Wow! What more is there to say when you’re having an inter-generational cat fight at the sales counter? Thanks Christophe!
Month: September 2011
Are no pants days really over for this year?
My interest in Shinto practice continues to deepen. I love a religion that brings the rice harvest to the city, and instructs men to go pants-less in public. Certainly there are many particularities I am still unfamiliar with. The repetitive flute and metal percussion music puts me in a trance, and opens me to the possibility that these gods inhabit my neighborhood and are responsible for my daily meals. But ideas and concepts would be nothing without the flagrant masochism and exhibitionism central to the rituals.
It’s like the Catholic Easter passion, but better because of its multiplicity. There is more than one suffering man, and more than one god. If this is pagan, I am unable to resist. I will ask the gods this year to decontaminate the rice harvest.
Ramen is always a holiday
I don’t usually post food photos here, but I have to make an exception for ramen. There is something so porky and so satisfying about this common food.
There must be hundreds of ramen shops in Nakano, each with its own version. My current favorite is “Yokohama” style, on south side of the JR station, and features yankii-ish young cooks who are always wear towels on their sweaty heads.
Ramen is a health food and spirit recharger. It’s like chicken soup for Japanese, only tastier. This post is timed for someone else’s religious holiday: see what you’re missing!
Is naming a high-end highrise Twin Towers in poor taste?
Nakano Twin Towers, what will be tallest and most expensive apartments in our inner suburb, is rising fast just south of the JR station. Rumor has it that owners can customize everything, and that the apartments sold out fast. Is it only me that thinks this name for the two symmetrical 30+ floor residential towers is somehow wrong?
European curry sounds strange, doesn’t it?
I laughed many times seeing curries sold in Japan as “European curry.” What a ridiculous idea, like a Swedish taco. I later learned that this term refers to the original curry in Japan, imported by way of Britain during the Meiji period. You can find it in many nostalgic 1970s style “western” restaurants that are distinctly Japanese, and it’s also evolved into many supermarket take-home mixes and fast food joints. The Muji label makes this comfort food seem somehow modern and new. This one scores just 3 out of 5 chiles, and is beef based.
Camaraderie carrying common weight
I guess the Shinto gods need to visit the Tokyo streets as much as anyone does. Still, once you’ve lashed the shrine to enormous beams, it’s a lot to carry. It’s like Jesus and the cross, times 40. Being pants-less seems to add intimacy to the camaraderie of group effort.
Combining ass & drinking on the street
Is this the dictionary definition of freedom? It seems to make people and gods happy.
More fundoshi, spirit or flesh?
A friend of mine regularly participates in these shrine carrying rituals, every season except winter. I tried it once, but now it’s best to claim old age prevents me from lifting. I do, still, like to watch.
Celebrating the local gods with ass
Fall in Tokyo means lots of Shinto street festivals. Nothing is more fun to watch than omikoshi, which involves mostly men carrying a heavy shrine, chanting, and showing off their asses. It is spiritual, pagan, collective, and super perverse. I’ll post some more photos in the next days.
Last week for summer yukata?
Summer has many fleshy fashion features: plunging male decolletage, exposed thighs, flimsy materials. Yet nothing is more alluring than men in yukata and wood geta sandals. I like how this guy pairs a somber yukata with bright blue hair. Alas, this week is probably the last week for yukata, as officially it is now fall in Japan. (Source)