Sunday, June 16, 2013

"1991 Omiya, Toyoko Line, Etc.; 2013 Asakusa, Toyoko Line, Kamata, Etc."

Going here and there in Tokyo - bouncing back and forth between 2013 and 1991 - and revisiting a few places highlighted in 1991 videos this time around as well - specifically Gakugeidaigaku Station, Toritsudaigaku Station and Jiyugaoka Stations on the Toyoko Line and (if you scroll down the page for 1991 views) Asakusa.  Actually, Asakusa was covered last week, but there are some new videos of another visit there after that one.
1991 Tokyo Suburbia (910508) 1991年の散策散歩
Some typical scenes of suburban Tokyo (on the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line).  Pretty ordinary stuff, but as time passes, this type of thing strangely takes on more meaning.  I guess that's due to over-coverage of the famous areas and under-coverage of the ordinary areas - and then as time passes and ordinary places change, suddenly it becomes apparent that there's almost no record of what was most common at the time....
At about the 3:52 mark, one of the old type Red Arrow trains passes.
I'm not sure why I recorded the evidence of trash day - either for no particular reason, or else because this was just as the first plans for trash separation began to be implemented.  In any case, in the area I was taking video, it appeared to be the old way, with everything just tossed out together?  Not sure, but certainly trash is much more carefully separated now than it was at the time I took this video.

1991 Watching One of my Analog Videos on a CRT TV (910525)

A short video that starts out showing Omoide-Yokocho in Shinjuku - which was playing on an old (current at the time) cathode ray tube (CRT) television set, running from an analog tape deck (modern technology at the time) playing a tape I'd taken previously.
There is also a quick view of one of my video cameras - an analog Hi-8 camera... modern technology at the time.  Not long before this, video cameras consisted of two parts - a camera and a tape deck, with a cable connecting the two.  You'd wear the tape deck like a shoulder bag and operate the camera with... I'm embarrassed to even finish the sentence - what else but your hands?  (Your feet?)  In any case, the all-in-one design was a big deal at the time.  Just the one machine, with no cables.  If you're interested in what I recorded the 1991 stuff in this back of videos with - that's the type of machine, right there.  It looks huge from the side, but head-on, it wasn't very large, and the matte-black color actually made it a lot less conspicuous than you might think.  From the side, it sure stood out though.

1991 Hibarigaoka Afternoon (910614) 午後のひばりが丘
This shows Hibarigaoka just before a lot of new construction kicked into high gear.  The empty lot used to be a series of old wooden buildings.  They began constructing the Parco Building, etc. from about this time.  In my 1990 videos, the old stuff is still there, and later in 1991, there are obvious signs of construction.

1991年 大宮までの電車旅 Trip to Omiya (910524)
This includes views of the east side of Ikebukuro Station before I continued on to Omiya via a couple of trains.  I was just going to say something about how you get used to transferring here and there as you go about the city, which is true enough, but they've made a lot of changes to the system so that, if you choose the train you take carefully, you can often use several lines without changing trains (through agreements between different lines and companies where the train continues on, running on another company's rails).
1991 Bicycle Cleanup at Miyahara Station 大宮の宮原駅自転車片付け (910524)
At the time I watched them tossing bicycles onto a truck to be hauled away, I thought it was a good thing, since I was a little irritated about the way people would leave their bikes anywhere - blocking the entrances to stores, etc., but I view it from a different perspective now.  It seems to me that far too much emphasis is placed on making things easy for owners of fire-breathing machinery these days.  Out in the countryside is one thing, but cars are basically a curse in Tokyo.  The more they make it easy for the fire-breathing machinery, the worse it gets for human beings.  More convenient for some?  Something like one in a thousand and one.  Make life worse for 1,000 people so one can drive a fire-breathing machine?  It's short-sighted madness I say!

