Many shops in the Japanese capital are conveniently situated in the city’s dizzying array of department stores; places where climate control and carefully coiffured cuties are commonplace — compulsory even.
Yet down certain side streets and a bit of the beaten track, outlets with more character, if not exactly customers, can be found. Like this shop specialising in brooms for example.
A store that, perhaps due to a niche that’s not exactly necessary nowadays, unfortunately hasn’t had the pleasure of a patron since 1972 — Saturday, September 2nd, to be precise. And even then the customer in question was after a hand brush that unfortunately they didn’t have.
We still use brooms like the ones on the far right to clean fallen leaves, especially after the rain — In the Philippines.
Those brooms (same ones on the left) can also be used for cosplaying/halloween ^_^
I don’t believe this. Is there any proof that they’ve had no customers for 36 years? I can’t see why they would bother.
It’s a Yakuza front operation….Brotherhood of the Broom….
And what did you do? Take photos and not buy a broom.
Da Ni Ni says
The stock doesn’t look 40 years old.
Since when did brooms become unnecessary? Did the Japanese completely convert to Roombas?
Or is this like sheep farmers in England that raise sheep on government subsidies to give the countryside atmosphere and preserve a way of life, and then import wool from New Zealand?
They must have money for noodles and rice, so either they are on some sort of welfare or they are telling a tall tale… or have a brothel in the back room.
“Hey lets tell this gullible big nose foreigner another whopper about not selling a broom in decades and see if it makes it into his blog”.
I Have to say that this story must be fiction.
I Just returned from Tokyo. EVERY HOUSE HAS A BROOM OUT THE FRONT. there is a huge demand for brooms as each resident is responsible for cleaning their section of the footpath & gutter. That’s why even in this photo you can see how clean it is.
There is many stores just like this one dedicated to one product
What is their address?
While I WANT to believe this story, I call B/S like everyone else. Even if you own the house, land prices are just too expensive in Tokyo to waste them on a shop that hasn’t sold anything for a few months, let alone 30 years.
Colonel Panic says
I call shenanigans. Is it possible that they meant to say “we haven’t sold anything (to a foreigner) since 1972” or something like that? We have many little shops like that in my neighborhood, and even though the prices are more than at the big stores, we’ll often buy little things just to be “neighborly”.
Where is this shop, Lee? Post a Google map and I’d be happy to go there and buy a broom or three.
Luke McCrohon says
Post the address, and then there will be a flood of foreigners rushing to buy the first broom in 30years and then we will really have a story.
Scott Mercer says
People, people. I believe that this is what is called A JOKE.
There is even what is known in the humor trade as a PUNCHLINE, to wit, when the last customer didn’t buy anything because they did not stock the brush she was looking for.
Of course the whole thing is made up. JOKES ARE MADE UP.
Too bad Boing Boing did not recognize this as A JOKE, and seemed to believe this was a cute but true news item. Duh. Can a buy some of you people a remedial subscription to The Onion??????
Where is this broom shop? I will go there and buy a broom. I live in Tokyo.
Anyone have an address?
To put the record straight, the comment about the shop having no customers since 1972 is indeed a joke.
But as anyone who lives in Tokyo, or has spent any length of time here knows, there are a seemingly endless numbers of such shops, whether they happen to sell sweeping equipment or other stuff, that simply never seem to have any customers. Ever.
So it was a joke based on facts.
Oh, and I came across it in Fuchu, although where exactly I can’t remember.
Jaun Wain says
What ever it isn’t even a broom shop the brooms are PhotoShopped in!!!!!
Mark Frauenfelder says
I often mention items from Tokyo Times on Boing Boing. I’m a little disappointed that this item was presented in such a deadpan way that I thought it was real.
I’m a little disappointed in Mark for pointing out how he is disappointed. Boo hoo.
But this “joke” wasn’t funny 🙁