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Shinsato
January 2, 2004 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Shinsato: Great vacant night cityscapes of Osaka and Tokyo.
posted by hama7 (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sunny daytimes too.
posted by hama7 at 9:10 PM on January 2, 2004


I try and find modern cityscapes like these, but the searching doesn't produce anything close to the beautiful photos by this Japanese photographer. Does anyone have other suggestions as well? The shots would make great desktops.
posted by Kami at 9:34 PM on January 2, 2004


Neato!
posted by Slimemonster at 10:29 PM on January 2, 2004


Another excellent post, hama7 - thanks!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:58 PM on January 2, 2004


whoa, neat. I wonder how late it has to be before the streets get empty like that? And how'd he find places to take some of those building-top shots? Too cool.
posted by vorfeed at 12:51 AM on January 3, 2004


[this is good]
posted by plep at 2:09 AM on January 3, 2004


WOW, and I thought it was Shanghai with the overhead wires problem... (see the daytimes link)

PS, thanks hama7, very fantastic!

HELP, the signage, I can't escape it!
posted by PigAlien at 6:16 AM on January 3, 2004


On further inspection, that's insane. It's no wonder Japanese culture is fixated with simple cartoon characters and whatnot. In that cityscape, only the most basic, loud symbolism and fonts will get your attention. Anything which can't be digested in 1/4 of a second is simply too complicated to pay attention to.

People in America are frightened of a 'Minority Report' future where advertising is ubiquitous and follows us around everywhere, but its apparently already here in Japan. I wonder what the 'harmful' repercussions have been...

I think it fascinating that a culture that worships nature to the point they will pay $40 for a canteloupe fastidiously wrapped in a giftbox with cellophane and a ribbon could devolve to the point of absolutely no signs of the natural in their cityscape. Even the manmade has disappeared under the advertising (which is manmade, but inhabits another sphere entirely - the metamanmade?).

Even in New York, America's densest urban center, most stores are content with an awning and perhaps a small sign. The buildings in these pictures are covered head to toe and out into the street with blazing lighted signs. Of course, Times Square in NY is very reminiscent of these scenes, but I get the impression these pictures are from quite normal commercial areas and are not out-of-the-ordinary.

None of the above is any kind of complaint, rather an observation of the remarkable cultural differences. I think it would be fascinating to live there (for a time, at least).
posted by PigAlien at 6:28 AM on January 3, 2004


These shots really take me back to my days in Japan more than the usual Big Neon shots do.

PigAlien: The juxtaposition of Japanese aesthetics vs Japanese urban reality (ugly concrete, few parks, cluttered signage) is fascinating (and unsettling). Not just urban...I hear that in the last twenty years they've changed most of their rivers to concrete channels.
posted by kozad at 8:24 AM on January 3, 2004


Even in New York, America's densest urban center, most stores are content with an awning and perhaps a small sign. The buildings in these pictures are covered head to toe and out into the street with blazing lighted signs.

Many of the businesses in Tokyo are in very narrow, tall buildings, where each floor (or couple of floors) is a different business. When your business is the only thing in its building, you can get away with an unobtrusive sign, because the outline of building itself draws the eye. When you're on the fifth floor of the third building in a block crammed full of six and seven story places, nobody's going to be able to find you from ground level without aggressive signage. The whole thing gets worse when you realize that most of the small streets in Tokyo aren't named - people have to be able to find your business using a map or directions.

The signs are kind of obnoxious, but they're also a bit of a necessity... and they can have a beauty of their own. There's a Matsumoto Kiyoshi drugstore in Shibuya with a wonderful sign - bright yellow background, gigantic red neon "?", with "Matsumoto Kiyoshi" below it in black English text. It was striking enough that I still remember it, despite the rather cumbersome name.
posted by vorfeed at 7:44 PM on January 3, 2004


argh, those cursed question marks. Anyway, it's a huge, red kanji for "kusuri", drugs. But mefi doesn't wanna display it.
posted by vorfeed at 7:48 PM on January 3, 2004


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