I shot this with a film camera, X-Pan B/W with a slight warm tone.
Where I’m living now there’s an abundance of ripe middle aged Japanese mothers; my favorite, pushing their children around in strollers. It’s nice sometimes to just go and sit down on my favorite bench which is situated right under a white birch. Its leaves are too yellow and heavy for her delicate branches, so one falls on my head and then a gentle breeze comes along and removes the leaf and down it falls to my lap and then down to the ground and finally resting near my foot. I look up….
And two babies are being pushed along by a day care worker. This is one of the cutest things I have seen in a long time.
One of the nicest features about Japan is how much time and energy are invested in child development. Children are all raised in a very nurturing and safe environment from day one. They wear uniforms and are taught do things in a group at a very early age. Their whole world is exposed to beauty and love, it seems.
I remember at this age I was being drug out of bed at 5 a.m. on a bitter ice cold Detroit morning and shoved into a cold, rancid, and dilapidated school building which doubled as a church on Sunday. The teachers were all big and ugly to me and nobody smiled. They just looked down at me like a drill sergeant – eyes bulging from their heads. There were no murals on the walls, no flowers, just these big and cold wooden desks and teachers who were shouting at the top of their lungs who were all unkempt in every way imaginable.
I do remember seeing a portrait of a pasty faced white Jesus on the wall. Ignorant negro teachers are the worst, especially negro women who love to enforce and reinforce their white worship of the white male penis by instilling a pasty faced white Jesus on the wall of every church and every school. Why did I have to see that shit in the morning!? Why couldn’t there have been a picture of a beautiful Japanese Jukujo as my savior on the wall?? I do recall seeing an Asian teacher in my primary school days – always very beautiful.
When it came time for playing or doing group activities I could never quite get into the groove of things. Sharing was never taught, we had to fight over the toys and I was never good at fighting over toys. I couldn’t function well with other kids in the group so I sat and played by myself.
Detroit parks all had run down jungle gyms that were full of rust. I remember getting my hand caught in between the chains on the swings because the links were too big for my small hands. Oh…I finally remember the name of my kindergarten. It was called Rainbow Elementary school. Believe me, there were no rainbows, just thunderstorms and gale winds.
Sometimes I can’t blame the younger Japanese generation of today for how they’ve become – spoiled! And can also see how their own sense of reality can at times be distorted, and even unclear. Many just want to break away and leave Japan. They want to be exposed to some element of danger and uncertainty in their boring lives. They almost yearn to be exposed to some element of darkness. They want to break out of the mold that society has forced upon them.
I remember one lady telling me that Japan was a dirty country, and that the people are all cold and mean. Of course, she may be absolutely correct from her own small and myopic mind. Japan is all she sees everyday, but let her go to a run down major American city for a year and see what the real world is like and I’m almost certain she will be running back to Japan.