HESO Magazine

Photography, Music, Film, Hitchhiking, Craft Beer – Cultural Pugilist

About HESO

The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.

— W. Eugene Smith

About HESO

HESO (“Belly Button” in Japanese) was born out of the center of one of the largest cities in the world.

This is not our job, this is our passion. Click To Tweet

About HESO

The idea for HESO Magazine began as a passionate (& drunken) conversation in a bar in Matsumoto, Japan in the winter of 2001: how to best provide a forum for the community of talented outsider photographers worldwide looking to exhibit their work? It wasn’t until the winter of 2004 that we did anything about it, and expanded it to include all artists, working in any medium. And this time in Fukuoka, Japan.

Since then it has grown and morphed, contracted and expanded, people have come and gone, home offices have been opened and closed and moved across oceans and back, but that basic independent idea has always remained the one constant: to provide a forum for people to express themselves. Eugene Smith knew 35mm wasn’t big enough. HESO certainly doesn’t claim to be, but we do our best. This is not our job, this is our passion. Here are some of the things that help us fulfill some part of that:

A Handful of Global Contributors

What we do

HESO began as a hand-folded and stapled zine known as the “occasional magazine” in Fukuoka in 2004 by Manny Santiago. Initially HESO (臍 in Japanese means belly button) grew from a self-printed, hand-folded, stapled zine by five JET English teachers who in their free time passed out the full-color bi-monthly wherever they could find interest. When costs rose and different priorities were realized, Manny was left alone. After moving to Tokyo in 2007 HESO became a quarterly culture magazine (フリーペーパー) centered around a theme, and featuring the work of photographers, interviews and articles on positive-thinking and forward-moving individuals and organizations, music and concert reviews, great outsider art, fiction and of course, beer.

Heso, the physical magazine released 17 issues and was known for regularly featuring NPOs and NGOs, interviews with prominent people (Click on a name to read more): Japanese Parliament members Tsurunen Marutei & Kawada Ryuhei, The Cove director Louis Psihoyos, the director of Rabia Sebastián Cordero and star of Rabia Martina García, musician Cornelius, Beardyman, Scroobius Pip, Damian Taylor, Deerhoof and the incomparable Peter Barakan), as well as a number of professional and amateur photographers, poets and artists working all over the world. We are always looking for more. Contribute?

Managing the Tubes

Managing the Tubes (Manny Santiago)

Keeping the Ts dotted and the Is crossed

Digital Management


Website Credits

This site runs on:

Sushi & Beer

Sushi & Beer at a local Sushi-ya (Manny Santiago)

Sushi & Beer at a local Sushi-ya


  • Duct tape. Rewrap in flattened strips for easy storage. Gaffer’s tape works too.

  • Sushi

  • Music

  • Beer: A guide

Photography is truth. — Jean-Luc Godard


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