||Issues per Year: 12
|First Year: 1952
||Last Year: current
Publisher: Bunrindo Co Ltd
Country: Japan Language: Japanese
Main Genre: general
Exclusively Aviation?: Yes
Widely regarded as the Japanese aviation magazine, Koku-Fan (“Air Fan”) first appeared in 1952. Since the 1980s its unrivalled photographic content alone have made it a favourite even among non-Japanese readers. Perhaps the only way its photographic impact could be enhanced would be to enlarge the magazine format, which is currently smaller than A4, but the publisher does not see the need to change it or, more importantly, incur the increased production costs involved – in a bid to reduce them an English summary was sadly sacrificed some time ago, as was the inclusion of fold-out colour profiles and scale plan drawings.
Over such a long history the magazine has naturally undergone several changes but the first quarter is still given over to its renowned colour section, with military and World War II vintage material predominating. Air-to-air gems from the lens of such aviation photography luminaries as Katsuhiko Tokunaga provide real visual impact. Colour reappears in the middle features, including the KF Special File and occasional Airline Update. Already used in the Slap Shot readers` photo contest section it has recently been encroaching into the Readers` Reports domestic photo gallery too. Photo Topics of the World remain monochrome.
Articles cover in-depth both one-off and serialised subjects. A series on IJN and IJAAF unit histories ran from September 1995 to August 2002. Current (April 2003) regulars include a series on the US test facility Area 51, the Arado Ar234 and individual accounts of Japanese operations in World War II.
The magazine concludes with news sections, including “From Base Side” devoted to US military bases worldwide, book and model reviews.
Every two months Bunrindo produces another title for its excellent softback Famous Aircraft of the World profiles, which are similar in content to the Airplanes Digest feature that used to appear in the magazine. As an example the latest (No.99, published in March 2003) covers all variants of the Heinkel He111 and includes eight pages in colour, a fold-out colour side view, and 80 pages in black and white. In Japan, these superb magazine-type books retail for around ¥900, or the equivalent of about a fiver.
See also Koku Fan Illustrated (quarterly).
Roughly 160-200 pages in each issue, smaller than A4 size magazine with 20-30 colour pages. Approx 200 high quality b+w and colour photos, colour profiles, tone profiles, scale line drawings etc. Until 1980 each issue included a foldout scale plan drawing, but this was replaced by a multi-page modelling manual giving lots of close-up and markings details for a single aircraft type. 1980 also saw a move to better quality paper and more colour pages. 16 page English summary included in each issue until the 1990s.
Further information: Bunrindo Co., Ltd., Nakano 3-39-2, Nakano-ku, Tokyo 164-0001, Japan. Editorial Tel: +81 3 5385 5868, Fax: +81 3 5385 5613, Sales Tel: +81 3 5385 5671, Fax: +81 3 5385 5703.
[*] Contents Listing, January 1952 – December 1959
[*] Contents Listing, January 1960 – December 1969
[*] Contents Listing, January 1970 – December 1979
[*] Contents Listing, January 1980 – December 1989
[*] Contents Listing, January 1990 – December 1999
[*] Contents Listing, January 2000 – December 2009
[*] Contents Listing, January 2010 – December 2019
See other aviation-related magazines from Japan.