Retro Futurism and Traffic
In many ways living in Japan reminds me of the England my parents used to describe living in many decades ago – a place where it was safe to walk the streets unconcerned day or night, one could leave the front door unlocked, and policemen were friendly and helpful.
Similarly I often see things in Tokyo which conjure up images in my mind from such older, simpler, and more innocent and trusting community-friendly times:
- People leave fish tanks, plants and flowerpots outside their front doors, so too unlocked bicycles and children’s toys sit outside houses.
- Lost purses, gloves, keys, jackets and hats sit next to where they were found in the street in prominent view of passersby, waiting to be found by the person who dropped them when they return.
- Shops leave tables on the street piled high with goods, unattended.
Yet for the most part, Tokyo appears as a hyper-modern city with comparatively little visual evidence of the past.
I was therefore pleasantly surprised and delighted to see a truly unexpected vision at a busy local intersection recently: a policeman up in a wonderfully retro-futurist metal box observing the passing traffic.
(click the images to enlarge)