Saturday, July 16, 2005

Yukatas (summer kimonos) and street stalls

We went off to the Broadcast Library once more to watch interesting shows, especially my favorite, “Shichi nin no keiji” (Seven Detectives). This is a 1960s detective thriller filmed documentary-style and was surprisingly sophisticated with camera angles and plot very reminiscent of a Tarantino film – little violence, but when it comes, it is very sudden and shocking. In one scene from the 1967 episode we saw, the character walks down the streets of Ginza, camera focused on his face, and the song, “Futari no Ginza” (The Ginza for the Two of us) plays throughout. You could feel the tension build throughout this TV episode. In fact, I highly recommend this TV series for Tarantino fans, if it ever comes out translated and on DVD.

The library closed, and so we went outside. Now the Yokohama International Fireworks Festival was about to start in one hour, and crowds after crowds of people were walking down the sidewalk to the harbor park to watch. We saw many Japanese women dressed in yukata, light cotton kimonos for summer festivals. I lined up at one of the many food stalls and got some Japanese food! The crowd kept on growing, and so we decided it would be better to go home and have dinner with Reiko. As I went to the station, I saw a young woman with a tattoo manning a stall. Now the people who run these stalls are rumored to have yakuza connections, and Yakuza women often have tattoos. So I guessed that I was most likely looking at a Yakuza woman, although Yoko told me that she probably was just a young woman with a tattoo. I will let you decide.In the end, the tattoo seemed to scare off customers as she went to the next booth to put a t-shirt on over her tank top.

Here is a pic of some young Japanese punks, who looked like they could be straight out of a video-game center in Hawaii. Yes, I got into a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a Japanese punk like this ten years ago, and it imprinted on me the need to learn self-defense. So now you know why I do jiu-jitsu.

We went shopping, and I want to show you how small things are over here. Now you know why I feel like a giant when I come to this country. Look at the size of this shopping cart!

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