It still seems incongruous that every Tokyo shrine festival features, amidst food and game stalls, stands that sell boy band photos and also plastic guns. These kids seemed very excited to show their new arms to the police officer.
Is the cute guy in glasses and plastic raincoat facing the camera a member of the police or a protest leader? In either case, I am eagerly following.
Seeing so many police makes me think of the quandary faced by the Bachelorette. Do I have to choose just one? I am also digging the plastic yellow bullhorn: so analog, so simple.
Marching solemnly together, these police look disciplined and prepared for the rain. Do you think one red plastic light saber is enough for this troupe? I wonder if the others wish they could carry it?
In the past year, I’ve been to many anti-nuclear protests in Tokyo. In addition to more noble, collective goals of safety and truth-telling, the demos are an awesome place for anyone with even a passing interest in the police force of Japan. Yes, the police often outnumber the protesters, and their blue uniforms, safety vests, plastic bullhorns, and other accessories are very interesting to watch and photo.
In this photo, I particularly like the plastic bags protecting the caps. The serious expressions and down-turned mouths are also adorable!
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.
Arashi’s Sakurai Sho bares (almost) all in anan magazine’s special “male body” issue. Sho is one of the most popular members of the Johnny’s boy band Arashi, a Keio graduate from a wealthy family, and now a night-time newscaster on Zero presenting serious news, including the current state and history of Japan-US relations. The husband thinks Sho aspires to become Prime Minister one day, which would be a great triumph for the boy band creator Johnny.
anan is a young Japanese woman’s version of Cosmo. The magazine focuses on sexuality, appearance, polls, and men, men, men. This must be one of their sluttiest issues ever. There are taxonomies of the 8 male body types portrayed by comics and tarentos (all variations of skinny and boyish, except the normal sized “Big Boy” and the one fatty), photos of athletes and professional wrestlers, and a pictorial about how you might imagine young men at work without their clothes.
Dear readers, do you think Sho showing his skin will help or hinder his political aspirations? And, before I get any complaints, despite the fact that Sho is made up, waxed, and air-brushed to look barely legal (or younger), he is in fact 27 years old. I think he looks a bit like a Ken doll, plastic and a bit sexless.
What do you say? Should I post more images from this pictorial?
These pants were so horrid I couldn’t help but snap repeated photos as we walked uphill on Omotesando. A plastic rubber material, with creases everywhere, clinged to and reshaped its owner’s legs in the worst way possible. Notice the enormous manpurse. Ah, Tokyo. At least you are always trying!
That glazed expression is the result of two beers before dinner. And those tiny plastic umbrellas? No, it is not raining. It is a fan tribute for a home run at the Swallows baseball game in Jingu Stadium. Anyone who knows me could be surprised seeing me at a ball game, but I was invited and, well, it’s Japan, so why not?
My pal encouraged me to sit in the cheap seat bleachers to fully enjoy the rowdy fans. It was a packed night because the opponents were the very popular Hanshin Tigers from Osaka. The stadium is divided right to left for each team’s fans, and we sat in the Swallows section. Although the rules are the same, the atmosphere is very different.
On our side, there were many plastic bats rhythmically beating, team jerseys and towels, general chants and player-specific chants (including a version of “Oh Canada” for one foreign player, and “ikemen” for one of the Japanese players), a few horns, some very large flags, and beer vendors in neon clothes with kegs strapped to their backs. While the Swallows fans have their plastic mini-umbrellas, the Tigers have large yellow balloons which they release into the sky at the 7th inning. A Japanese fan in the Swallows stands complained that it produces a lot of trash.
This fan in front of us was very friendly, proud of his team and their foreign players, and eager to lend us his dancing umbrella. Despite his super-butch appearance, I liked how he explained his “ikemen” chant (“because he’s sexy”), and that he came to the game with his buddy and the hugest pink and white sports bag I have ever seen.
“Come in lovers,” Numazu’s Jump Hotel beckons. This post is a photo essay on the over-the-top “rabu hoterus” (love hotels) that surround the Numazu bizen ceramics studio. On one side of the studio is a large forested hillside, populated by birds including the lovely uguisu.
The other three sides are dozens of short-term stay hotels, with garish neon, absurd names, columns, statuary, fountains, tikki lights, plastic palm trees, free Wii, and abundant car parking. All of this looks worse in daylight.