Today we met down in our hotel lobby at 9am knowing that there was a little uncertainty about our studio visit planned with Norito Shinmura. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to the inability to find a translator on short notice. After Rose broke the news she announced that there were other plans for us today, a zine project. Nine hours to pick a place somewhere in Tokyo, could be somewhere we’d gone already or could be someplace new. The objective was to stop and smell the roses. We were set off to observe one place and collect rubbings, sketches, textures, color palettes. Whatever topic we wanted to pursue about our place, the project was open to accommodate our chosen subject matter whatever it may be.
We all went our separate ways. I chose to return to the Roppongi area since I missed much of what the others had seen the day before. After arriving at the station I began on foot. I spotted 21_21 Design Sight, though it is closed on Tuesdays the building itself is an architectural marvel. I walked passed it looking for a shrine that sits there, but somehow missed it and found myself in the Akasaka neighborhood. I worked my way over via map to another shrine called Hie-Jinja. I climbed a long flight of steps lined with red flags and found the shine to be a beautiful haven up on the hill. My next stop was the Honda Welcome Plaza where I watched a very Jetson’s-esque demonstration of a Segway-like bike seat and the famous Asimo robot. Next I head over to Tokyo Tower where I met yet another robot roaming the halls on the observation deck greeting visitors and hosting games on its screen. Just next to the tower is a Buddhist temple named Zojo-ji. The interesting thing I spied there was thousands of identical foot-tall statues of children. The children each had a knit had crafted for its head and a cloth bib along with a pinwheel and place for flowers and insense. When I arrived home I researched that each statue stands for a still born or miscarried child. On the subway ride back to my hotel I decided on a title for my zine, Robots and Relics in Roppongi.
We all found ourselves cramped into the Kinko’s on the bottom floor of our hotel, cutting and pasting our zines together. Here are our final pieces.
Top left is my outcome, top right is Brook’s. She discovered some interesting architecture in Omotesando and the cemetery. Bottom left is Andrea’s she went to the Edo Tokyo museum and read up on the history of how Tokyo got its start. Bottom middle is Cesar’s, he went to the Tokyo National Museum and found multiple floor maps inspiring and layered them in the copying process and wrote in white on top. Bottom right is David’s he reflected on his Sunday day trip where he met up with a group of hardcourt bike polo players and decided to create a terms translation guide for the game.