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April 5, 2011 12:28 AM   Subscribe

If you've been to Tokyo anytime in the past few months, you can't have missed seeing the new Tokyo Sky Tree [images | official website]. The tower is not quite finished, but is already the world's tallest tower (and second highest structure after the Burj Khalifa). But that's not what this post is about. "A tower resembling Tokyo Sky Tree -- the world's tallest broadcasting tower currently under construction in Tokyo's Sumida Ward -- has been found depicted on a landscape ukiyo-e woodblock print from the mid-19th century." And they aren't kidding!
posted by woodblock100 (37 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Larger image is on the website of the Asian Art Museum
posted by woodblock100 at 12:31 AM on April 5, 2011


Yes, the best artists steal.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:40 AM on April 5, 2011


Strangely enough, the name "Tokyo Sky Tree," though seemingly in English, is actually Japanese for "Tokyo's Giant Eyesore." It's funny how language works sometimes.

Snazzy post, by the way.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:10 AM on April 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Viral marketing.
posted by amethysts at 1:11 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


For Doctor Who series 6.
posted by mek at 1:34 AM on April 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


Tokyo time-traveling-seeing-into-the-future ukiyo-e dude kakkoiiiiiiiii !!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:35 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW, I see Sky Tree pretty much every day (it's visible at several points in my neighborhood) and I've noticed that the construction cranes near the top, normally moving about, have been straight up and unchanging in their position since 3/11. I've been wondering if maybe construction has been halted since the quake. No news on that, though, that I can find, anyway.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:41 AM on April 5, 2011


But the object in the woodblock print has at least three crosspiece thingies on it, and the images of the Tokyo Sky Tree show that it has only two rings or whatever breaking up the silhouette. So clearly the artist must have been seeing even further into the future when an even larger three ringed Tokyo Sky Tree will be built. He's an even greater prophet than we thought!
posted by Kevin Street at 1:42 AM on April 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


three ringed Tokyo Sky Tree

That's the one Barnum and Bailey are gonna build.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:49 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


It was the transmitter for Radio Free Edo. As opposed to the radio-free Edo we have been dealing with up until now.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:56 AM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


flapjax, one of the things my friends and I have wondered about was, well, the earthquake happened just before 3 pm. Wouldn't that mean the guys at the top would be still at the top when it hit? Then add to it that more than likely the elevators they ride up there (and back down) would have stopped? When, and how did they get down? If they were up there, I don't even want to know how bad it was at the top, though I imagine it would have been pretty vomit inducing, which leads to other, much, much less pleasant questions about people who live close to the tower.

No amount of money could get me to work up there. Then again, I've had outright panic attacks in cable cars on windy days, so that's just right out.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:27 AM on April 5, 2011


My god...has anyone considered the terrifying implications here? It means time travelers have somehow acquired the technology to make ukiyo-e prints!

...and if you look very carefully in the background, you can see a weird hipster-looking guy and an old lady talking on a cellphone.
posted by PlusDistance at 3:58 AM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


How 'bout the B-52s flying overhead?
posted by Faze at 4:19 AM on April 5, 2011


I...fuck.

Carl, if you're reading this, you're a douche. I'm going to sort this out for you just like I sorted out the last three fucking times, but so help me God, if there's a next time your grandfather gets it right between the fucking eyes.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:28 AM on April 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


grandfather     ... great-great-grandfather (?)
posted by woodblock100 at 4:30 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nah, the Sky Tree has two nodule things, and the one in the woodblock clearly has three.

It's obviously another tower, probably from the future.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:40 AM on April 5, 2011


I have seen the future
it is murder.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:45 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes: rape, murder; it's just a shot away.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:52 AM on April 5, 2011


"It's hard to believe it was simply coincidence," he said.

You know, unless you aren't a superstitious git.
posted by nickgb at 5:53 AM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Higher res. image.

Maybe a lookout tower?
posted by HumanComplex at 6:55 AM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


grandfather ... great-great-grandfather (?)

great-great-grandson. I mean, didn't you study in time-travel logistics 302? Or were you always hungover from those jaunts to the 2350's? Man, those were the days...
posted by Ghidorah at 7:00 AM on April 5, 2011


Time travel aside, though, has anybody checked with the architects as to whether they based their design on classic architecture? I think coincidence is much more likely, but that does seem possible to me.
posted by you're a kitty! at 7:18 AM on April 5, 2011


lookout tower>

Or perhaps it was near the new year season, and the firemen built a very tall tower for their exhibition that year.
posted by woodblock100 at 7:21 AM on April 5, 2011


nobody has commented on the fine asses of those two fishermen?
metafilter, am disappoint :D
posted by liza at 7:39 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


How many of us saw this woodblock print before today?

Exactly.

The museum curator crayoned it in when we weren't looking.
posted by storybored at 7:42 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


*rolls eyes* You guys, it's not the Sky Tree. Let's not be ridiculous.

It's clearly an Edo era high definition wood block print transmitter.
posted by gc at 7:43 AM on April 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


KAWASAKI, Kanagawa -- A tower resembling Tokyo Sky Tree -- the world's tallest broadcasting tower currently under construction in Tokyo's Sumida Ward MOST OTHER TALL THINGS -- has been found depicted on a landscape ukiyo-e woodblock print from the mid-19th century, attracting public attention at a museum here.

FTFY, Mainichi Daily News
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:48 AM on April 5, 2011


Momus can explain.
posted by puny human at 7:52 AM on April 5, 2011


Man, those were the days...

Those will have yet to be the days?
posted by Molesome at 8:12 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Those will have yet to be the days, my friend,
We thought they will have never ended.
We'll sung and danced, forever and yesterday.
posted by maryr at 8:52 AM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait. So you're telling me that once someone made an illustration of a tower and now there's a tower being built in Tokyo?

My mind. It is... it's... well... I guess it's the same as it was before I saw the two unrelated and dissimilar towers.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:08 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The important question is of course... Have they factored in the Godzilla problem ?
You know he's gonna be swinging about; "Hey King Kong ! Look what I'm doing !"
posted by Webbster at 9:54 AM on April 5, 2011


Has anyone checked to see if that big ass wooden bridge on the right side of the print resembles a bridge that exists right now?
posted by zzazazz at 9:59 AM on April 5, 2011


Wait. So you're telling me that once someone made an illustration of a tower and now there's a tower being built in Tokyo?

Well, the curious point about the thing is that there were no such towers - of that kind of height - back there in those days. The fire tower visible to the left of the mystery tall one is a typical example of the tallest things that they built. It defies common explanations, and we're left with wondering why on earth Kuniyoshi would fantasize about an impossibly tall structure towering over the city, back the days when such things were completely inconceivable.
posted by woodblock100 at 2:16 PM on April 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Pfffft. Eiffel Tower meets Space Needle. Ripoff!

I wonder why 1. obvious penis-envy projects became popular while big, blocky pyramid-style projects went out of style? (At least they served a purpose.) 2. Why do people tolerate these (let's toss in the ISS) extravagant statements of vanity? Are they not just facile substitutes for the future we really want, and will forever be denied?

If you meet Ozymandias on the road, kill him!
posted by Twang at 2:22 PM on April 5, 2011


those two fishermen?

Cylons. The tower has happened before, and it will happen again.

Oh, me? No, I'm a space angel.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:26 PM on April 5, 2011


Those will have yet to be the days?

Those will have yet to have been the days. For most instances of have. If the tachyon field is right.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:29 PM on April 5, 2011


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