Archive

A disused fountain in Ome City, Tokyo

№ 36: Dead Fountains

Admittedly, I have no numbers to back this up, but I would still put forth (with confidence) that Japan is the world leader in disused fountains.

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At the balcony door

№ 35: Open Wide

Breeze and birdsong alike flow liquidly, languidly into the apartment through windows thrown open wide to invite the atmosphere in.

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Mt Fuji and a flood control gate, as seen from the Musashino Line just outside of Tokyo

№ 34: Moments in Suspension

Three small children play in a public park sandbox under a cedar tree. The smallest of them is digging a hole with a stick, eschewing the nearby yellow plastic shovel. Two women sit on an adjacent bench. One of them wears a large-brimmed hat.

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An abandoned house wrapped in netting

№ 33: Keeping Contained

The netting may be loosely draped or cinched up tight. It depends on the building. The effect of the former is not unlike a veil, while the latter suggests something more like a corset. In either case, the purpose is the same: to prevent problems caused by falling debris.

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A discarded umbrella in a local park

№ 32: Inconvenient Canopies

They lurk in great piles behind convenience stores and in train station utility rooms. They are clustered in homes, offices, public toilets, parks, waiting rooms, and restaurants. They congregate in unpredictable numbers, multiplying when nobody’s looking, becoming over-numerous.

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A cat keeps watch

№ 31: The Management

The cat that looks like James Hetfield usually patrols around the tiny ramen shop by the shrine in the morning. On some days, the restaurant’s sliding door is open and he can be seen sitting inside, presumably conferring with the proprietors on some matter of importance.

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A rather small chair

№ 30: In The Small Chairs

Across the table from me is a blue plastic chair, 26cm tall at the seat and 49cm at the back. It weighs about 1kg. Weighing in at about 16kg is the small boy sitting in it. Let’s call him Ira.

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Waiting to submit documents at the immigration office

№ 29: Log for 2021-04-08

06:45 Give up on sleep, get up 06:50 Clean up cat poop, admonish cat 07:00 Begin preparing documents and everything else necessary to submit visa renewal papers, realize tax form still needed

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Sakura in Tsuki Park the night I arrived in Japan

№ 27: 2,194 Days

Six years I’ve been in Japan. This last Wednesday was my sixth Japaniversary. Rather than reflect on the occasion in my usual way, though, I thought I’d expore that time through numbers.

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At the shore of Kasumigaura Bay

№ 26: Cultivated Disorder

A peaceful setting, but something feels strange. If I pay attention to ambient noises, what I hear most are the small sounds of the water, the wind rustling the tall grasses to my left, and a violent, gasoline-fuelled roar at a moderate distance.

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