Modern Techno Life in Tokyo

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New Print Unleashed!

Recently I mentioned the California PhotoWalk in San Clemente where I met David Arkenstone. I listened to his music all the way up the famous Pacific Coast Highway. Here, in Big Sur, I got up early one morning to grab this amazing scene just as the sun was coming over the mountains to the east.

This Limited Edition Numbered Print is accordingly called “Sunrise in Big Sur“.


Daily Photo – Modern Techno Life in Tokyo

What happens in hyper-techno places like Japan and Korea seem to be the techno-canaries in the coal mine for the future of technology and behavior in the west. Several years ago, almost everyone walked around their ultra modern-cities with their heads buried in their mobile phones.

I was asked by many English-speaking Japanese there several questions that amounted to, “What do you think of Japanese people?”

I always had a hard time answering that. I love Japan, obviously… I find the people interesting, different, and wonderfully unique. There is one overall thing about the “general” mannerisms of the average person… it would be “robotic”. I don’t know why this is always in my head, but I often get a robotic sense from strangers, as if they are going through the day, devoid of any outward-facing emotion, buried in technology.


  • casusan

    Cool shot Trey – and interesting and thought provoking comments! Love the big sur print by the way – awesome!

  • Sid

    Love this shot, definitely captures the tone and emotions you’re talking about. the colors are extraordinary!

  • That image caught the light in the perfect way. Beautiful! Just that slight otherworldly look that makes you catch your breath and examine every detail in the photo. Thanks- for that and the beautiful Big Sur shot.

  • I have always found the Japanese to be “alive”. Here in Adelaide, South Australia, our city is ringed by beautiful parks, yet whether it be spring, summer, autumn or winter, they are devoid of people. You cannot see children running along with kites, no parents throwing a ball or dogs running. All you will see is a few riders or a lone jogger. In Japan, all the parks are used. I loved being in the huge Yoyogi park in Tokyo, especially in summer. It was full of laughter, musicians, people having picnics, walkers, runners, people with dogs, children. It was wonderful to see adults playing “chasy”. ADULTS. To me, they live life to the full, and I believe that is why they have such huge life expectancies. Not because they are robots and stressed. Far from the truth.

  • You get both tho, Stephen, right? I see what you describe daily in the park right outside my apt, but I also see the robot thing. Over half the Japanese I see as I walk around looking for photos daily have their heads buried in their cell phones, even as they run to the train. I do disagree about stress. Stress here is tremendous, which is part of the reason for the very high drinking rate, and I also think part of the reason why there are so many freeters today (The Japanese word for people who refuse full time work and just continue living with their parents well into their 30s and even 40s). They see their fathers working 16 hour days and only being paid for half of it and they want no part of that life. My own pet theory to explain freeters, anyways.

    But I digress. You do get both sides. There seems to be a very Taoist thing going on here: kids are all super expressive, easy going, ful of life, even more so that kids back home in the States. Approaching middle age they lose that and become withdrawn into themselves, partially because of work, partially because of social expectations and group thinking, robots. But then as they approach retirement, many become kids again. I know we have this same cycle in the States too, but it jumps out at me more here. I met a guy in the park practicing the shamisen the other day. The most energetic, fun, wonderful older guy I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Older men especially just seem to have this child-like joy of life.

    Whoops, sorry for the book comment… I’m very fascinated by Japanese culture, which I suppose is one of the reasons I moved here severa years back, and I enjoy talking about it.

    Anyways, wonderful shot as usual, Trey. I continue to be impressed at how you take ordinary scenes and make them wonderful photos. Well done!

  • Love the Big Sur print!!! So very beautiful!!! Nice shot of the cityscape!!! Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend in Iceland!!

  • I see your point to0 David. I only spent 3 months in Tokyo, the rest of my time was spent in Himeji, and I intend to make it my home. The country life of Japan (although Himeji has around 500,000 people) is not as hectic as Tokyo. Men certainly do not work anywhere near 16 hours a day in good old Himeji.

    I do know that here (Adelaide), we lose so many men from heart attacks, and I know that we (men) seem to die off just as we retire. I hope I can retain a child-like joy of life right through retirement and live a long life.

    Anyway, thanks for the post on my site. Your site is awesome by the way. It’s great to see you working with HDR too. I have yet to do much with HDR. I hope to when I get back to Japan this July.

    Take care.

  • Great picture of Big Sur Trey. It’s too bad I didn’t make it there while I was in Cali on the photowalk.

  • Himeji is 500,000 people?? For some reason I thought it was a lot smaller than that. Similar to where I live then, Okazaki, which is 360,000.

    Thanks for the compliment about my site. I really appreciate that ^^ Hope you can get some good HDRs when you visit here this July.

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