Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Sunday stroll in Edo.

It was a rare break in the rain in the theoretically over rainy season, so I decided to take a stroll through Tameikesanno and Kamiyacho.

After managing to survive the street crossing from the ATT building side of the street to the ANA hotel side---it being Sunday, there were fewer taxis playing chicken with pedestrians trying to cross---my wanderings led me up over the hill to the wooded area behind Shiroyama Hills.

It is a nice little "green" area to spend some time when in that part of town wanting escape noise and idiots. There was an old couple sitting on a bench with a similar idea as I passed by looking for a place to sit.

I soon became absorbed in the quiet, hoping for a glimpse of the birds I often see there. Within a few minutes, I heard them. Not the birds. The voices. They seemed to be shouting, perhaps in ancient Japanese. I could not make out what was being screamed, except what seemed to be singing and shouts that sounded like the phrase "moon killing" in English. I felt as though I might be hearing the voices of the spirits of long gone samurai engaged in some forgotten battle in the area. I've seen samurai movies, so I know what it would sound like. It was either that or perhaps World Series game 7 was going on nearby.

Becoming a bit uncomfortable sitting there with a bunch of noisy, fanatical spirits engaged in combat somewhere nearby, I decided to mosey on over to the Kamiyacho Tsutaya to read some books without buying any. Usually there are fewer people than usual with the same idea in that particular Tsutaya on Sundays.

On the way I got a hint. There must be a festival going on, I thought to myself, as there are all kinds of traditional lanterns hanging about. I admired them for a while, thinking how nice it was to be in a land where money and profit matters less than in other places. What could that ancient script say, I wondered. Probably some ancient wisdom, as it most certainly could not be greedy commercialism or local business names.

Then I saw it. It wasn't samurai, but a sort of samurai wannabes out practicing free speech. As I quickly pulled out my fine NTT DoCoMo cell phone and went about 373 folders deep in the menu to launch my camera just in time to get a high quality video/audio file of the last of the fine fellows as they took off to circle around yet again and ruin everyones Sunday.

I canceled the visit to Tsutaya.


  1. This is what happens when you wander too close to the Russian Embassy on a Sunday...or any other day of the week for that matter.

  2. Don't think I've ever heard them so loud before, but then again, I don't usually walk around outside so much at that time of day. Seems like a good reason to continue not to do so.