For the first four months of my time in Japan, I would pass through this parking lot on my way to the PC Cafe to get my weekly internetting done. I got internet at home at the same time I got a bicycle. I would still pass though this parking lot, just on my way to getting lost somewhere.
Not much to say about this one. Guy can strut with an umbrella like a champ. If he had a monocle and top hat on you wouldn’t think they were out of place.
This, if I recall correctly, was taken in Shinjuku on the electronics district side of the station. I just took a spin around the middle of the intersection and took shots as I wobbled about like a top about to fall over.
I never saw the skull originally because it wasn’t there originally. Just a Buddha and some plants. The shadows created by the flash of the Instax and the placement of the leaves left hollow eye sockets and the shape of a lower jaw. If I had been using a better camera the pareidolia wouldn’t be there. I wouldn’t have needed to use a flash and the better resolution would make it easier to tell what is what.
Score one for shitty cameras with over-priced shitty film.
When I pick these photos, I usually have two criteria;
1. Is it interesting to look at?
2. Can I write about it?
I think this one fits both.
The Fuji Instax Mini is a hard camera to use. Guessing the power of the flash required to get the exposure you want. Figuring out the parallax so you don’t cut anything off. Wondering why things stopped working because it was shaken mildly. All in all I’d suggest avoiding getting one unless you, as I mentioned before, have more money than brains.
This fellow here is the owner of the Chikuma Camera near Ueno station. Opposite direction from the zoo if I recall correctly. The pedestrian overpass leading from the station and the stairs down seem to lead you right to the shop. When me and my friend Greg went there, he gave us coffee and showed us rare cameras worth thousands of dollars. He also told us that (I’m paraphrasing here) the fascists in my previous photo were assholes for believing in a philosophy that led the nation to ruin the last time it was used.
We didn’t buy anything because of the prices. Too rich for our blood. But everything we tried were in perfect working order. Unlike some of the hole-in-the-wall shops that seemed to be seeing how high they could pile Nikon bodies.
Along with the regular preschool and elementary students you get in Japanese ESL classes, I also taught English to kids who couldn’t speak Japanese. Or any language for that matter. Most of them couldn’t even walk yet. That’s right, babies.
He was part of the daycare center that was the sister company to the Eikaiwa that I was working for. Same owners up top. As exhausting as it was, since these classes were first thing in the morning and I was still waiting for the coffee to kick in, in retrospect I think I liked these classes the best. I mean, come on. It’s playing (structured games) with babies. You’d have to be pretty dead inside to find that a negative.
And man, did they love that ABC song.
If I had to speak ill of it, it was that they took in far more kids than they could give attention to. None of this is the fault of the fine ladies, and sole gent, working there. In the end it’s a business and as far as any businessman is concerned profit is king.To say the employees were swamped is an understatement. With a couple of exceptions, none of the staff lasted beyond six months.
I hated pointing out that so and so had a wet diaper because I felt like I was trying to tell them how to do their job. But I see caretaking as an unending sort of thing and if the boss has two staff out front handing out fliers to drum up more business, that’s two staff who aren’t making sure bottoms are dry.
Let me be clear: It’s not like these kids were crawling around in their own filth like some sort of Dickensian orphanage. The staff did their best as fast as they could. But they could only do so much when the owner a thousand kilometers away in Osaka tries to improve things by making their jobs more difficult.
They’re called Uyoku Dantai. Far right nationalists. They travel around Tokyo, Osaka, and the other major cities harassing passersby and business with their loudspeakers, shouting their far right crap at full volume. You probably have some in your own town. You can recognize them by the small penis.
They are protected under Japanese free-speech laws. As I they should be, I figure. However, they continue to not get dinged under nuisance laws. I’m not sure if this is because Japan doesn’t have any, or if it’s because the mayors of Osaka and Tokyo, as well as the current ruling party of Japan, are cut from the same cloth.
The older fellow we talked to about them was pretty firm in his rejection of their ideals. He remembered the war. He wasn’t interested in living under fascists again.
The real shame was the handful of enraptured young men standing and listening to them who obviously felt otherwise.
The camera was the Instax Mini. They’re fun little things but the cost of the film far exceeds what you’re getting out of it. Maybe if you have more money than brains… Which I did when I bought it.