What was I expecting? Somehow these white suits and the plastic booties on top of the worker’s New Balance tennis shoes don’t seem nearly protective enough for nuclear power plant cleanup. These photos are from J-Village, a soccer training camp converted into operations base for cleaning up Fukushima. I worry about these men at this toxic disaster that used to power Tokyo.
Tokyo Moe could not have done better. Hats off to James Hadfield for the most fetishistic possible photograph of the Sept 11 anti-nuke demonstration in Tokyo. Nipples, uniforms, and body paint (plus lots of costumes and music) marked the 6 month anniversary of Fukushima’s nuclear disaster.
This photo seems to be saying that while it may be dangerous to live in Japan right now, it sure has a lot of visual stimuli as compensation.
Would five effeminate, overly-styled men fill your head with a desire to visit Japan and eliminate all memories of nuclear disaster and fall-out? That’s apparently the Japanese tourist authority dreams. One foreign resident designer laughed that few outside Japan would know the commercial charms of Arashi, and that the contexts are hard to understand for those with limited knowledge of Japan.
Who would be better? The womyn’s soccer team, Nadeshiko? The almost invisible Royal Family? The CEO of TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner & operator of the Fukushima nuke plant)? Pokemon?
Yesterday was the 3 month anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. No better time than now to look closely again at one of my favorite Japanese male fashions: gatenki (ガテんキ). As J-son noticed immediately on his first visit, gatenki combine making-stuff masculinity with super baggy pants that are vaguely Yoji Yamamoto in styling.
On weekdays I escape the tedium of rote learning for a balcony break overlooking a construction site for a 20-some story office building. It’s fun to watch the cranes, steel, and heavy equipment, but even more sublime when my break time coincides with theirs.
I feel safer and intrigued by daily sightings of these ninja-like male fashion icons.
Even in Japan, there is less daily news about the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. That’s why it’s lovely to see this Asahi newspaper chart that keeps us up to date. I like the top row visuals which help you remember which reactor is which (this power plants is blessed with six reactors in a row).
If you’ve seen me in the past month, you know I have a serious fetish over the blue and white abstract pattern that once covered these toxic time bombs.
The other rows provide updates on current temperatures, water levels, whether robots have been sent in yet, and, at the bottom, the expected date when the new replacement cooling systems will be installed (May, July and July).
Amidst the fear over quakes, water safety, and radioactive fallout, I do not mean to come off as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, or even an antiquated “mother earth” feminist. Still, it is impossible to ignore, in all the dioramas, illustrations, and video footage all the penis-shaped technologies at the heart of Japan’s natural and man-made disaster.
Most obviously, the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are all boxes (or were boxes, until the explosions) that cleverly conceal what appears to be a giant dildo of radioactive nuclear fuel rods, with torus doughnuts of water at the base and a steel containment vessel pointing this unholy mess of danger and energy sky-ward.
Japan’s protector/daddy/occupier the US military flew its Global Hawk man-less planes to take detailed images of the disaster. These are the drones that support the video distance warfare that delivers bombs throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. It’s good that these planes have some non-military uses, although I nearly spit out my drinking water when I saw on television these giant black penises flying through the air.
The storyline seems to be that we are dependent on reckless technology that happens to look like enormous penises. And that we can only contain the damage they cause by employing their similarly shaped flying cousins. We are then treated to a parade of government officials, energy company spokespeople, and nuclear epxerts– all of whom seem to be male– who promise vaguely that everything is mostly under control.
What is your favorite penis-shaped disaster technology?
In keeping with the moe theme of this blog, I would like to end this year with a completely shamelessly, inappropriate and vulgar medley of random Shibuya men. With 10 minutes to spare for a business meeting at Hachiko, I turned my new Canon S90 on the crowd.
The photo above is perhaps the best: the central subject fetishized, the public zipping by, and one woman in the background smiling knowingly towards the lens.
If you asked me what is my favorite Japanese uniform, I would say the mask: ubiquitous, a sign of danger inbound or outbound, of dubious functionality, and quintessentially Japanese. Above this boy rocks his mask with ipod, shaggy orange perm, and the skinny pants tucked inside some girlish boots. I am slayed.
Continue seeing and reading more after the jump.
I hope you had a chance to celebrate Disaster Preparedness last week. The city was blanketed with these incredibly childish posters that combined 5 teen super heroes with a transformer and a Power Ranger. I feel more secure, do you?