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Wordplay, Lovers and bridal Pomeranians. / 2 September 2014



Prompted by Doraemon, the cartoon figure, and memories of a previous exhibition, I revisit Marunouchi and discover in Marunouchi Building a one day event which confuses me somewhat. It's a fashion show (the only event information in English, but this description might mean anything) sponsored by Eye Coffret Cafe, which seems to be a contact lens retailer. The lenses are described as 'base make', possibly a link to make-up and foundation, because they have a natural brown iris edge around the rim of the lens. Make-up for eyeballs.
The fashion show is unremarkable.

Marunouchi Building is close to Brick Square, a courtyard garden area with seating and changing pieces of sculpture. It's one of my favourite spots in Tokyo. There are high rise buildings on two sides, low old fashioned ones on the other two. The high rise has garden-greened walls and the place is wonderfully peaceful, with little paths through the garden, a bubble fountain and lots of seating. This time there is a gold coloured Bernard Meadows modernist sculpture looking vaguely anatomical, called Lovers and a Tomihisa Handa piece in pink granite that looks just a little like an oversize chair seat planted on edge in the greenery.
Brick Square also hosts my favourite shop, called Pass the Baton, it sells recycled goods - from ancient toys to vintage clothes and household items, plus exquisite plants; tiny bonsai, baby plants in creative small containers, and small trees.
Marunouchi's wide tree lined avenues host outdoor sculpture too, but this year's offering looks to me rather like badly drawn fantasy images of people cut out of corrugated cardboard, with maybe a nod to Picasso. Tokyo has something for everyone.
I cannot tell where Marunouchi becomes Ginza, but late lunch was sushi in Ginza; a beautiful leaf shaped plate in autumn colours with a selection of fresh raw fish - the usual suspects plus sea urchin, crab and cooked eel. The wasabi was fresh and hot and the picked ginger quite fiery; good sushi.
Complimentary dessert was a green tea blancmange with a red bean topping and a tiny star of fresh whipped cream.

At the weekends the main through-roads in Ginza become pedestrian and the atmosphere changes completely. There is a noticeable increase in the number of small dogs being perambulated - I use the word deliberately because many of them do have their own prams.
Often coordinated with the owner's accessories, but sometimes just over-the-top outrageous, these prams do also get used as shopping trollies and are a lot easier to cope with on a busy street than the sort dragging behind their English owners.
This weekend I saw a 'bridal' dog pram; white with white lace and copious frills and finished off with bouquets of white silk flowers, the pram was accompanied by a similarly accessorised Pomeranian dog and a nondescript owner.

Eye Coffret Cafe, not somewhere
for refreshment, just a place to
enhance your irises. Fascination
with foreign words stops at the sound,
but much as I roll the words round
in my mouth, the attraction eludes
me who likes to have fun with words.
Deuxieme classe, rope picnic,
names that do not conjure images
of quality clothes, if you know
what I mean. And chilli salad
beauty salon, much as I try
does not speak to me of fiery
beauty; proving that I cannot
think a Japanese thought and am
loaded with my own word burdens
links and trains of associations,
but just when I think this is all
a joke, I stumble upon some
truly witty wordplay that leaves
a smile on my face, a sense of
connection like a shared secret.