At Tsuki Shrine, Saitama City

Dispatch № 38: As-Is

Many people say they love Japan, but really only love a particular, highly distorted concept of it. They don’t realize it, and they don’t like it when you point it out.

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Mt Fuji and a flood control gate, as seen from the Musashino Line just outside of Tokyo

Dispatch № 34: Moments in Suspension

Three small children play in a public park sandbox under a cedar tree. The smallest of them is digging a hole with a stick, eschewing the nearby yellow plastic shovel. Two women sit on an adjacent bench. One of them wears a large-brimmed hat.

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An abandoned house wrapped in netting

Dispatch № 33: Keeping Contained

The netting may be loosely draped or cinched up tight. It depends on the building. The effect of the former is not unlike a veil, while the latter suggests something more like a corset. In either case, the purpose is the same: to prevent problems caused by falling debris.

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A discarded umbrella in a local park

Dispatch № 32: Inconvenient Canopies

They lurk in great piles behind convenience stores and in train station utility rooms. They are clustered in homes, offices, public toilets, parks, waiting rooms, and restaurants. They congregate in unpredictable numbers, multiplying when nobody’s looking, becoming over-numerous.

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A cat keeps watch

Dispatch № 31: The Management

The cat that looks like James Hetfield usually patrols around the tiny ramen shop by the shrine in the morning. On some days, the restaurant’s sliding door is open and he can be seen sitting inside, presumably conferring with the proprietors on some matter of importance.

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A rather small chair

Dispatch № 30: In The Small Chairs

Across the table from me is a blue plastic chair, 26cm tall at the seat and 49cm at the back. It weighs about 1kg. Weighing in at about 16kg is the small boy sitting in it. Let’s call him Ira.

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Waiting to submit documents at the immigration office

Dispatch № 29: Log for 2021-04-08

06:45 Give up on sleep, get up 06:50 Clean up cat poop, admonish cat 07:00 Begin preparing documents and everything else necessary to submit visa renewal papers, realize tax form still needed

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