Posts in Category: Japan-related

Tokyo likes you

I’ve got another book for you, something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years but only managed to construct in the past couple of months during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders my wife and I are living under here in California.

And as you’ve likely guessed from the title above my book is about Tokyo, my favorite city in the world and a warmer, friendlier town than one might think. At least it has been for me. Maybe I’ve just been lucky or haven’t pissed off the right people, who knows?

TokyoLikesYouPromo

Anyway, the book is full of (mostly) black and white photographs of (mostly) happy, smiling people in various street locations around the city. And like my last book, it’s free. But unlike my last book, there’s very little text in it (beyond captions) and the overall message of the work isn’t a heavy downer.

  • So download “Tokyo Likes You”. The cover is here and the book is here, both totaling just under 30MB.
  • And donate (if you’re so inclined) to my “getting ‘Tokyo Likes You’ printed” fund here.

I’d love to hear your comments or criticisms. You can unload on me about “Tokyo Likes You” by leaving a comment on this post, or by contacting me via Facebook, or Twitter.

Thanks for having a look, and I hope you enjoy “Tokyo Likes You”.

SignatureRed

(Brisbane, California, April 30, 2020. See my other work here.)

Convenience

I’ve shopped in a lot of 7-11s in my life.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, September 2016

Maybe you have too.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, May 2017

I only started photographing people I’d encounter at 7-11 a few years ago. I was a public school substitute teacher in 2016 and 2017, and I used to stop by whatever store was on my way to work for a Dr Pepper and some kind of donut for breakfast.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, November 2016

I’m not a school teacher any longer, but I still treasure my 7-11 adventures. See more of the people I met at the convenience store here. I hope you enjoy them.

(Photographed in South San Francisco, California in September and November, 2016 and in May, 2017. See my other work here and here.)

“Tokyo Panic Stories” is free, and so am I

I’ve just completed my first photography book, a major (meaning ‘large’) work called “Tokyo Panic Stories” which presents Tokyo street life in pictures and words. And I want you to have a copy.

For free.

Seriously.

TokyoPanicStoriesPromo

I’ve been working on this book for almost eight years, though prolonged bouts of writer’s block, chronic depression, alcoholism, self-doubt, massive anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (from a heart attack on New Year’s Eve, 2003), low self esteem, poor fashion sense, and general malaise. And now that it’s finally done, I want to share it with as many people as possible.

I’ve tried finding a publisher, but nobody’s interested. I don’t have the money to publish proper hardcopies of it myself, and I don’t want to wait until I do. So I’m just going to give it away. For now, at least.

  • So download “Tokyo Panic Stories”. The cover is here and the book is here, both totaling 58MB.
  • And donate (if you’re so inclined) to my “getting ‘Tokyo Panic Stories’ printed” fund here.

I’d love to hear your comments or criticisms. You can unload on me about “Tokyo Panic Stories” by leaving a comment on this post, or by contacting me via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

Thanks for having a look, and I hope you enjoy my book.

SignatureRed

My week of shooting, 24 February 2019

Codename: Pink Tuba Fire…

Welcome to the first installment of a new weekly feature here on Brisbane Graphic Arts Museum. It’s an ongoing showcase of photographs from my growing body of photojournalism and street photography work, featuring what I think are the best and/or most interesting photos I shot during a given week. I hope you enjoy my work, or get some value from it, and will come back here each week to see how I’ve been seeing our world.

Here we go…

  • On Tuesday I unintentionally unnerved this adorable little girl who was walking past my house with her grandmother…

AlexandraSasha 6-1

  • On Wednesday there was this kid in a shopping cart at a Japanese supermarket in San Mateo where my wife and I were getting some groceries…

RAW-SanMateo 36-2

  • On Thursday Brisbane’s only public house, the Brisbane Inn, caught fire on the top floor and burned for a while. See more photographs of the incident here.

Fire at the Brisbane Inn-5...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • On Saturday I encountered this fuzzy pink kid at the public unveiling of a raccoon statue in a small park here in Brisbane. You can also see this photo in this collection

The brilliant fuzzy pink...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • Also on Saturday, I came across tuba player rehearsing in a shopping center parking with his banda group for a gig they were playing later in the evening…

Brisbane RAW 2106-5

And that’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

How to knit a cell phone

There are no roses for us
but the ones we make
from Japanese paper
made in China, by the way,
that we buy in vast retail spaces
stocked with glue and glitter and ribbon
and blank books of impermanent quality
with which we build volumes
of memory and dreams.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft store, Colma, California 2018

The dreams are for ourselves, supposedly.
The memory is for anthropologists, hopefully.
They’ll see how we were
then marvel at how dull it all was,
and wonder why we wasted our time
compiling scrapbooks,
seeing our children,
or writing poems.

And they will envy us that we tried,
goddamn we really tried,
and that we left behind for them
enough of a world to pity.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft stores….

(Michaels, Colma, California, March 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Reflection in a Japanese restaurant

I often look into mirrors

to view worlds we don’t normally see.

This woman in my world, for example,

at the next table over in a Japantown restaurant,

she was pretty and she was beside herself.

Relections in a Japanese restaurant, Japantown, San Francisco 2017

“That’s a great literal use of that phrase,” I thought

as I went back to eating my katsu curry.

And as I did I hoped

the woman in the mirror world

didn’t reach out and touch

the woman in my world,

as this would surely throw both worlds

into dangerous chaos and flux.

(Izumiya Restaurant, Japantown, San Francisco, September 2017)

The Sky

It rained a little bit this morning.
Not much,
just a few enlarged drops,
smacking the hood of my car.
Just enough rain
for the sky to
let the Earth know
that the Sky can kill it
anytime it wants.

MidtownBrisbane 708-1
But the Sky keeps the Earth around
like that coaster on the dining room table,
the coaster you got in Vegas
when you were just drunk enough
to win $100 on video poker.
It cost you $200
to win that $100,
and that’s how the Sky feels about the Earth.
We banish it
and frustrate it
and fill it with
our piss
and our vinegar.
The Sky is not our cloud atlas,
(The Sky really hated that book)
and it is not the take-away menu
at your corner dipshit combini.
The Sky is
your beauty and your love.
The Sky is
the only way you’ll ever get to Mars.
The Sky is
a chest of drawers full of only bright things,
marvelous things,
things of silk and satin and Japanese whimsy.
The Sky
is your mother
and your father
and we are rather cross with you right now
and need you to knock that shit off.

Toys and whimsy

I like toys, specifically toys of Japanese design. This is one view of my office, in my house. I should be running a toy store in Nakano Broadway or Akihabara. It’s almost a bit out of control, is what it is…

Brisbane, California 2016

(Brisbane, California, April 2016)

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