An official in this illustration is depicted carrying an umbrella labelled "dogmatism," refusing to let the rain water the flowers and plants. A writer nearby asks him "Why won't you let the flowers and sprouts get some spring rain?" The official answers "That would never do! As soon as there is rain, poisonous weeds would grow up."
This is a photograph of a typical shopping arcade; such arcades are fairly common in Japanese cities. The arcade is three or four blocks long, is covered by the roof the entire length of the arcade, and, of course, is open only to foot traffic and bicycles. The variety of shops in the arcade is great and includes, in the instance of this specific arcade, the following shops, as well as others --hard ware store, fish market, fruit and vegetable shops, pharmacy / variety store, McDonald's restaurant, beauty shop, clothing stores, tea ware gallery, pachinko parlor, bread bakery shop, Mister Donut shop, and a 100-Yen store (a bargain store). [other images in this colletion will show some of these individual shops]
This poster was photographed in front of a post office in Japan in 1998. The red triangular motif in the lower left is the logo for the "Peace People Japan." The interesting aspect, of course, is the depiction of a young woman, dressed in uniform, with wrenches in hand as she approaches a helicoptor. While much of Japan remains bound by tradition and roles defined by tradition, there is also far reaching social change occurring, with redefinitions of gender roles, etc.
Flat land used for cities, Tokyo viewed from the top of Tokyo Tower. -- Flat land is scarce and very valuable in Japan. It is the most productive agricultural land, and also the easiest land upon which to build. Consequently. there is great competition and tension between development and agricultural interests. As the population increases and more people move from rural to urban areas, Japanese cities continue to expand and an increasing proportion of flat land is lost to agricultural and other uses.
This wedding couple, in their decidedly non-traditional attire, in a hotel, where their wedding was held, present an interesting comparison with the wedding parties seen in images soc000745 and ecasia000861. -- The wedding ceremony is one of many areas in which one may see a remarkable range of cultures and mixing of cultures, old and new, etc. Many couples today continue to be married in the ancient and indigenous Shinto tradition, often at a traditional shrine but also sometimes in a hall at a hotel, with the hall having been designated as a shrine to provide a proper setting for Shinto wedding ceremonies. Some couples today, being Christian, are married in a Christian ceremony in a church or, sometimes, again, in a â€œwedding hallâ€ in a hotel. Today it is not unusual for a couple to be wed in a Christian church or in a Christian ceremony in a hotel wedding hall, even though they may be non-Christians.
Rice fields, Mt. Iwate, west of Morioka. -- Here, competing uses for flat alluvial plains for agriculture and urban expansion are evident. Originally this was all agricultural, but now the growing suburbs of Morioka are encroaching on the land. The volcanic cone of Mt. Iwate rises above the plain.
Portrait of Qiu Jin, a "spirited radical" woman and supporter of Sun Yat-sen's Revolutionary Alliance.
This is a view of the interior of a new store in Japan. It is the type of store that would be referred to as a "super store" or "super center" in the U.S. I.e., it carries groceries, drug store items and sundries, stationary, books and magazines, household items, etc. The emergence of this style of retailing is relatively recent in Japan.
This poster, encouraging citizens to report suspicions of hand guns being suggled into Japan or trafficked in, etc., was photographed at the police substation in front of the Nara JR rail station, 1998. Like most of the industrialized world, Japan has been undergoing social change at an astonishing and accelerating rate in the latter part of the 20th c. and the beginning of the 21st c. How one might interpret the meaning of this poster is probably open to very considerable disagreement and argument, but the mere fact of its existence will be disquieting to many persons.
Flat land used for new suburbs west of Morioka. -- This illustrates how a burgeoning population and demand for housing leads to suburban sprawl onto available flat land. The ridges remain forested while the flat alluvial plain is occupied by new homes. Previously this was agricultural land.