Neighborhood Narratives Tokyo

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thank you Meguro-ku!

I love Meguro-ku and i don't want to move from here. It is the place where i grew up, which gave me the wish to travel around to discover "neighbors" relations in the world. And surrounded by nature, i could cogitate, take my time to think, to play, to watch TV which pushed me to enter the world of showbiz. If my friend Nacchan didn't teach me to love TV, I would probably not do the job of a comedian. Because of my neighbors, i learned japanese, the culture, behavior needed to live in Japan. I really am thankful to Meguro-ku and understand the reason why it is expensive to live here!
<--- This the Salesio Church! I go here every sunday to pray God to help me to become more famous^^;
<---Imitating a Japanese Singer, Wada Akiko for a TV show on Nihon TV! Yokohama, second day!
<-- Performing in Yokohama for the International Comedy show! (First Day)
These pictures were taken in China! This is the Takuramakan Desert! The purpose of the trip was to meet many people, to know more about their culture, their way of living. This area was islamic and what i learned is that people here are very generous. They give everything they have. Neighbors are part of the family. They are not strangers but relatives! If they are in trouble, everybody, men, women, children are going to help. It is a community which is important and show the necessity of being surrounded by neighbors.

Few years later, because having lived in a place surrounded by nature, i wanted to travel around! And as i became a comedian, i got the opportunity to go to West China, where my vision of the world became wide!
<-- i turned 17 while eating the Ra-men! I am in a chinese restaurant! This is a very good Ra-men, possible to find at Gakugei-daigaku station."Kujiraya" is the name of the restaurant!And eating it made me grew up!
At the age of 8, i was dreaming of becoming a famous person! I liked to get the attention and do crazy things.
<---Map of Himonya Park! On Sundays, we can ride horses amd ponies. During Cherry blossom, it's possible to ride boat in the park...
This is me, playing in front of my house. After that, we went to Himonya Park to play there.

<-- Himonya park! It is my favorite plave in Meguro-ku!There are a lot of nature, a lake and we used to come here bicycle to play! This the house where i lived in 1989 for five years! It still exists now..
<-- By the way this a friend, Nacchan, who lived door next to me!Here I am 9 years old. For your information, we have the same age. I was very shocked to know that. With her, we were always singing, playing around and this is how i learn japanese. Nacchan thaugh me many things, especially about japanese TV! <-- Japanese Ojizo-san!The box in the middle is to put some money as a gift to God. When i just got to Japan, i was 7 years old and thought i could use the money for free so i took sometimes 100yen and went to the shop to buy candies which is very bad...Japanese friends living in my neighborhood did it too and told me with gestures( as i didn't understand the language) to do it too...I am sorry!

These are streets where i walk everyday since my childhood!The McDonald closed early in the past. I couldn't go inside because i didn't have money, but now, i can go there and buy milk shake!It's amazing!
This Saigon Park. It is really beautiful! In Meguro, it's possible to find a lot of nature. That's why maybe people like the place.
This is the east exit of the station!It's called, Shopping Road! Some festivals are organized! I wanted to be part of it when i was 9!

is a very nice place!People are nice, the city is always with smily people and a lot of events!

Living in Meguro-ku....

Meguro-ku is where I live for 17 years. Being one of the most expensive area in Tokyo, the atmoshere is very nice and it is very close to the center!!!

These are maps and plans.

<--- This is the logo of Tokyu Toyoko line which goes from Shibuya to Yokohama. With the limited express it takes only 18 minutes!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Pets getting insurrance?!

In Japan, pet boom is more & more popular. Being in the street, people do not walk their dogs but dogs walk them. As the popularity is increasing there are more houses built for pets and masters to live in a more comfortable way.

Apparently, next year, Mitsui corporation is thinking of creating an insurrance for animals...
Even though children are dicreasing, pets are increasing...This is in a way, extraordinary...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Spring has come!

<-- Location: Naka-Meguro. Famous place for the quantity of flowers.

