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Friday, April 28, 2006

Traffic accident

運転事故

Traffic accident in Kojimachi, Tokyo.

On my lunchbreak today I came across this scene. A ‘Hinomaru’ (Rising Sun) taxi had just hit something, buckling its bumper. It speaks to a few different things: the domicility of Japanese authority – the cop having pedaled to the rescue on his bike; the bureaucratic element – both are carrying clipboards, and the policeman looks more like a parking warden than a policeman here; the Japanese love of pose and gesture: the taxi driver gesticulating with that distinctive delicate grandiosity and earth-bound flair. The only atypical thing about the scene is that the taxi is damaged. With the risks they take and the bottlenecks they squeeze through with only millimeters to spare, you’d expect the above to be a common sight; but, as far as I remember, this is the first instance I’ve seen. (Click on photo to expand.)

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