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Rust colored wood house survives in Nakano backstreets

wood_house_backstreets_nakanosakaue
中野の路地を自転車で進んでいるときに、きれいな錆色の木造住宅を見ました。中はどんな感じなのだろうか。

Biking home on the back streets, I founds this handsome old house. I wonder what it’s like inside.

Back to business in Tokyo after the new year

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お正月が終わったら、日常生活が戻ります。このメトロの写真に、男性はみんな黒いスーツを来ているので、庭のより東京人のほうがもっと型にはまっていると思います。

Uniformity and order can be even more stylized in Tokyo human environments than gardens. How is it that every passenger in this frame is a man in a black suit? Can that small screen transport us somewhere more magical and more vivid than our surroundings?

Let’s welcome Tanuki back to Tokyo

タヌキさん、東京にお帰りなさい。「Making Friends(友達を作る)」は、東京メトロで起こった違う種類の生物同士の出会いでした。

Making Friends was a true, inter-species encounter in the Tokyo Metro. Click to enlarge.

Distrust turned to Avoidance, then Curiosity, Connect, Reverse, and Unite. For more on S.C.R.O.T.U.M. see my article with Chris from A Small Lab and Jess from Edoble on This Big City.

Can you spot the Shibuya river? It’s below everything else.

陸橋や自転車駐車場やオフィスビルの後部やスロットクラブの看板やほかの看板の下に、ほんの少しだけ残っている渋谷川が流れています。渋谷を歩いていて、川がないことに気がつきます。渋谷川がきれいなら、楽しめるのに残念です。

Below the overpasses, bicycle parking, the rear end of office buildings, signs for Slot Club and other shops, runs what remains of the Shibuya river. Rivers and ports traditionally animate cities, allowing for trade, transportation, and food. In Shibuya, it’s easy to think there is no river at all. What a wasted opportunity.

Making wall vases at Shiho ceramic studio

史火陶芸教室の生徒展示会のために、壁の花瓶と植木鉢を作っています。この写真は最初の形です。粘土と釉薬は同じだけど、後ろと前を反対にして、斜めと垂直の形を作りました。

In preparation for the November Shiho students’ ceramic show, I am expanding from flowerpots to wall vases. This is what they looked like after I connected the slabs together. Later comes trimming and carving, baking, glazing, and second baking. I am experimenting with reversing front and back, and how to angle the box that holds the water and flowers.

Fall fruit growing in Tokyo’s back streets

Tokyo’s large boulevards often have grand ginko and zelkova trees. On the back streets, Tokyo gardeners grow all sorts of ornamental and fruit trees. Recently, I have noticed oranges, persimmons, and even pomegranate growing in my neighbors’ tiny gardens and balconies.

It would be great to see even more fruit growing in Tokyo and the world’s largest cities.

Residential street with pink camellia at night

Tokyo’s back streets can be incredibly quiet. I was struck by this huge pink camellia growing out of a “yard” less than half a meter wide. Tokyo gardens make use of the tiniest spaces with maximum public benefit. Most of this shrub’s canopy is over the street. Tokyo mixes the prosaic and the sublime.