June 30, 2003

Why is it that I find shots such as the one here so appealing? The lone commuter. For some reason I haven't quite put my finger on, these kinds of images seem so quintessentially Japanese. They're cliched for me, yet they continue to resonate. I blame it on Wim Wenders. It was his film Tokyo-ga that first implanted many of these iconic images in my mind. And imbued them with a certain romanticism that is at odds with their pedestrian nature. I was seduced then, and nearly 20 years later, in a space that is in both physical and emotional proximity infinitely closer to that pedestrian reality, I continue to be seduced.

An ad for kekkon.com. kekkon means marriage, so I'm assuming that this is an ad for some kind of online dating service. The school girls standing next to me are talking about it but I can't make out what they're saying. I think they are talking about the male model in the ad.

It's amazing how they know to close their eyes.

June 29, 2003

(The title refers to my previous post). Now this is a gadget I can get quite excited about (that is until Naoko sees this post and gives me a reality check!). it's the new 5.0 megapixel Canon G5 digital camera, seen here at Softmap in Oomiya (Saitama). They have it for 89,799 yen. The bad news is that as of right now the model it is replacing (the G3) is only marked down to 79,799.,

Not mine I should hasten to add. Probably not clear from the photo, but this guy is fooling around with one of those new Sony/DoCoMo 1.3 megapixel camera-equipped cellphones. He obviously just bought it as he's got the manual propped open on his lap, and a DoCoMo bag next to him. But I'm relieved to report that I feel no gadget envy as I sit here observing him. Not sure why, though.

June 27, 2003

She's happy because we just went to the biggest 100-yen store I've been to yet in Japan. It's in Kinshicho, in Tokyo. That's Bob Sapp in a Panasonic ad above Naoko. He's an unsucessful NFL player who's cashing in here in Japan.

Now that Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward has banned smoking on the street, these snoke parlors have cropped up. This one's in Akihabara, and was set up by, surprise surprise, Japan Tobacco.

June 21, 2003

The Daibutsu in Kamakura. Everyone else is taking a mobile phone photo of it, so I will too.

Film director Ozu's grave, in Kamakura.

June 13, 2003

On the verge of letting out a big cry.

June 10, 2003

Japanese love making bad English phrasal verbs out of "up" and "down," for some reason.

June 08, 2003

This is actually illegal, dumping old appliances like this. That's what the sticker on top says.

Not sure why, but a sidewalk in Toda (Saitama) has animal life tiles inlaid into it.

June 01, 2003

after a typhoon passes through is always amazing to look at.

Images and thoughts from Japan, captured and uploaded via my mobile phone. For a (slightly) bigger picture, see my main site Hmmn.

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