Just a hard-working kitchen hand, who was bringing boxes of seafood in through the back door of this Nakano-ku restaurant. It’s across the street from the Life store…
(Picture taken in Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo in November 2015)
The building stood out because it was set back from the street. And because of the cats in and around it. It seemed as if the building was built for them only. But on sunny days in Tokyo cats own the sun and every surface it touches. So the building was theirs, at least until nighttime, when they would occupy it still and purr unseen in the dark…
(Pictures taken at the Morita Building (森田ビル) in Kiyokawa 2-chome, Tokyo in November, 2015)
As I did for my trips to Tokyo in 2012 and 2013, I want to pay visual tribute to the excellent friends I met up with during my 2015 trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s my way of saying thanks to these excellent people, who merely by having a drink or a meal with me added to the happiness and rich experiences I always have when I’m in Japan.
2015 was an odd year for me, full of more downs than ups, but the ups were significant. I finished Tokyo Panic Stories, for one thing, and I hope it will get picked up by a publisher in 2016. And I hope to get back to Japan in coming year and see the friends in the photographs below.
We shall see. Life is a coin you flip into the air that hits the ground and stands stone still on it’s edge. Your actions then decide which way the coin lays on the ground. Or something like that…
Mark, also on Halloween in the same joint in Shinjuku.
Ricardo, taking a pensive break from being in a beer-soaked Shinjuku izakaya on Halloween.
Patrick, leaving the Shinjuku joint.
Nancy in Ameyayokochō.
(Pictures taken in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan in October and November, 2015)
I have been down Tokyo’s darkest streets for you.
I have lived in those streets for you.
Now I require your presence.
So you will come to me,
for I am the king of you,
and I will show you.
The years have done this to me,
put a pregnancy upon my shoulder.
It isn’t pretty, but it isn’t entirely ugly.
There is horrible and organized smoothness to it all.
And that basically sums up Tokyo’s darkest streets for you.
(Pictures taken in Nihonzutsumi, Tokyo in November, 2015. Also published on Scholars and Rogues)
Look at this unconventionally beautiful man, and what he was willing to share with my wife. We were at a festival at the Ohtori Shrine in Asakusa on a Tuesday…
We were strangers, foreigners to him, and that mattered for nothing. When I asked to take his picture, he agreed. Then he saw my wife and insisted she hold his shimekazari so that I could take a picture of her holding it…
The Japanese are often the most warm, generous people you will ever meet.
(Pictures taken in Asakusa, Tokyo in November, 2015)