Today’s Japan field report is a fashion mini-report about shoes. I know that some of you are interested in Japanese fashion, and some love shoes. This was originally going to be heavy on photos and light on commentary but I seem to have found a lot to say about a subject I don’t know much about. Even so, those of you not interested in footwear might want to skip this one.
Hair salons are really common here. I don’t know if it’s because of the population density or because schools have rules about hair length. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that everyone has the exact same hair—thick, straight and black—and wants to do something with it to make themselves look a little different.
I found these snake figurines one night in a small altar about 10 minutes’ walk from home.
…what you think it means. The Japanese love to decorate things with words from foreign languages. They also like to combine foreign words to create new vocabulary. A case in point is the wanpeesu (one piece)—a dress. Many of the shops, buildings, and products here are labelled in a way that makes me wonder if they have any understanding of the chosen language. Here’s a selection of decorative English (and a bit of French) at its best.
Here are a bunch of photos for fans of contemporary Japanese architecture. Riverwalk Kitakyushu is a large mall complex near downtown Kokura. Kokura is the larger of two commercial districts in Kitakyushu and was the original target for the atomic bomb which was dropped on Nagasaki.
The information in this post is not accurate effective February 2005, when I switched my blog software from Greymatter to WordPress.
Someone asked me to post more pictures of fish from or trip to the Shimonoseki Aquarium. So here they are.
By request, here are some more pictures of Todaiji Temple in Nara. The original entry about Nara is was on April 14, 2004. As I mentioned in that entry, Todaiji is the world’s tallest wooden building and houses a giant bronze statue of Buddha.
Golden Week is a series of about a week’s worth of statutory holidays around the beginning of May. It’s notorious for being a time where every Japanese person travels to another part of the country or else to another country entirely. All of the transportation networks are clogged and all of the tourist traps are overrun. This year was no exception but there was also a lot more travel outside of Japan due to fears about SARS having been much smaller than last year.