Tokyo changes incredibly quickly — so quickly in fact it arguably doesn’t have time to appreciate what it has in the first place. Buildings go up and down at a ferocious pace. Plus trends come and go in what seems like the blink of an eye. And yet for all its attempts at modernity, along with what’s often rather dubiously dubbed ‘progress’, some spots remain mercifully unchanged.
Repressive powers of secrecy and the attempted re-writing of Japan’s wartime history are now the new norm under right-wing Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. Add to that a new like-minded and supportive chief of NHK, the national broadcaster, plus an ongoing bid to change the country’s pacifist constitution, and Japan is in real danger of heading in a very worrying direction indeed.
But for the man below, it must feel like his moment has finally come. A chance to instil hatred and spread further lies. A chance to ignorantly repeat history. And a chance to at last turn the clock back to a time he never knew.
At a youthful 24, the man below opened a little izakaya (Japanese bar) in a suburb of western Tokyo. A simple affair selling equally simple fare. And remarkably, 50 years down the line, they are both still there. Still with the same setup too. Only the faces have changed.
Tokyo has its fair share of antique markets, many of which offer an interesting look into Japan’s past — both of the fairly recent variety, and much further back. But they can also offer you a look at something you’d rather not have seen, either in the past, or the present.