September 25, 2002

japanimator ramblinator

My friend David is studying abroad in Japan right now, and he was thoughtful enough to set up a digital journal where he will recount his adventures with super robots and zombie attacks and sushi bars. So far there is no mention of giant mechanized suits that fight and level the city on a daily basis, but I’m optimistic for the future.

Suffice to say that Tokyo is an amazing place. The trains are efficient and crowded, and each stop is like an island in a sea of anonymity where anything could exist (and frequently does). I`ve explored some of the most famous areas of downtown Tokyo already, and their fame is justified; coming from suburban Minnesota I feel like a hillbilly in this metropolis. It`s easy to be enthralled by the light and sound that envelops you here… Just as easy as becoming captivated by the jagged green mountains and lurid, etherial shrines of the Edo period a scant two hours by bus from downtown Tokyo.

One of the first contradictions I`ve discovered in Japan is that it is a country both huge and tiny. Everything is compressed and extended upward, from the cities to the natural environment to drink containers to human bodies (well, not extended upward so much). You can move a short distance horizontally and it`s like you`ve warped to another universe when you explore the vertical dimension.