Between Brisbane and Japan, some whimsy and Dan (All contents © Dan Ryan, unless noted)

Latest

Tokyo Skytree is large and ugly and beautiful

Tokyo Skytree is like any other urban monstrosity: when I it was under construction it probably hurt more people than it benefitted. But now that the city is stuck with it, one has to admit that the structure does have a certain majesty and beauty to it. It just depends upon the angle from which one views it…

TokyoDay11raw 148-1

(Picture taken in Oshiage, Tokyo in September, 2013)

FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditGoogle+

Tokyo is my happy place

My father-in-law died recently. His memorial was only a few days ago. And while I was editing some photos of that event, I decided I needed a mental break and began looking at some of my photographs of Tokyo. This is just a natural instinct to me. And it is very comforting to know that the happy place to which I look for comfort in my mind remains a real place to which I will one day return.

But for now, this brief photo tour of Nakano Ward, where I find even the mundane to be lovely, will have to do…

TokyoDay9raw 067-1

 

TokyoDay9raw 073-1

 

TokyoDay9raw 085-1

 

TokyoDay9raw 089-1

(Pictures taken in Nakano-ku, Tokyo in mid-September, 2013)

FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditGoogle+

The Nakano Broadway

A place in Tokyo that I really love. Everything around it is vibrant and colorful and full of the life we always think of when our own lives are dreary, dull, and not fulfilling our expectations…

TokyoDay19raw 050-1

(Picture taken in Nakano-ku, Tokyo in September, 2013)

FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditGoogle+

The Kozukappara Jizō still does its job and forgives the blood of 100 ghosts per day

Centuries past

in the streets of old Edo,

what blood and meat was spilled then…

TokyoDay11raw 013-1

…when swords equalized and ended

the lives of whole nations of men.

The blood must be traveling still…

TokyoDay11raw 016-1

…past the corpse-rich soils of Tokyo

and ever downward towards

the Earth’s own living, glowing bones.

TokyoDay11raw 020-1

This jizō guards over Kozukappara, one of the most historically filthy and notorious execution grounds from Tokyo’s Edo Period (although it ceased operations at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration). The statue caught my eye as I was leaving Minami-senju Station one hot September day on my way to photograph the living, although it can be convincingly argued that they don’t live well.

I didn’t linger here long, and at the time I didn’t know the significance of where I was. To me it was just an impressive statue in a Japanese graveyard. And normally I feel peaceful and calm in Japanese graveyards, but those feelings eluded me here. Perhaps it was the hot and oppressively muggy weather in Tokyo at the time. But very rarely when I am standing in a place and judging it do I feel like the place is judging me back. I had that feeling here, and even the presence of the jizō didn’t make me feel welcome.

TokyoDay11raw 023-1

(Pictures taken near Minami-senju Station, Tokyo in September, 2013)

FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditGoogle+

Little Bird of Tokyo

A clothes shop in Nakano 5-chome called Little Bird that specializes in vintage ladies’ clothing from 1960s London. Not exactly the place for me and my jeans-and-a-t-shirt male fashion sense, but on my frequent walks past the place I always enjoyed seeing the vibrant colors and patterns of the garments on display…

TokyoDay26raw 241-1

(Picture taken in Nakano 5-chome, Tokyo in October, 2013)

FacebookTwitterTumblrRedditGoogle+