Mar 08 2017 13 CommentsAn almost timeless Tokyo bar A scene from the past with several clear hints at the present.
Very cool! I straight away saw the year behind the guy’s head. The trip advisor sticker took me longer. 😉
Yeah, that sticker is rather out of place to say the least, but thankfully it does a half decent job of blending in.
They still havn’t cleaned the lampshade though. And has the guy grown some hair in the intervening years – or is it a different guy?
I like the theme of the locations of previous black and white photgraphs being revisited and presented in colour.
No, they haven’t. I think like Samson and his hair, or the Tower of London and its ravens, if the lampshade were to be cleaned, the bar would lose all its appeal. Or at least that’s how I like to think of it.
You know, I had thought about that. Pure coincidence with the photo I took just recently. But now you mention it, it might well be something worth exploring.
Oh, and it’s a different fella, although they both still work there.
Even more fascinating than the greasy gunk on the lampshade is the layer of the same matter on the light bulb itself. ^^
Pretty incredible, isn’t it? They must dread it when the bulb needs replacing…
Aw, man! This is a superb shot, his expression is priceless!
If you photoshop these two clues away (trip advisor and calendar), this could’ve been taken in 1965, amiright? 😀
(…and not a single smart phone on the counter)
Thanks! Yeah, got him at an interesting moment.
Apart from those two clues, it really could have been taken many moons ago, couldn’t it? Wonderfully dated. And like you say, no sign of a smartphone either. Something of a rarity these days.
That reminds me of Jiro Taniguchi manga “Gourmet” where the main character visits several restaurants in Tokyo. One day the guy enters an organic food restaurant owned by hippies. In the story he says that on those places tables, table ware, walls, etc… were never really clean and was afraid of using them (imagine the contrasts of society considering japanese people are very strict when it comes to clean spaces as the “5S System Rules” made by them implies). During World War 2 japanese migrants were the cleanest people in the ships with a strong sense of aestethcis. I wonder if this is what the author was talking about when he felt the shock. Japan still has many people that enjoy the tribes from the past from 50s and 60s rock and roll to hippy life style and many of them have shops. In Tokyo it became a life style.
I don’t know to be honest, but that’s an interesting idea. There could well be something in it, as these kinds of places do indeed go against the perceived vision of Japan, and the Japanese. That said, a lot of such preconceptions do contain an element of truth, but they by no means tell the whole story. Something to be thankful for too, because if the Japanese were as obsessively clean and as rigidly adherent to rules as they are often believed to be, then places like this wouldn’t exist, and that would definitely be a bad thing.
Haha, yeah. Another influence for some shops having attraction to cultural movements that defy present society would have something to do with how they relaxed and unwinded in the past considering how the country behaves when we focus on habits acquired from nature religions and Buddhism. A large chunk of their lands is dedicated to Preserved Parks and untouched lands to avoid disturbing the environment but also as a “zen like” idea. From food to clothes man and artificial intervention would be seen as just one actor instead of the main star of the show. The cook would say, “food is best served and eaten like this”. Like to avoid spoiling the spirit of the place and occasion.
I love this place! Have been there the last two times that I was in Tokyo. The atmosphere is hard to beat, I really do like the food a lot too, and the folks behind the counter are pretty welcoming once it’s established that you KNOW that this place serves eel. 🙂
Yeah, it’s a bit special. I tend to prefer more local bars if I’m being totally honest, but for being photogenic, this place is second to none. Difficult to go wrong with a photo really.