Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Tokyo Station - March 1991 #2"

The continuation of a day I spent in March 1991 video-recording in and around Tokyo Station. At the time I took this video (and the others I took in 1990-92), the purpose was to record "present-day Japan", but now - eighteen years later - suddenly the videos are a record of the past. There are a number of things in this video which no longer exist, starting with the area between the back of the old brick station building and the elevated tracks (now part of the expanded platform access area), and including a view of a cigarette vending machine with only Japanese brands (before barriers to imports were lifted), a pre-touch screen ticket machine with it's illuminated round buttons, pre-cell phone people actually using public telephones on the platform, the Dai-Maru Department Store (closed quite a while ago - the building is now being demolished), the Marunouchi Business district before any of the high-rise office towers went up, the Chuo Line running low before the high (and relocated) platform was built, etc:

Availability note: For news organizations, movie-media companies, advertising agencies, etc., that might be interested in using any of this material, this YouTube video is of very low resolution, but the original is of basically DVD-level quality (although converted from Hi8 analog to digital). The video quality is - naturally - not as sharp as images generated by recent digital video cameras, but - interestingly - the sound quality is better. The cameras I used recorded digital sound and had isolated microphones of higher quality (and with wind screens) than the newer digital cameras, which have microphones built into the case of the camera, with no wind screens and higher susceptibility to wind noise. So even if you're not interested in the pictures overly much, if you need authentic sounds from 1990-92 Tokyo, the sound quality of what I have is good. And - final note - this clip is a tiny part of the original footage - I have a few hundred hours of tape from 1990-92.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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