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.
They are so sweet. I think this important part of city life is disappearing….
Yes, I reckon so too. A global thing not just a Japanese one as well, so it was definitely nice to see.
Thank you. I enjoyed these photographs. They were a reminder of visiting my grandmother in my childhood.
You are welcome. Lovely to hear they brought back such memories.
How kind of your ‘Japanese mum.’
LOVE the look on the face of the lady on the left in the last photo!! It is heartwarming to see people interacting like that in one of the world’s biggest cities. Thanks.
Yes, it really is. So nice to have someone nearby like that.
Haha, yeah, she wasn’t at all sure what to make of me stood there. And I agree. Always good to see. One of the many reasons I like this part of Tokyo.
Like Günter, this reminds me of my summer stays with my grandparents in my youth. In their 2up 2down terrace with its outside loo and no running hot water. During the day all the men were at work and all the women, when not hard at work on chores (like whitening the doorsteps, cleaning the cobbles of the back alley or making the fire), would be leaning on gates or walls endlessly gossiping, at least until they were scattered like a flock of birds when the factory horn sounded to attend to the finishing touches of the evening meal. It seemed idylic, though my Dad was quick to point out that winters were not quite the same.
Always nice to hear photos trigger different thoughts and memories. But yeah, that outside loo for starters can’t have been much fun in the winter…
Great pics — and thanks for additionally sharing about your “Japanese mum”!
Thank you, and absolutely my pleasure. She’s always been really supportive, and then saying that as well was something truly special.