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


“Blade Runner” On (Nakano) Broadway

Blade Runner” is my favorite movie ever. I even wrote a sequel to it, which you can obtain here. The film has cult popularity in Japan, where the cityscapes of Osaka and Tokyo have long been compared to the dense, neon-lit street scenes in Ridley Scott’s film. Over the years the Japanese have produced some fantastic “Blade Runner” memorabilia. In 2013, a shop I really like in Nakano Broadway called Mandarake had some very nice “Blade Runner” gear on display, which is presented here for your pleasure…

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Deckard’s rather pricey LAPD service pistol.


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Two-headed Deckard and a spinner. I love the accuracy of Deckard’s necktie.


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Mr. Batty, a blaster, and some unfinished Batty and Deckard chibi figures.


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Items you might find in a blade runner’s coat pocket.


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A spinner, as close to flying as it is likely to get.


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“Have a better one.”

(Pictures taken at Mandarake Special 5 in Nakano Broadway in September, 2013)

Tokyo the Blade Runner

So I heard about this photo contest where I could win some “Blade Runner” swag. The limit for entries is three images per person. As a U.S. resident I’m not entirely sure I qualify to enter, but I’m going to send these three pictures anyway. The first two, which have never been published before, are from Tokyo in 2013. The last one is from a project I did for the Lions Club here in Brisbane.

Let me know what you think…

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(Pictures taken in Tokyo, Japan in 2013 and Brisbane, California in 2014. Have a better one.)

Life at the kōban

All the wide happy and the scattering crowds,

these are which I watch over.

For I am police, I am law.

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It is good I do this,

for there is no better humble god of justice

than me when I am on duty.

In Tokyo we have guns,


for we are police and

they are subtle extensions of sword

and I see them as

metals from repurposed katana

beaten into tiny rocket-spitting machines.

Musashi used guns.

I read this once in torn manga-page literature.

To me this brings honor to the idea,

and grinds nothingness into fine subtlety.

For if you can kill disbelief,

you can kill injustice.

When this is done

my work will be over,

I will no longer need to be police.

I would like to put myself out of a job,

I would like to always go fishing

in the Sumida River

and hook all the gold rings the yakuza ever dropped into it.

It would be a good thing to be with my son every day,

to know I will never need a gun to protect him.

To never need updated training

on the best American ways to shoot people in the head.

But these times are not here yet.

So I will guard you,

and you will love me for it,

and I will love you back because you give me purpose and honor.

And money.

(Picture taken in Asakusa, Tokyo in October, 2013. Published concurrently on Scholars and Rogues.)

Old men in Tokyo are monsters of subtle beauty

I watched him. He watched me…

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Then he yawned, and the boredom spreading radially out from him was like a superhero power which placed into my mind the compulsion to walk away…

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The old men in Tokyo always catch you in the lie you tell yourself that you’ll never become one of them.

(Pictures taken at Nakano Station, Tokyo in October, 2013)

All your soft drinks to buy for the world

A cheap and well-stocked vending machine alcove on the streets of Shinjuku near Golden Gai…

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

In Golden Gai

I once tripped through these lands like a god,

like the pure embodiment of all the liquor

the Allies ever drank in Tokyo.

It is quiet here now,

and the Americans are gone,

but I know these streets.

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They are masters and servants to me.

In the daytime, the vampires are hiding,

(well, most of them)

even though I know where they lay.

At night they will be back here,

disguised as young salarymen,

and high school girls in vocational school,

and tourists from Russia and France.

I will know their minds and their innocent evils,

and I will keep watching until the sun and the train schedules

drive them from the streets back to their lairs.

(Picture taken in Golden Gai in Shinjuku, Tokyo in September, 2013. Also published on Scholars and Rogues.)

Heated talk and hot air

They spoke heatedly, passionately, and didn’t seem to care who heard them.  Overall she didn’t seem happy with him and he seemed frustrated by whatever she said. But it really didn’t matter, because it was a steamy-hot September day in Shinjuku, which made all of Tokyo cranky, so nobody passing nearby paid them any attention anyway…

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(Pictures taken in Golden Gai in Shinjuku, Tokyo in September, 2013)

Shinjuku bivouac

It was a sweltering day in Shinjuku, the sort of day where the hot, heavy air doesn’t much want to move out of your way, and seems to resent it when you push it aside to pass by. Days like this in Tokyo can suck the energy out of you, and the man obviously needed a rest.

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The people passing by didn’t bother him just as he wasn’t bothering them, for the sidewalk was wide. There was an equilibrium in this, and a kindness which it is sometimes surprising that Tokyo is willing to provide…

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(Pictures taken near Shinjuku Central Park in September, 2013. Here’s a site for the park in Japanese)