<-- Location: Nishi-Koyama. Flowers forming a beautiful arch.
When Cherry blossoms are flourishing in April, people are just happy. It is a pleasure to take a walk, take pictures and communicate with others about the Sakura(Japanese word for cherry blossom).
Japanese people do in this season, parties called "HANAMI." They buy a lot of food, drinks and sit underneath the trees, enjoying the beauty of flowers. They are that happy that some get drunk and start to sing, some share their food with their neighbors, some have deep conversations, some are passing out and some are screaming to distress themselves. It is amazing to watch because Hanami is a very popular Japanese culture.
However, these Sakuras last only for one week so people’s main conversation is about the weather, praying that there is no rain. I think that if these cherries could be there all year and that Japanese could party every week, they would not be that stressed…Though, this season is my favorite in Japan.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Imagining Places

This documentary made me think a lot about geographical space, the relations between people in communities and how people find “the” place they belong to. In fact, I think that is a question that all life, humans are going to ask themselves and are going to look for answers. The topic was very interesting but there were some ambiguous feelings that came out.
Why do people think that America is the best place to go? Is it really more livable than other countries? What is the American dream? I'd like to go to the States and figure out what is so attractive about it.
Personally, I think that it is the influence of the media, products, singers, movies, food and so on…I have the impression that the world has unconsciously been Americanized. I do not think it is a bad thing though, because I also do like burgers, coca-cola and too sweet cakes. If I do not eat McDonalds I get frustrated but this fact does not explain why people want to live in America… There was a Japanese woman on the documentary, saying that she left Japan to start her life again because in Japan there was a lack of communication, understanding and people were not open-minded. Then, she said that she felt a bit of loneliness in the U.S. So, my question was: “Why did you go there? And what were you expecting from there?"
I think that being anywhere in the world, it is difficult to find a real place where you can be yourself and feel comfortable. The various emotions that we have like loneliness, happiness, anger, sadness will always surround us and we will always have to deal with it. Of course, there are places that we feel closer to but I think that if you cannot find it where you are now located, it could be harder to find it in a foreign land where you have to build all again.
America should be a nice place to live but I do not feel much attraction to it. I think that it is a huge country where there should be many opportunities but the country should have its own problems like in every other country.
However, among the several things that I like about the States, my favorite television shows are “American Idols” and “Are you hot?” Japan do not create shows like that, so every Saturdays, I run home to watch it!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Champagne Shower on Japan!

On the 21st of March, a national holiday announcing spring’s arrival, Japan was frustrated, nervous and anxious in front of television watching the WBC (World Baseball Classic) final: Japan vs. Cuba. Young to old people were entering in every shop where they heard radio and saw a switched on TV. They could not concentrate on their work or the tasks they had to do. No one was walking in the streets of Roppongi, Akasaka and Meguro except cats and little children playing around. There was a dead silence and the sound of crowns crying could be clearly heard. Every time Japan puts a point Japan was shaking, especially when they put the last point that announced their victory. People were screaming of joy and could not control themselves. It was unbelievable to see and hear them. This situation made me remember four years ago when Japanese football team won a game on the world cup…Shibuya, a very well known place in Japan where youth chills, was full of young persons dancing and celebrating their win; it was amazing!!!
Some people were crying, some were jumping around and some were drinking. It was interesting because there were some persons who walking alone had a big smile on their faces. Then, in some bars and restaurants, owners offered free drinks for the celebration. All Japan was really happy and it was possible to feel their unity.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"A Day in my Life"

When I leave school TUJ, first of all, I go to the convenience store to see new magazines and read the most interesting part without buying them because carrying them is too heavy!!! Then, I buy milk tea and go to the park and relax, watching children playing in the sand and the cloudy sky of winter. I sometimes remember my childhood, times I did not think or worry about anything. I would like to go back to that time where everyday seemed like a dream. Being in the park is the only time I have to breathe and forget about reality with the sweet milk tea.

After that, I go to the station of Shirokane-Takanawa to take the train to go to work...On my way, I buy a sandwich and grab it while walking. Time in Tokyo flies so I got to hurry!! Again, a long day after school is beginning...Japanese business men look tired as always, sleeping in the train. I cannot sit but I guess I am still young so I can handle it(^0^)!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Illuminated by neons, Tokyo is a city which never sleeps. Always agitated, people come and go, walk at anytime of the day. But Nishikoyama is different; located in the Meguro ward which is 15 minutes from the center, it is quiet with a good environment but known as a very expensive land. Near the station, there is long road called Nikoma Street, where any kind of shops are lined, one after one. Most people living around buy their needs there.
However, in Nishikoyama, there are two communities: one is Japanese and the other is Asian from Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and so on. Their lifestyles are different. The Japanese side shops are expensive although the Asian side is cheap. They have their own vegetable market where everything is very cheap with prices that cannot be found in Japanese shops. Then, because of their community, there is also a shop where products from all over Asia are sold. The places name is written in characters that cannot be read: in there, people are always grouped, watch television and speak in several languages. Passing by make you feel that you are not in Japan.
It is interesting to see the distinction existing in Nishikoyama between these two communities where a mix of culture can be found.