1991年 宮原駅-池袋駅 夜の電車 Omiya to Ikebukuro Night Train (910524)

It's a little hard to pin down just what has changed so much between 1991 and 2013 when I watch this now, but the atmosphere is quite different.  Is it just that the current young generation is a completely new set of people (a huge reason), or is there something else in the background?  New bipeds and their new radio waves taking over I guess.  Of course, manual ticket gates and (virtually) no cell phones is a big deal as well.
Asakusa Sensoji-360 浅草の浅草寺での見回り (130528)
浅草寺の仲見世通り Asakusa Sensoji Souvenir Shop Area (130528)
秋葉原駅ホームの様子 360-Degree Look Around at Akihabara Station (130528)
Akiba Yodobashi Camera (below)
神田駅-有楽町駅 (山手線) Kanda to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 130528
Susanna Niederer スザンナニーデラー展 APS-Gallery and Gallery Kobo 巷房 (130528)

Evening Edge of Ginza 夕暮れの銀座隣 (有楽町) 130528
Twilight Yurakucho Plaza 夕暮れの有楽町広場 (130528)
Yurakucho Station at Night 夜の有楽町駅 - 改札口からホームまで (130528)
Missing Platform Seats - Yurakucho to Tokyo 有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) 130528
Typical Tokyo thing.  One day something that has been part of your surroundings for many years just suddenly disappears.  They've accelerated the installation of power-hungry (at least 88 electric motors in motion per train - 11 cars x 4 doors x 2 doors) platform walls on the Yamanote Line (so they can ditch the conductors) and they probably need the space the seats used to be in, in order to make a platform shed for construction equipment while they're installing the platform walls and electric doors.  (It would have made more sense to have installed passive barriers with openings for the doors I think, but then they would have had to keep the conductors to keep an eye on the platform still.)

Setting off into the Night on the Chuo Line 中央線で夜へ出発 (130528)
Exiting Shinjuku Station via South Exit 新宿駅 - ホームから南口へ (130528)
Kanda Station Under Construction - Looking Around 工事中神田駅の見回り (130530)
Very extensive construction continues at Kanda Station - I'm wondering what the finished station will end up looking like!  In this video I was about to get on the train when I noticed the old elements of that stairwell, so I thought I'd get a quick record of that before it's vaporized... and I missed the train.  It turned out to be a good thing though, as it gave me time to have a more careful look at the ongoing construction work, and to discover some brick elements to the station, which have got to go back pretty far in the station's history.  Noticing similar brick at another station, I think that is part of the structure of the elevated platforms.
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda Station Under Construction - 工事中神田駅
Kanda to Hamamatsucho - Yamanote Line 神田駅-浜松町駅 - 山手線左側 (130530)
Hibiya-Dori-360 by Zojoji 増上寺近くの日比谷通りの様子 (130530)
Hamamatsucho to Yurakucho (Yamanote Line) 浜松町駅-有楽町駅 (山手線) 130530
Higashi-Koganei to Mitaka (Chuo Line) 東小金井駅-三鷹駅 (中央線) 130601

中野駅-新宿駅 (中央線) Nakano to Shinjuku (Inbound Chuo Line) 130601

Yurakucho Station Kokusai Forum Exit 有楽町駅国際フォーラム出口 (130530)

Art Space Rondo 工房アンダンテ吉田直樹 Andante - Yoshida Naoki (130530g)

A fascinating exhibition of woodwork art, including custom speakers which exhibited good quality sound and artistic design.  At about the 0:05 mark in the video, you can see them on the left - very tall and narrow, with the actual speaker facing down, and a bass port facing forward at the top of the box.
This gallery simultaneously showcases its cool space/ambiance in the 1932 half of the 1932/1934 Ginza Okuno Building along with various artistic art - which I see (from running a Google search) is an existing term - but I use it here to make a distinction between "artistic art" and "dealer art".

The problem with the art world, as a business, is that (among others) two non-artistic factors heavily influence the marketability of art: supply and name/brand recognition, which means art from a deceased famous artist is what is considered the safest investment.  So since the profit lies with those two factors, often really ugly garbage that isn't artistic at all is easy to sell, because (for one reason or another) the artist's name has been developed/marketed/hyped, and if their output is limited (or finished), anything with their name on it is considered to have value.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are prolific artistic artists who produce beautiful art, but have trouble convincing people to buy it - not because people don't find it appealing, but because they have no guidelines as to the investment value of the work, and lack the courage to invest in art that they like for its own appeal - based on their own reaction(s) to it.

That said - perhaps not too much scorn should be heaped upon spineless investors.  They're not artists, and never will be.  They don't deeply understand art, and never will.  Add into this the bogus "artists" who market absolute garbage with no value whatsoever; neither artistic nor as a long-term investment, and someone without the needed combination of artistic sight/insight, courage, empathy, and good BS-detection abilities, can't really be blamed too much for wanting to go with something that is laugh-proof and guaranteed to hold its value.

