umbrella

Ladies in kimono make me breathless

It’s true that most of my observation tends towards the louche, the extreme and even shocking. Yet somehow my heart is also touched by the frequent displays of stately elegance that can take your breath away in Tokyo. Recently, I saw this group of elderly ladies in kimonos and sun umbrellas arriving at Taiikukan as I left the pool. I love how five are wearing identical blue kimonos with a ginko leaf pattern, while the sixth has chosen a different color. There’s something elevated and magical about their costume, posture, and their broad formation.

I won’t give up my individuality

Mostly the Tokyo Pride Parade was about fun, community, and visibility. There were a few political statements that struck me as especially relevant.

Above these incredibly young kids are posing with a sign saying, “自分らしさをあきらめない” (Jibun rashisa wo akiramenai, which means “I won’t give up my individuality”). Go, kids!

Below, there’s a message linking visas and marriage. I also love the woman with the rainbow umbrella, super colorful dress, and sign that says “God doesn’t bless marriages.” As part of an international couple, I feel the inconvenience of Japan and the US’s lack of immigration rights for gay spouses.