A fashion item that in this case has a shelf-life even shorter than the most fleeting of fads, although at the same time it will fortunately be forever wearable at least once a year.
From literature to young lads whose lives were wastefully blown away in the war, the all to brief beauty of the cherry blossom is often linked with the ephemeral nature of life and love, although fingers crossed, for this currently content young couple, their feelings won’t be too fleeting.
With The Cove currently getting plenty of coverage, and Japan’s ‘scientific’ whale hunting programme almost never out of the news, it seemed like a good time to cull, so to speak, a bit of cetacean-related stuff from the Tokyo Times archives.
A post that is still just as timely today as Japan comes under increasing pressure due to accusations of sheer bloody-mindedness and misplaced national pride, and yet when all is said and done, and although it’s difficult to condone the killing of such beautiful beasts, it simply cannot be said that the Japanese don’t take their research seriously, with very little of the mammals left
Plus, while critics vociferously claim that the results from non-lethal techniques could prove to be equally as productive, proponents opine that they would be far less palatable.
When entering any school it’s only natural to expect a noisy greeting from the sounds of the students within, but not in Nichitsu mining town, as an ever-dwindling number of children due to the gradual decline of the area’s mining activities meant the community’s school was eventually forced to close its doors in the early 1970s — a decision that now makes the institution a very different place indeed, even before one actually enters, with no need anymore to change from outdoor shoes, to indoor ones.
And where kids once careered down the corridors.
Or clattered in and out of classrooms, regardless of the rules.
There is now only silence.
A silence that’s all the more noticeable due to the signs of so many sounds — especially those made by the students who once studied here.
Like drums left discarded.
Or pianos that are now unplayable, let alone unplayed.
Plus a varied selection of recorded music. In this case a nostalgic piece of vinyl that for some reason T.M. didn’t take home.
Instead choosing to leave it behind in a room that’ll never again have any festive cheer funnelled through its speakers.
And in Japan, where all manner of rules are continually, almost religiously, repeated, this discarded and slightly damaged megaphone seems especially subdued.
Silently suggestive of the sounds that were once an integral, and no doubt sometimes irritating, part of the school.
For those interested, there are my original posts on Nichitsu, covering the doctor’s office, dwellings and day to day life of those who once lived there, as well as a more recent visit to the now further decayed doctor’s place.
Young musicians who don’t want to bother their neighbours appear to prefer practicing by abandoned buildings, whereas older fellas it would seem are far more comfortable banging out tunes on bridges.
Either before or after a bit of baseball.