Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Kanro: Sparrows enter the water and turn into clams/ chrysanthemums bloom (5 of 5)

October 19th, 2008


[click on image to play]

The best way to spend a beautiful Autumn Sunday is to go to the park. Yoyogi park in Shibuya-ku (ward) is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. A great variety of things happen there. In addition to the tourist attractions (e.g. the cozplay kozo’s outrageous outfits on display, the rock-n-rollers’ freestyle demos, the odd-n-sods at the flea market, the yakimonos, as in yakitori, takoyaki, okonomiyaki), the following is a list of activities we saw today:

+ Picnicing
+ Dog-walking – including dogs in kennels with wheels on them
+ Badminton and paddle ball played mostly by dating couples
+ Kicking or throwing a ball around
+ Frisbie – one was a very large flying saucer
+ Writing – with a pen that lit up each time the nib touched paper
+ Foraging – for pastachio (?) nuts
+ Chasing your friends around
+ Kite-flying
+ Baseball / catch
+ Rose appreciation
+ Botonizing
+ Cycling
+ Jogging
+ Drama practice
+ Clarinet practice
+ Painting
+ Mutual painting critique
+ Sit-ups
+ Napping
+ Photography – of all types
+ Yo-yo group practice
+ Martial arts class
+ Dance-routine practice – as if you were a pop-singer on stage
+ Performance practice – involving big groups
+ Band practice – double-base and drums
+ Jamming – Acoustic guitars
+ Broom-stick dancing – twenty odd people practicing a dance(?) routine with yard brooms

You see people wander out of the park wearing irrepressible smiles. Perhaps they have found a place where they can just be themselves. And if sparrows want to turn into clams, so be it.

3 Responses to “Kanro: Sparrows enter the water and turn into clams/ chrysanthemums bloom (5 of 5)”

  1. 1 Margaret in Perth
    October 20th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    I’ve been thinking about you both recently. The Australian garden, planted when you went away, is now quite big- especially the Grevillea Caloundra Gem which never stops flowering. The three little Melaleucas, not fast growers, are nevertheless quite tall. The one you gave me is as tall as the front fence. I think it may be a bit overcrowed, and I did not take proper account of how big everything would get, but I am pleased with the reticulation and I am now installing the narrow gauge drip system everywhere else.

  2. 2 Silvia Kwon
    November 7th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I wonder if those living in Tokyo find it difficult to express themselves (in their individual interests) due to small living spaces.. and the park provides an open space for these diverse individuals who inhabit the city to lose their inhibitions. We have backyards etc. to ‘muck around’ and relax and the park serves a similar purpose. I was thinking of our badminton playing in your former home in Bayswater.

  3. 3 jolaw
    November 7th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    People take their hobbies very seriously here. They often belong to a club or three. Our friend, Fukushima-san, runs the English club, belongs to a blue grass band, and is going to sit an exam on Kubuki (just for the hell of it). Do you remember the time when people would ask you what your hobby is? It is a perfectly valid question to ask here.

    And the public spaces here are literally public. In addition to that public primary schools generally allow local citizens to use their facilities on the weekends so long as they don’t interfere with any scheduled activities. So if your apartment is too small to practice your dance routine, why not use the gym at the primary school down the road. Or if your neighbour complains about your trumpet-playing, why not practice it under the traffic bridge by the river (we actually saw this).