Community life in most of Tokyo’s countless apartment buildings is distinctly lacking. People generally keep themselves to themselves, and after over a decade of living in my place, the most I get from the vast majority of residents is the briefest of greetings or a cursory nod at best. That said, one older lady has always chatted, and knowing my wife died she’s made a real effort to check I’m doing ok, offering advice and encouragement from her self-proclaimed role as my Japanese mum, which as you can imagine feels absolutely lovely.
In the city’s older, and more traditional neighbourhoods, however, it’s possible to see much more in the way of interaction. Particularly so with the elderly residents, as many of them have quite possibly known each other their whole lives, or at the very least for many decades. And so below then is one such example.