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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Middle-aged in Tokyo


Statue in Kojimachi, Tokyo.The office being in one of Tokyo’s main business districts, Kojimachi, I make a habit of wandering the neighborhood at lunchtimes looking for new places to eat. Lunch was very late today – after 2.30pm, which is when nearly all the restaurants except the most fast-food-style ones close to prepare for dinner. So after swallowing a very quick bowl of cold soba noodles I kept walking just for the sake of it.

Statue in Kojimachi, Tokyo.
Right next to what translates as something like the All-Japan Municipal Hall (i.e. where various municipalities nationwide have their presence) is a small space – a building-sized gap in the row of buildings that lines the street between Kojimachi station and Nagatacho station. It has been turned into something like a park. In spite of the size restrictions it has been very tastefully done with a main walkway from one street to the other, and off it a paved footpath that winds briefly through, and is shaded by, trees and other vegetation.

Statue in Kojimachi, Tokyo.I had never investigated it before so walked into it, and discovered a series of quirky porcelain sculptures. After the novelty of staring at them had worn off a little, I took the opportunity of looking at the details incribed on the plinths they stood on. I'm afraid I didn't have any writing material with me, so I don't remember clearly, but I am pretty certain that in spite of the striking visual similarities, they were not all by the same artist.

Statue in Kojimachi, Tokyo.Anyway, I have put up four of them here: two flying characters, one looking a bit shocked, the other looking plain grumpy, and two busts: a glum man and a haughty woman. (Click on them to enlarge.) The latter two particularly aroused my interest in that their titles correspond to the stage I have reached: "middle age". Being 40+ isn’t really as bad as this artist made out though – I promise!

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