Tokyo Damage Report

Tokyo Garbage part one.

now. . . for something completely different:

that’s right. i’m taking this whole shmeal in a different direction!

tokyo garbage report!!!!!

in addition to unique, iconic subucultures, fashion, etc. . . tokyo has LOTS of good, iconic garbage.

for instance, the ROUND HOLED RECYCLING bins that are always right next to the drink vending machines. when the bins haven’t been changed in a while, the bottles poke out menacingly or lewdly.

that is TOTALLY tokyo.

also, some of the piles get BIG AS HELL, particularly in ‘foreigner ghetto’ where we are lazy dirty foreign bastards that don’t know how to act right. check out this amazing example which is nearly as tall as the fuckin’ vending machine:

and then of course, there’s Shibuya which is a dirty part of town for ALL SORTS of reasons, including. . .

for a culture obsessed with cleanliness, trash cans are really hard to find. and the ones that ARE around, are usually overlowing everywhere . . . but in typically neat style, the ‘overflow’ is packaged in nicely tied plastic bags. juust for the sake of glamor, let’s get a close-up of these bags:

of course the irony is, if EVERYTHING in japan wasn’t packed in several layers of unnecessary plastic bags, people would not have to THROW OUT so many unnecessary plastic bags and there would BE no trash overflow to begin with!

again, this irony is TOTALLY TOKYO. maybe totally japan. i don’t know. what i DO know is, is that the recycling shit is really systematic, thorough, and also deeply silly: my friend, a highly reputable source having lived in japan for over 2 months now, told me this: they LIKE non-recyclable garbage, because it means MORE LANDFILLS. and since the landfills go in Tokyo Bay, that means MORE SPACE TO PUT BUILDINGS. it’s like, ‘WE’RE TAKING THIS WORTHLESS TRASH AND TURNING IT INTO PRICELESS REAL ESTATE!! FUCKING BRILLIANT!! PLEASE THROW AWAY AS MUCH SHIT AS YOU CAN, GUYS!!!" i am SO hoping that this is true.

someday this will become an island. since this is 2-chome, maybe it will become a Fire Island.

anyway, back to the lack of garbage cans in a large crowded very neat city: the ‘official explanation’ (official = ‘i heard it on the internet’) is that after the sarin gas attacks they didn’t want to have too many trash cans lying around where some cultist could just dump in some sarin.

i think a more reasonable explanation is, "precisely BECAUSE the japanese folks are pretty clean, the government KNOWS people will hold on to their trash for several blocks until they come to a bin. so they don’t HAVE to put bins everywhere."

still doesn’t explain why this very neat culture’s napkins are made out of a sort of ‘waxpaper-ish’ material which actively REPELS the shit on your hands rather than absorbing it. maybe they think i touched sarin or something.

Anyway since public garbagecans are scarce, ANYTHING with 4 walls and no roof, left alone for over 5 seconds, within throwing range of the street, becomes fair game.

in contrast, the homeless peoples’ houses, which are MADE OUT OF GARBAGE, look totally tidy and dignified. i swear there is a phd. thesis waiting to be written about how the Land That Invented Origami also produced homeless guys that can turn some leftover cardboard boxes into a waterproof 4 room fort to fuckin’ sleep in. there is definitely a cultural thread in there somewhere. . ..

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