I was a bit squished out of shape in Tokyo. But I couldn’t put my finger exactly on why I was so anxious and feeling seriously flighty. Japan (through my eyes) has a strong sense of conformity and regiment. Alongside my love for order and method, I crave interaction and playfulness- but am a walking, talking contradiction and combination of juxtapositions- just like my current surroundings. I suppose I am finding things about my identity reflected more so here than at home and this includes the good bad and in-between.
Big city life is about fitting in, becoming part of a chain, going with the flow and being part of an ever moving, heaving layering. The well oiled machine doesn’t work so well if one kog pops a spot, or wants to be bigger, more slippery or fit in the opposite way. Japan’s structure and rules seem to condense in feeling with the parallel in architecture; Tokyo is very different to Hokkaido.
I love being switched on, plugged in and stimulated. A trait you might think would suit an environment like Tokyo- but it's counterpoint is I take everything a little too personally, invert situations and am not particularly slick at the opposite: turning off. Tokyo has an interesting balance of tuning out. People's schedules make sense here when you see how the power naps, rest times and abilities to 'clock out' in crowded situations are facilitated.
Here, you are not secular- you are the group. It's not personal, it's just business time. This sounds really clean cut and logical, but when your travelling by yourself, with lots of balls in the air, without a consistent companion to bat some humour and steam off, subtle changes can get big effects.
I have an opportunity of a lifetime and I had my head in the wrong cloud for a day there. Looking after children is a role I adore, although I underestimated the challenge of this with an added bonus parcel of a little language barrier. (Although I studied Japanese, I can read and understand more than I can speak; It's a damn fast way to get your conversational language skills lubricated) So, my time, behaviour and interaction had very much come down to actions dominating words. In the big scheme, so little from me but meaning SOOO much to them. Made me think of the extreme, uncompromising love and commitment and generosity my Mum & Dad and Grandparents gave to me; the childhood I had where I was encouraged to try ANYTHING, play with EVERYTHING and have opportunity of diverse thought, actions and emotion. Where expression and being heard were qualities that were actively encouraged. What a rich upbringing. The realisation and reality of how very much it is a selfless act to properly look after a child. And how selfish I was being with my world, my needs, my curiosity for opportunities, my endeavours; snip snapping; searching and pushing upstream. Major game changer: Chill OUT and learn the new groove...
Because it had nothing to do with Tokyo and everything to do with me being a complicated dick.
SO! The 42 Tokyo Motorcycle Show was shiny, well oiled and so spick and span, it was like a sales pitch on steroids. Held at the Tokyo Big Sight it contained many interesting stalls, including a fantastic setup by my favourite: Triumph ^=^
A lot of my enjoyment came from watching the other attendees and the bikes come to and from the event + the monorail trip to get from downtown to the Tokyo Wharf area of Koto is a yummy sightseeing tour too as it emerges from underground to curl around over the bridge and onto the island.
After all the bogans and bikes, it was culture time with a PHENOMENAL exhibition current running at The Ueno Royal Museum of up and coming contemporary Japanese artists (sorry no photos on this one guys as it was on lockdown ^.^ but check out the following artists who have seriously inspired me!)
Mariane Maiko Matsuo's work (click below for enlargements) was sublime. She is a Brazilian Artist of Japanese decent who works in Osaka. I am in love of her large scale, feminine and extremely intricate artworks. Murata Mineki's artwork called 'Breakthrough Drawing Ball Point on Plywood' was incredible. Mineki is a performance and predominantly 3D based Artist- so his selection for the exhibition was interesting as it was plywood that had literally been hacked and scraped through to make a bark like texture through the ball point pen markings. It was incredibly powerful- maybe more so to my eyes as I felt the time, pressure of application and intensity that had gone into the work through my own experience.
Guercino (1591-1666) was one of the major painters of the Italian Baroque period who further developed the Baroque aesthetics begun by painters Caravaggio and Carracci. Conversely, he was also a painter whose style helped form later academic painting methods, and in the past has numbered amongst the most famous painters in the history of Italian art. Around the mid 19th century, when the art world began to express new values and views, Guercino was dismissed and forgotten, only to be the subject of rediscovery from the mid 20th century onwards.
David Teniers, the Younger's "Temptation of St Anthony" completely captured me- see the detail in the flying monsters below- pictures 6 & 7.
Seibuen Yuenchi: the play-land of Hello Kitty (no question I was a fizzing furball, if not more excited than the kiddies as we screamed off to the Viking boat for first ride). It's located a wee way out of Tokyo- but has a genuine air of actual fun. Proving that the expensive is not the best and that time and experience is best thing there is- and yen can't buy quality time!
One of my favorite artists (above), Camille Rose Garcia referrs to Disneyland as being the 'saddest place on earth’- as is often the way; the fun, laughter and real joys are not in the places where they are advertised. Do I still need to visit Tokyo Disney? Nope- can't replicate today- plus I went up the best 'Tokyo Tower’ ever on the Ferris wheel with 4 adorable monkeys ^=^