Letter from the Editor: Winter 2017

Every piece in the pages of Kuroshio has its own story. Kuroshio’s calls for submissions often elicit inquiries from people who have just had an idea, from people in the middle of drafting an essay or travelogue, and sometimes, from people who already have a finished piece. Our job is to convert every potential submission into a real one, and it sometimes involves coaxing and luring out a piece from reluctant, overworked, or simply shy OISTers. The astonishing thing is that most of our contributors don’t realize how interesting or novel their writing is. Nearly everyone published in the first issue, however, is keen to contribute again. This brings me to an encouraging observation, which is that seeing oneself in print is somehow addictive, and it induces the most reluctant writer to go through the (often grueling) process all over again.

From these submissions, our editors begin reading, revising, and suggesting—a process that involves the writers in molding and shaping their piece before publication. Designers take articles and conceive for them a visual character and space, and in the digital pages of the magazine, they find residence. Proofreads and final checks complete, the digital issue of Kuroshio is sent off to the printers to be birthed. Distribution and publicity have become important aspects of our work too—Kuroshio needs to be read, not just by everyone at OIST (if we can manage it), but by Okinawans too. I have omitted to describe so far the frenzy and chaos of every internal deadline, every unanticipated road-bump, and every inevitable conflict inherent in the running of a magazine—what I should mention though, is that I personally enjoy these tremendously. It is these unsolicited troubles that make our meetings lively, infusing wit, humor, and the occasional rant into our weekly discussions.

The response to our pilot issue—the compliments, discussions, and wishes— quite overwhelmed us, and the memory of the launch at teatime is still like a surreal dream. I’d like to thank everyone who read Kuroshio and made it possible, and in fact easier, to produce this second issue. I know for every story that made it into this issue, there are several more waiting to published, perhaps still lying unfinished on word processors or germinating in the minds of their makers.

– Saahil Acharya