Another factor... is deliberate incomprehensibility.  Since the people who have the money to *buy* art, tend to not be artistic, they mistake easily understood beauty as something to scorn, and want/need something incomprehensible, so that anyone who criticizes it can be easily accused of "not understanding" it.  This is a really unfortunate part of the art world, and possibly its most fraudulent aspect.  In talking with living artists about their artwork on display at exhibitions, once you know a little about art, artistic-artists and fraud-artists can often be found out through asking a few relevant questions.  Real artists are generally able and willing to explain their art, and it takes on added beauty as you contemplate it while they explain their intent.  Bogus artists quickly become antagonistic, defensive, nasty, dishonest, and sophistic when you start asking questions.

But I would have to write a book to properly go into these aspects of the modern art world (and I'm no expert myself anyway), so just let me say that after about six years of gallery crawling in (primarily) Ginza and Kyobashi, I have come to more deeply appreciate authentic artists and to more strongly dislike bogus/fraudulent "artists" than before my gallery-crawling education.  In any case, I find this gallery and its owner to be authentically artistic.

[Note: After writing the above about the art world, I decided to post that part as a text-only blog entry - which is why you may have already read it.]

Tsutsumi Yoshihiko つつみよしひこ Fusion Art and Antiques (130530)
This clip shows a recent fusion art exhibition in the combination art and antique space in room-101 in the Ginza Okuno Building.  Here is some background on the artist:

   Since 1986, Yoshihiko Tsutsumi has produced a wide range of art and design (graphic design, logos, paintings, etc.) for a diverse range of clients, including discotheques and live houses (similar to bars with live music, but with the difference that people come to hear the music primarily) in the Roppongi and Shibuya districts of Tokyo.  In 1992, Tsutsumi moved to London, and traveled in the UK and throughout Europe, researching art and antiques.
   Returning to Japan in 1995, he became involved in the (western) antique (and vintage) market, while continuing to do design and art direction.  He is involved in a number of innovative projects, among them logo and design work, a collaborative effort with a leatherwork artist (the team using the name NU-LU), and fusion art - combining the marrying of antique/vintage objects/art with his original art, creating art that embraces and transcends time.
   Two large exhibitions of note are a recent solo exhibition in New York, and an upcoming large-scale art exhibition at the Ueno Royal Museum (上野の森美術館).
Yurakucho to Shinbashi Etc Train Race 有楽町駅-新橋駅 電車のレース KTとY (130530)
Hamamatsucho to Tamachi KT-Line 浜松町駅-田町駅 京浜東北線 夜の様子 (130530)
Keihin-Tohoku Line - 京浜東北線
Keihin-Tohoku Line - 京浜東北線
Keihin-Tohoku Line - 京浜東北線
Kamata Walkabout - Station to Bourbon St 蒲田夜散歩 駅-バーボンストリート (130530)
Kamata Bourbon Street at Night 夜の蒲田バーボンストリート (130530)
Kamata Station West Side Plaza 蒲田駅の西側広場 (130530)

Kamata Station at Night 夜の蒲田駅 (130530)
Boarding Keihin-Tohoku Line Train at Kamata 蒲田駅の夜京浜東北線電車 (130530)

夜の大井町駅 Nighttime Oimachi Station 京浜東北線 (130530)
夜の大井町居酒屋の細道 Nighttime Izakaya Alley in Oimachi (130530)
大井町居酒屋散策散歩 Oimachi Izakaya Walkabout on Back Streets (130530)
大井町 / Oimachi
Yurakucho Station - Platform to Exit 有楽町駅 ホームから出口まで (130530)
Yurakucho / 有楽町
有楽町駅-東京駅 (山手線) Yurakucho to Tokyo via Yamanote Line (130530)
Shinjuku to Shin-Okubo (Yamanote Line) 新宿駅-新大久保 (山手線) 130601
Shin-Okubo to Otsuka (Yamanote Line) 新大久保駅-大塚駅 (山手線) 130601
Shin-Okubo to Otsuka / 新大久保駅-大塚駅
Otsuka Station / 大塚駅
Otsuka Station / 大塚駅
Otsuka Station / 大塚駅
Otsuka Station to Otsuka Sun Mall 大塚駅からさんもーる大塚まで (130601)
Otsuka Sun Mall Walkabout さんもーる大塚散策散歩 (130601)
This was taken in the morning, which is about the least-busy time of day for this kind of area.

