jueves, 25 de agosto de 2011

A Free Space

The Kakekomitei or free space,  is a bar in the traditional Japanese style, located in the alternative Kunitachi neighborhood in West Tokyo. Between the Myashita-Koen protest and the after party at a similar bar in Koenji, I've made some friends among Tokyo's small anarchist scene. Megu approached me in the park when I was sketching the Blue Sky Karaoke and asked to see my other drawings. She is 23 and in her last year of college where she studies music. She has been involved in protests throughout Japan on a variety of issues, but these days most everyone is talking nuclear. Last night it was with Megu and her friends I attended the afterparty in Koenji and it was with the same clique I found myself in Kunitachi attending a benefit concert followed by talks on radioactivity. The patrons of the Kakekomitei are a tight nit group of activists, musicians, artists, writers, and even a famous Japanese actress was in attendance that night (so I am told). I arrived late in the evening and a birthday celebration was underway for the bar's owner, a wiry old man with a big smile by the name of Bokemaru, but fondly referred to by his customers simply as Master. Master gave me a big welcoming hug; laughing and joking with me however, he was slightly inebriated and his Japanglish was difficult to understand. Our miscommunications were soon interrupted as the entire bar broke out in song of happy birthday and a large spread of food was brought to the tutami floor. Drinks that night were self serve and free of charge on the occasion of Master's birthday and everyone drank liberally.  Around three in the morning when the festivities began to die down, blankets and pillows were distributed and the bar's patrons one by one drifted off to sleep. I noticed this unique custom of sleeping in bars also at the after party in Koenji and I'm told it's quite common. The metro stops running at night and taxis in Japan are very expensive and so as an alternative, bars sometimes offer accommodations to their patrons. I however decided instead to accept an invitation to the home of one of Megu's friends, Taku, a young man who rides a tall bike and lives in a shared space not far from the bar.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario