Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

People playing shogi while others photograph it with an iphone.
Shogi tournament near Shinsaibashi station, Tokyo

It’s not my favorite photo in terms of lighting but I like this photo for being able to quickly catch this scene. I was in Shinbashi one weekend on a different adventure when I walked around the corner and saw this shogi tournament. Shogi is a version of chess, except that if you take your opponent’s piece, you can use it as your own. It’s still a popular game, but it tends to be more popular with the older set, the older Showa* generation.

Shinbashi is an older district, more known for an offices than anything. I was particularly  surprised to see a shogi tournament in this area, not to mention it being outside. Maybe these things happen more often than I realize but in 13 years in Japan, this was a first for me.

What I really like about the photo is catching my husband taking a photo of this on his iPhone. That really seems to embody the shift in generations, but also that they also blend together.

I’m also including the photo below because it’s also a Showa era coffee shop and it goes well with the Showa theme that emerged that day. The old, pink rotary phone still works!

Showa era-style coffee shop in Shinbashi
Showa era-style coffee shop in Shinbashi

* A note about Showa:

Years in Japan are named after the emperor and how long he has been emperor. Government documents often use this format as well as western dates. The Show era ended 25 years ago in 1988. Currently the year in Japan is Heisei 25.

平成25年4月29日 is April 29, 2013.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture”

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lily. I think the contrast between old culture and new is stronger is some other countries, but I think it blends in an interesting way here.


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