Calton Bolick's And So It Goes Fotopage
The day-to-day visual detritus of Calton Bolick's life in Japan
By: Calton Bolick

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Monday, 15-Sep-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
TV show shoot

Checking the actor's mark
Checking the actor's mark
Obviously, the creative guy (in Hollywood, he'd have a ponytail)
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Last weekend, while having lunch at the Pret a Manger sandwich shop in west Shinjuku, I stumbled over a TV show being shot outside the place. They set up two scenes while I ate my crayfish-and-rucola sandwich, just outside the window where I sat.

One shot involved a fashionably dressed young woman in a big hat and carrying a shopping bag sauntering across the plaza (stopping in front of a signboard advertising "Fish and Chips, $3.50). The other involved a young woman leaving the sandwich shop, bowing to someone standing in the doorway, and then getting in a left-hand-drive Renault parked a couple of feet outside.

That last shot was set up while I was still inside, trapping me there until I slipped out between takes.

I have no idea what TV show this is for, and since I rarely watch Japanese TV, I probably won't ever find out.

Tuesday, 26-Aug-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Edo-Tokyo Architectural Museum, Part 3 - Soy Sauce Shop & Sento

Soy sauce shop
Soy sauce shop fireproof storehouse
Have a beer
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The soy sauce shop is where, a couple of years ago during a visit with a friend from California, the following conversation with a little old lady docent took place:

Docent: This is a shop that used to sell soy sauce. Do you have soy sauce in California?

Us: Yes, we do.

Docent: Also, they use to sell other things, such as whale meat. Do they have whale meat in California?

Us: Umm, no.

One of the centerpieces of the Museum is an old-fashioned neighborhood public bathhouse, known as a sento.

As for the bathhouse, The Museum, in its posters, tries to draw parallels between it and the sumptious bathhouse depicted in "Spirited Away", though of course they look nothing alike. Just an appeal to nostalgia, I assume.

Bathhouses are still around, of course: there are two in the immediate vicinity of my home in suburban western Tokyo.

Monday, 25-Aug-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum, Part 2 - Lower City

A cosmetics workshop/store
A cosmetics workshop/store
Old Tokyo streetcar
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"Shitamachi" (which literally means "lower city") is what they call the working class neighborhoods of old Tokyo, where the working people, shops, and workshops are. A section of the museum is devoted to preserving some these old buildings.

Coming tomorrow: the bathhouse and the izakaya.

Sunday, 24-Aug-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum, Part 1 - Nice Houses

Museum signpost (it's a bit of a hike to reach inside the park)
A surreptitious shot of the "Spirited Away" exhibition
The 1925 Western-style residence of Kunio Mayekawa
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On Saturday, I made my first big photo expedition, to the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum in the suburbs of western Tokyo. It's a building museum, with a couple of dozen buildings located in a park in Musashi-Kogenai.

At the moment, they have an exhibition of art from the Hayao Miyazaki movie "Spirited Away," with original background paintings, character sketches, conceptual art, and workbooks. No photographs allowed, of course.

Thursday, 21-Aug-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Old (well, older) photos of Japanese traditional crafts

The crowds windowshop at the Japan Traditonal Crafts Fair
Pottery at the Japan Traditonal Crafts Fair
The washi (handmade paper) booth
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Some photos I took back in March--using an old Kodak digital camera I borrowed from a friend--of the Japan Traditonal Crafts Fair, held at the Tokyo Dome City Exhibition Hall.

Essentially a showcase--and market--for regional handicrafts, some ancient, some more modern. Unfortunately, I didn't take notes, so I don't have much information about what you're seeing here.

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