The perception of pachinko, Japan’s biggest form of gambling, obviously varies depending on the individual, as what’s considered a complete waste of money for one person, is seen as a welcome (and possibly winning) break for another.
But that said, there is one constant that everyone can agree on, and that’s the noise. The frenetic flow of ball bearings and monstrously loud machines making for a din that is almost indescribable, or at the very least undesirable. And it’s this element in particular that gives the total and utter silence of an abandoned pachinko parlor a truly incredible sense of serenity.
Plus upstairs, in the office, things were just as quiet. With the desk deserted.
Kurihara-san nowhere to be seen.
And the bank of security screens busy doing nothing but staring blankly back.
However, rather than watching what was going on inside, the cameras would have been better utilised observing what (or indeed who) was on the outside, as, on April 28th 2004, two armed men stormed in, tied up the manager, and made off with ¥800,000. An episode that not only put the poor fella involved in an absolutely awful position, but also sealed the fate of the parlor too, as receipts and calendars in the building don’t go any further than that eventful month a little over 6 years ago.
A situation that’s incredibly hard to imagine when walking down the silent corridors.
With only the slightest of hints at any kind of struggle.
And yet as fascinating as the office was, the real story, at least from a picture taking perspective, is back downstairs.
As the lines.
Bits and pieces left by possibly the last punter.
And the once proud sign.
Make it practically perfect.