I lived in Tokyo for almost two years in 1987 and 1988. Due to carelessness while moving frequently in the early ‘90s, few personal photographs from my Tokyo days survive. Eight or ten drunken happy snaps and the pictures that make up Tokyo in the Underbrush are about all I have. Luckily, my late dad took about 188 Kodachrome slides when he and my mother visited me in Tokyo in the late spring of 1988. I found these slides the last time I visited mom in Dallas in October, 2012, and I finally had a look at them recently back home here in California. It was a hell of a thing stepping back in time this way, looking at pictures of the Tokyo I lived in and loved in, at a man literally half my age, and at a mother who was red-haired and vibrant and not yet dying prematurely (for reasons she would prefer I not discuss).
So I started scanning these pictures, which produced the three examples here. But I don’t know what I’m going to do with them. They hyper-activate my memory of and yearning for the city I love most in the world. Perhaps I should turn them into a book. I’ll let you know. At the very least I need to show them to mom before time runs out, which it always seems to do. The bastard.
Me and mom at the ‘Y’ in Ameyokocho, Ueno. We’re easy to spot.
Shoppers and colorful wares in Ameyokocho.
Mom and passersby in Uenohirokōji.