Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tokyo Morning/Night

After the priests march solemnly through the square in front of the temple, their paper thin white robes rustling over the rhythmic clip-clop of their thick soled sandals, the acolyte pounds the enormous wooden drum, and its hollow boom rises high above the silent trees surrounding the temple compound. A shimmering drone begins, woven through with a reedy, nasal melody, and then a mournful flute joins in as the Shinto funeral procession files into their seats in front of the shrine.

Later that night, the lights go down at the Robot Restaurant, and the performers hammer on smaller versions of the same drum the acolyte played this morning, but this time they wear outrageous wigs, and a sound system pumps gallons of techno music through the auditorium while flashing LEDs shove every color possible down our gaping eyeholes. Dancers in skimpy outfits and terrifying masks gyrate to the beat while glittering robots show us yet another side of Tokyo.

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