Every day, we wake up in our hovel in Shibuya, checking in on the jet lag and the news of the world.
“Don’t tell me about Trump,” Caroline says. “Part of why I agree to travel is to spend less time in Trump’s US.”
And then she reports,
“You know, Trump is going to start a war with Iran,”
before I’ve even had a cup of coffee.
We travel to get away from the chaos and to learn about our world,
to make it smaller, to learn how other places cope with the challenges,
how the Zen Buddhists deal with the tragedies of history.
How Japanese punk bands cope with melody.
Or artists and illustrators integrate the history of Japanese art into their style.
You could spend your lifetime exploring this place.
But the chaos of home is never that far away.
We see it in the xenophobia of our president and the
“Send them back,” chants he instigates, bringing over racist rhetoric through the bully pulpit.
Things are crazy all over.
Sitting over a coffee at Nora’s Coffee Table in Setagaya two days ago, yesterday Caroline is feeling less jet lagged.
“Its fun traveling with you guys. When I was young I never went anywhere. But we’ve been everywhere together.”
Earlier in the day, she booked tickets for us to journey out to Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Cambodia before returning to Tokyo.
There is so much to learn about our relationship to the world,
Europeans and Americans arriving here, bringing trade, conflicts, wars, and geopolitics,
one horror and exchange after another.
But that’s not for another week, so we explore one neighborhood at a time,
venturing out to Shibuya, navigating entrances, exits, trainlines to the East, West, South and North.
Navigating language and customs, order and chaos.
Bodies lunging from one direction to the next,
School girls in uniform.
Elders trying to get a seat.
Its not easy making our way around the world, to see, to learn from, to learn about ourselves,
And our connections to it all,
Our pollution, heating the planet.
Hopefully we can learn enough about each other.
To save it.
If its savable?
Or witness the carnage.
In Setagaya, we explore the shops and curvy streets.
The Village Vanguard is full of manga comics and punk records,
Kitsch and Tokyo pop, we love Japan.
Lunch is even better.
Simple ramen, but so so good.
Not a bad meal since we’ve gotten here.
Yakatori, the noodles, everything.
We have no idea how to order.
A man sitting by us helps.
We drink a beer taking it all in before going home for a siesta.
The temples will have to wait.
Later in the evening, the teenager makes a cameo.
We enjoy some rice balls and a little catch up from her world
Of modeling every day.
Lots of jobs and castings.
Its rainy out.
The lights of Kaukicho go on forever.
Everything is there.
School girls and massages for older men.
Trump’s buddy Jeffrey Epstein would love it
Something for everyone.
We’all crazy here.
Trying to come to grips with it all.
On July 17th
Suspected Arson at Kyoto Animation Studio Kills Three, Shocking Nation.
“TOKYO — The attacker was heard screaming “Die!” as he ignited the liquid he had splashed around an anime studio in Japan.