All Green Yamanote Line Train Departing Takadanobaba 全緑山手線 高田馬場 (130601)
Exiting JR-Takadanobaba Station JR-高田馬場駅を出る 土曜日のお昼 (130601)
Takadanobaba Afternoon Walkabout 高田馬場土曜日お昼散策散歩 (130601)
Takadanobaba / 高田馬場
Takadanobaba / 高田馬場
1991 東急東横店南館 Tokyu Dept Store South Side Roof Etc (910601)
The rooftop I visit in Shibuya in this video is still there, but most of it is blocked off and is used for storage it appears.  I'm wondering if they will still have a beer garden here in August, as they used to (actually it used to be a beer garden from June to August I think).  I'll have to swing by and have a look in August.  Here's how it looks now:
東急東横店南館の屋上 (A) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)
東急東横店南館の屋上 (B) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)
Those repeat further down the page (since they are relevant to other clips of Shibuya).

1991 Busy Shibuya Tokyu Dept Store 渋谷駅東急百貨店 (910601)

1991 東急東横線渋谷駅 Toyoko Line Shibuya (910601)

1991 Shibuya to Gakugei-Daigaku 渋谷駅-学芸大学駅 東横線 (910601)

This is historically interesting now, as it shows the elevated section of the railway leaving Shibuya that has been decommissioned (with the line being moved underground and connected to the subway system).  If I had known this section of track was going to be shut down, I would have just left the camera running the entire time, but even though I started and stopped it a few times, it still shows much of the old railway.  The recorded announcements are also from the past - having been replaced with new recordings some years after this was taken.

Kokubunji Street Musician (130603)
Asagaya Station Walkabout 阿佐ヶ谷駅散策散歩 モールなど (130604)
Shinjuku - Chuo to Yamanote Trans 新宿駅 - 中央線-山手線乗り換え (130604)
Shinjuku to Yoyogi (Chuo Local) 新宿駅-代々木駅 (中央線各駅) 130604
Yoyogi Station Area - Yamanote to Shibuya 代々木駅辺り-渋谷駅 (130604)
Former Toyoko Shibuya Station Empty Platforms (130604)
Shibuya Station Area Walkabout 渋谷駅辺りの散策散歩 (130604)
東急東横店南館の屋上 (A) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

東急東横店南館の屋上 (B) Shibuya Tokyu Southwest Building Roof (130604)

The rooftop looked like this in 1991:

1991 東急東横店南館 Tokyu Dept Store South Side Roof Etc (910601)
1991年 東急東横店南館
Shibuya Station Southwest Side 渋谷駅西南辺り (130604)

Shibuya to Tamachi (Yamanote Line) 渋谷駅-田町駅 - 山手線の右側 (130604)

Hotel Seiyo Ginza RIP ホテル西洋銀座の閉館 (130604)
This hotel isn't particularly old, but it's been closed and apparently they're going to tear it down and put something else there - hopefully not a big, ugly box full of banksters....

Tokyo Station Yaesu Side (Under Construction) 東京駅八重洲側工事中 (130604)
Tokyo to Ochanomizu (Chuo Line) 東京駅-御茶ノ水駅 - 中央線左側 (130604)
Entering Shinjuku Station via South Entrance 新宿駅南口を通る (130604)
新宿駅の様子 サッカー試合の後 Shinjuku Station Post-Soccer Game Walkabout (130604)
I initially started taking this just to show Shinjuku Station at night, and then I started noticing the soccer (football) fans - thus the title.  Pretty much there's that one "Honda-4" guy on the Yamanote Line platform at the beginning, but many more show up later in the clip over by the east entrance.  The place that's famous for crowds of soccer fans in Tokyo is Shibuya - where an army of police show up to maintain order and stop people from shutting down the Shibuya scramble crosswalk.
Shinjuku Station After Soccer Game 新宿駅 サッカー試合の後 (130604)

I probably should have just called this one "Entering Shinjuku Station via East Entrance", but the atmosphere - after a favorable outcome to the soccer game - was jovial and it seemed relevant to mention the game....

