It’s 6:30 am and I’m still awake

I have always considered myself to be a nocturnal animal. I love the night, I love the cool wind and the various shades of shadowy black and blue. In Japan, I especially loved the nights in Tokyo, particularly in the neon lit areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya. There is something so cool in the colorful lights against the gray Tokyo sky. It was even better on rainy nights when the neon lights reflects off the wet pavement. The lights gives meaning to the night, the reflection gives life to the street. And vice versa. This post-modern effect in which significance is is brought forth by the different elements affecting each other synchronically into a single context–or intertext, if you will–is remarkably attractive. This is one of the reasons I find Detachables photos so intriguing. Her ability to capture images–usually night images, if I recall–has the same effect… Oh, if only I could take decent pics as well.

The image here is “borrowed” from http://www.ruutukaappaus.com/. It is taken from the large intersection northe west of Shinjuku Station, and looks east down Yasukuni Avenue, I believe. The bright buildings to the left create the border of what would be Kabuki-cho, the red light district of Shinjuku. I kick myself in the butt for never having taken cool pics when I lived in Japan. In total, I lived there for about 10 years, and the longest uninterupted stretch was from 1990-96.

The following is a senryu poem my father wrote that might reflect this photo:

塵埃じんないの都会とかいと見みえぬ夜のネオン
jin’ai no tokai to mienu yo no neon
It doesn’t look like
the dirt of the metropolis:
the night neon

As the poem suggests, the neon lights look beautiful at night and do not appear to represent all that might be considered the dirty, seedier side of a large city. But then, my dad never went to Kabuki-cho, I think. Hehehehe. If he had, I think he would have learned immediately that the neon signs do equal the seedier side of Tokyo… um… er… not that I’m speaking from experience, of course…

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