Photographer's Note

This is a shopping arcade named "Shop Mate" over Taito-ku and Arakawa-ku in Tokyo. It is in the distance for about 20 minutes on foot from the shopping quarter in Asakusa in which tourists gather. Many stores are old and tired when comparing with urban shopping quarter. And, the whole arcade becomes desolate and looks like sad. When I walk along a passage of arcade, I found about the half stores which a shutter is closed and people who are walking along the passage also were elderly. Moreover, there are some nursing homes for elderly person in a passage stood out besides commercial stores as I feel strangely. Historically, this district was a place at which a day laborer stays at the high-growth era (1955-1964, 1966-1974), and there were many institutions of a cheap lodging this whole place. When rapid economic growth came, it corresponded to the rise of demand for labor, and it developed as a place, about 300 simple hotels were built and located in a line, and it became a place of residence in which about 20,000 workers gather. This arcade would also be made at that time. However, it went into the low-growth term age, the demand of construction sites also decreased, and workers also decreased in number rapidly. This shopping center also declined so that the background of such a era might be reflected. Many curtains of "Tomorrow's Joe" of comics were placed on the arcade. Probably, it is stretched in the sense of promotion of a shopping arcade.

1. Tomorrow's Joe:
They are the comics series which made San-ya the stage and which the one boy lived and were drawn on the theme of boxing in appearance.

2. Another angle: workshop

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Additional Photos by mikio kato (kato) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1386 W: 219 N: 3395] (11630)
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