Marui Nakano is re-opening in its new building tomorrow, January 28. I admit I am pretty excited for this burst of renewal on the south side of the JR Nakano station.
They are advertising a Tokyo Hands. I hope they’ll also have Le Petit Mec, their great French bakery, or the Italian gelato store (both at Marui’s Shinjuku San Chome store). Will there be a food court in the basement?
I took this photo a few weeks ago, and marveled at the pride of the construction workers who line up their super-clean equipment in front of Nakano’s only department store.
Alas, dear readers, this is my final Seijin no Hi photo. Perhaps the culmination of all the other photos. For reasons not made clear to this foreigner, the joyous 20 year olds are posing with one of them in the air with his legs spread wide. A particularly fetching boy seems to be reaching his hand towards legs-spread-wide’s groin.
I can only imagine how much more fun happened after they got drunker. There’s something practically Muslim about how almost all Japanese socializing is same sex. I love it!
Soon there was a horde of hot young 20 year olds combining traditional dress with big fried hair and excess testosterone. It didn’t take long for them to start falling all over each other, lit cigarettes in hand. I hope that they needed to pose for me, as much as I enjoyed their antics. I especially like how you can see inside the fallen boy’s skirt, I mean, “hakama” (袴).
This photo series is indebted to the chubby guy with the pink kimono who noticed my not subtle lurking and photographing. He called his friends for a huge yankii group pose on this important day that celebrates youths’ new ability to drink, smoke, get married, and other fun stuff.
Check out Danny Choo’s website for professional photos and more attention on the ladies. I focused strictly on the urban yankii male. It’s easy to be sex-specific in Japan because so many adults and teens socialize almost entirely with members of the same sex.
My first observation is that only the most bad-ass men are wearing kimonos, hakama, and haori. Many of their peers are wearing cheap suits, and spending all their vanity on their glorious hair: dyed, permed, back-combed, gelled, sprayed, and sculpted. Basically a junior salaryman look with extra attention on hair and eyebrows.
The next posts will focus more on rough-housing, misplaced energy, and male intimacy.
I apologize to my readers for so many sad and fugly pots. It’s time to turn your attention back to the Japanese islands, and images of hope, freedom and male vanity. On Monday’s Coming of Age (成人の日, Seijin no hi) holiday, I hit the Nakano yankii jackpot.
The location is the plaza and musical clock in front of Nakano Sun Plaza, the same site where this blog’s header image was taken three years ago. Despite the dwilndling numbers of young Japanese, these boys were very excited to pose and rough-house for the “gaijin.” I was quickly joined in the photo pool by three hot yankii 20 year old girls.
I’ll post more images over the next few days . .
I love the many inexplicable sights in Tokyo. My neighborhood liquor store set up this strange lunch scene in front of their shop: teddy bear, a plate of spaghetti with fork suspended in the air, a potted flower, and an empty seat as if he’s expecting company. It’s lovely that this “mise-en-scene” has nothing to do with what’s being sold at the store. A pure folly!
I had to laugh at this blatant copyright infringement by a local realtor who is using Fukuyama Masaharo’s NHK historical mega-drama Ryoma character to advertise apartments in Nakano. The incongruity of this late Edo character selling very ordinary apartments in the present time is funny. And it’s a rare instance of super-blatant copyright infringement.
Much of Japan is divided between love for its two main idols: Fukuyama versus Kimutaku. These two guys have dominated male stardom for over a decade. Personally I find Fukuyama more cheesie and less believable than the ever fashionable Kimutaka. On the other hand, the husband is completely engrossed by the Ryoma drama.
Do you have a preference between Fukuyama and Kimutaka? Other favorite male idols? Please feel feel to link to your favorite images, commercials, etc.
Walking in Nakano’s Sun Mall plaza recently, I saw everyone staring up at the ceiling of this 1970s commercial corridor. And then I saw the uniformed rescue workers. Following their gaze, I saw a white cat perched on the “catwalk” two floors above the ground. The husband had to explain to me that this is dangerous for the cat. Doesn’t it have 9 lives? I am not much of a cat-lover, but I do enjoy the chance to see so many concerned men.
Have you heard of Renho? She’s a single-name DPJ politician in charge of rooting out wasteful spending. Not only does she have a single name, she always wears crisp white suits! Plus, she’s Taiwanese, a former news anchor, and graduate of a very upper class university. In the photo above, she’s campaigning in front of Nakano’s JR station for our recent local, ward election. Wish I had seen her in person!!
Ahhh, Nakano. The weather is warming up, and the street becomes more inviting. I love this combination of blue leg warmers and hot pants. And how the runner is too serious to be using the sidewalk. Late spring and early summer are my favorite time of year.