Sunday, May 23, 2010

Will Miss #174 - local straw goods shop

On the corner leading to the street that comes to my apartment, there's a little shop that sells items made from straw. Mostly, these include brooms, but there are also woven items like baskets. This shop is run by a little old man who was ancient when I arrived 20 years ago, and seems to be little older now. Every time I approach my apartment, I see this little shop, and I wonder how the old man can possibly make a living from this, and I marvel at his dedication to maintaining this tiny little business. I also have a strong sense of how "Japanese" the presence of the shop is. That is not only in terms of the types of wares, but also in the fact that there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of these types of little shops ran by old people that see little or no business yet remain standing for years and years. These businesses are something I'll always associate with life in Tokyo.

I'll miss the little old man's straw goods shop, and what it reminds me about Japan.