Saturday, April 07, 2007

...7 to 11–––window dressing

These pictures aren't all of windows. I don't mislead. But they are symbolic of my week-long peek into the desert of electricity and concrete that is known as TOKYO.

I'm in OSAKA now, looking out of my window. BBC News in the background–bombs in Palestine, the idea of global warming coming to fruition. OSAKA castle–white walled and mint green roofed–stares me down through the rain and fog. It's reinforced in the front by a huge oval stadium, at back by a thick patch of forest and the OSAKA skyline, and to my right by a string of cherry blossomed trees along the river. A subdued blend of grey, pink, mint green, moldy green–and a kaleidoscope of umbrellas. It's raining, but not in my heart, Roy Orbison.

Here we go:

"Watch TOKYO wake up" window. Peace and bracelets from the sunrise over TOKYO. This is Thursday, around 5:30am, in our room at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Ginza. We were listening to PANDA BEAR. I didn't pay for this hotel. I'm happy about that.
"What do you think about this issue" window: A walk along Omotesando Ave–Tokyo's answer to 5th Ave–found us participating in a magazine survey. The question: "The income gap in Japan is widening. What do you think about this, from your experience living in America?" You can see my mom's answer below. Maggie's struck a similar note (need for equal pay/opportunity for women). I said the gap here in Japan is the smallest in the world, but if change is needed, it's got to be a reduction of the extreme hours the corporations demand from their employees.
"This smoke blesses" window. Senso-Ji, a Buddist temple in Asakusa. It was completed in the 7th century, which makes it the oldest in Tokyo.
"Which way is up" window: Prada store in Omotesando.
"Shot from the shoe" window: Kabuki-cho looking on Shinjuku. Contrast is apparent, is it? Or is it that the business district (shinjuku) isn't so distant of a cousin to the male entertainment superplex (kabuki). The sleaze of Kabuki's sex district is concentrated to the point of self-parody. The same goes for Shinjuku's enormity, and disregard for the human need to see the sky. These guys stand outside the parlours and give averted eyes. Foreigners are told not to approach. It's one of those things that, if you knew the culture and the language, walking around there at night would scare you, and you definitely wouldn't take pictures of them, from the street, behind their boots.
"Too much money, 1980s architecture" window: "How do we tell the world that we have more money than we have time to spend it," the corporation asked the architect. " about a topping the structure with a giant turd plated in gold?"

Magic WINDOW––come to Japan and peer out there with me.

1 comment:

ivonka608 said...

ah. yes. shinjuku. i vividly remember that subway stop. i am jealous of your life, my extraordinarily tall friend.