledge and how is Making-Love club realizing that?

Makoto : Regarding the world as something that is connected to our life is always crucial.

Making Love Club

photography & text Baihe Sun



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