Japan tends to be the kind of place where things are done totally, or not done at all, and where the thing being done is not as important as the act of, and amount of effort being put into, doing it.
These were thoughts in my head triggered by walking past a small neighborhood cakeshop in Nakano ward this evening, near Shin Nakano station.
The big cake in the window is what caught my eye: it's manga-a-gogo with some over the top scene of Wagnerian heroism being played out in icing.
Right below it, from the sublime to - well, it's a bit mean to call it the 'ridiculous' - let's say from dry gasps to warm gurgles, is the other extreme of Japanese pop culture, the kawaii, or 'cute'. The pussy cat cake on the left, for 3,990 yen, is entitled 'Decolation' (replace that 'l' with an 'r') and is described as a 'fig sandwich' - kind of redefining the word 'sandwich' there a bit.
The white pussy on the right, for 3,675 yen, is simply called a 'shortcake' - again, stretching definitions a little.
The majestic creation at the top has no name or price, and I suspect is there just to do what it did to me: make you stop in your tracks.
Buy beautiful and unique cast iron calligraphy paperweights.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006