Archive for February, 2006

Tsutenkaku Tower — literally the “Tower Connected to Heaven” — was built in 1912 in Shinsekai’s Luna Park, an amusement park that was one of Japan’s early symbols of modernization/Westernization. Shinsekai, which means “new world,” was designed as a pleasure zone around the turn of the century, and Tsutenkaku was at its center. The original […]

The tickets to get into Tsutenkaku come with their own miniature papercraft project. You can’t see it in this photo, but the slit in the ‘waistband’ area means that it can double as a piggy bank.

tsutenkaku 360


Were you to put a 100 yen coin into this viewer and move around the entire circumference of Tsutenkaku Tower, you would see precisely the views you see below, though perhaps larger and in greater detail. Tsutenkaku lies somewhere near the center of the greater Osaka metropolitan area, so from these pictures you should be […]

Way back a million years ago in August, Richard and I took a long stroll through the Tennoji and Shinsekai regions of Osaka. Tennoji is interesting because it’s often thought of as one of the places where ‘true’ Osakans live. While it’s a bit run down, it retains a special flavor that the more commercialized […]

Received the sad news from California the other day that Dan French, an old Petaluma compatriot, died in China where he was teaching English. Dan was an outsider in the true sense of the term — a genuine bruiser of an outsider in his refusal to compromise self in the interest of authority, or even […]

Bill Weinberg’s brief visit to the Kansai region has resulted in my cracking open a timeworn copy of Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. (The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism). Here’s a small excerpt: Ontological Anarchy retains its affection for Luddism as a tactic if a given technology, no matter how admirable in potentia (in the […]

On the first of February, Bill Weinberg took the fast train down from Tokyo to spend a few days in the Kansai region. Weinberg, who my colleague and neighbor Richard first came into contact with via the internet, is the author of Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico, among other books. He […]