Even in the 1980s, the once commonly touted line that, all Japanese are middle-class, probably didn’t hold much in the way of truth. Nowadays, however, it most certainly doesn’t. And increasingly, the very obvious signs of social and economic division are sadly all too clear to see.
Shuttered-up old shops are increasingly common sights in both Tokyo, and Japan in general. Unlike many other countries, however, these small operations often double as homes, so even when the business is long gone, the building itself may still be in daily use. Like the place below. A scene that explains why the old lady is present, and also her surprise at someone photographing her as she does little more than leave the house.
Back in July 2014, I took this photo of a young woman feeding a pigeon some bar snacks. At the time, I was going through more of a black and white phase, but returning to the image recently when assessing pictures to include in my portfolio, I decided to see what it looked like in colour. Not surprisingly it looks very different. Perhaps more than anything it feels a lot warmer, which considering the intimacy of the captured moment, seems to work better. That said, I was equally convinced monochrome was the right choice all those months ago, so there’s no guarantee that opinion will persist.