Street Musicians by Shinjuku Station South Exit (130604)

1991 Long Walk - Gakugei-Daigaku to Toritsu-Daigaku (910601) 散策散歩
1991 - In the Looking Glass (910601) 鏡は楽しいです 1991年の東京
1991 Trying New Drink Before Reading Label Properly (910601)

1991年 長い散歩 都立大学駅-自由が丘駅 Toritsu Daigaku to Jiyugaoka (910601)
I went back to these same stations on the Toyoko Line last week and those videos are further down the page.
1991年 都立大学駅辺り Toritsu-Daigaku Station Area (910601)
1991年 学芸大学駅辺り Gakugei-Daigaku Station Area (910601)

1991年 名店会館 トリツフードセンター 1F-商店街 2F-飲食街 (910601)
1991年 自由が丘駅辺り Jiyugaoka Evening Station Area (910601)
Walking Up to an Old Roof in Meguro-ku (130606)
目黒区の植物屋上 Plants on the Roof in Meguro-ku (130606)
Old Building in Meguro-ku 目黒区にある古いビル内 (130606)
Shinjuku to Ebisu SLT 新宿駅-恵比寿駅 (130606)
Ebisu - JR to Hibiya Line Transfer 恵比寿駅 - JR線-日比谷線の乗り換え (130606)
Old Houses in Toranomon - Walk up Hill 虎ノ門の古い家と新しい家 (130606)
Toranomon - Top of Hill to Main Road 虎ノ門 - 丘の上から大通りまでの散歩 (130606)
Old Buildings About to be Torn Down in Toranomon 虎ノ門の古い建物 (130606)

Nakameguro Trains 中目黒駅電車々 (東急電鉄東横線) 130606
Toyoko Line - Express to Jiyugaoka 東横線 - 自由が丘駅までの急行 (130606)
Jiyugaoka Afternoon Platform Scene 自由が丘駅夕方ホームの様子 (130606)
Jiyugaoka to Toritsudaigaku Toyoko Line 自由が丘駅-都立大学駅 東横線 (130606)
Toritsu Food Center Being Torn Down 名店会館の元トリツフードセンター (130606)
都立大学駅近くの自転車整理場所 Bike Parking Near Toritsudaigaku Station (130606)
Toritsudaigaku Station Area Walkabout 都立大学駅辺りの徒歩旅行 (散策散歩) 130606
Big Crane Truck Near Toritsudaigaku Station (130606)

Toritsudaigaku Station Ticket Gates to Platform 都立大学駅 (130606)
Toritsudaigaku to Gakugeidaigaku - Toyoko Line 都立大学駅, 学芸大学駅 (130606)
Gakugeidaigaku Nishiguchi Shotengai 学芸大学駅西口商店街散歩 (130606)
Gakugeidaigaku Shopping Mall East 学芸大学駅東口商店街散歩 (130606)
夕暮れの学芸大学駅西口商店街散歩 Twilight Gakugeidaigaku WSS (130606)

夜の学芸大学駅東口商店街散歩 Gakugeidaigaku Shopping Mall East (130606)
Gakugeidaigaku Station East Side Night 学芸大学駅東口横道散策散歩 (130606)
Bookstore to Platform - Gakugeidaigaku Station 学芸大学駅と本屋 (130606)
More so than most, this video reminds me of the videos I took back in 1990-92 - including the busy bookstore.  Unfortunately, a lot of bookstores aren't doing so well these days and are often empty.

Jiyugaoka Night Walkabout 自由が丘夜の徒歩旅行 (130606)

通勤特急が学芸大学駅を通る Tsukin-Tokkyu Passing at Speed (130606)
Gakugeidaigaku to Jiyugaoka (Toyoko Line) 学芸大学駅-自由が丘駅 (130606)
Jiyugaoka Station Walk-Through 自由が丘駅の夜様子 (130606)

Jiyugaoka Tsukin-Tokkyu Night Train Ride 自由が丘駅から夜通勤特急 (130606)
Shinjuku San-Chome from Train to Street 地下鉄電車から地上道まで (130606)

Shinjuku-Dori and Glass Wind Chimes 新宿通りとグラスチャイム風鈴 (130606)
I was glad to come upon this mobile wind chime seller.  This way of marketing something goes way back... I imagine.  In any case, the sound of all those wind chimes going together was great to hear (towards the end of the video).

Shinjuku Night Streets 新宿夜の道 (130606)

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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