IKIMASHO!

Urban Zen: Peace Through Nothingness

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Realising you are getting old(er) and being perfectly happy about it.


A few days ago I came across a piece I did for ACCLAIM magazine in 2015 featuring a bunch of old photos I took with disposable cameras back when I was living in the south of Japan in 2003. It got me thinking how I didn’t really fully appreciate being in Kyushu at the time, and exploring my immediate surroundings. At 22, all I cared about was partying, going to punk shows, listening to drum & bass, and more partying. I did travel all the way from Fukuoka to Tokyo overland using nothing but local trains one time – but in terms of really getting to know Fukuoka, and its little areas and suburbs, I can’t say I really did. Why? Because I was young. And that shit was boring.

Now, at 35, my outlook on a lot of things has changed. In the intervening years since my Fukuoka days, I’ve lived a hell of a lot of life. I’ve seen the highs and lows of relationships, experienced the glory and goriness of a career in advertising – but above all, I’ve become a bit zen with my whole approach to life, living one year at a time and just seeing where life takes me. I have gotten older. Some may say boring. But these days (like in the video below) I get as much enjoyment from walking along a deserted street in Japan with only myself for company as I did in a crowded club 14 years ago.

I am going to go back and visit Fukuoka again next year – not to sight-see or to be a tourist, but to just be there. I want to take the 22N bus I took every day from outside the Post Office to my danchi apartment block. I want to walk about the supermarket I shopped in in 2003. Not because I want to relive those days, but because I am happy where I am now, yet also happy to look back. I want to experience the ultimate feeling of natsukashii.



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2 comments

  1. Jacob Perez

    That’s awesome. I’m glad I’m not the only one who enjoyed nothingness. When I visited Asakusa last month, there were many mornings where the shop lined streets were empty and quiet, only the sounds of the crows and chirping crosswalk posts. It was an amazing moment of clarity and zen. I’m happy to have found your blog and Facebook page.

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